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August « 2009 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog

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Archive for August, 2009

The hardest of the hard.

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Hey I have met many people on my way. Many who openly claim to be hard, or advertised by others to be harder than most.

On my time on the rigs, I meet a dereckhand by the name of Charles “chucky” Stephan who stood @ 4 feet nine inches and weight in @ 190 pounds. He must be in his forties by this now… And like a typical midget he had a big head, long torso and short legs! Wobbled when he rushed up the stair case on his way to the floor ;)

Chucky had been working the oil patch for over 10 years, literally working his way up the monkey board. He had also worked as a rodeo clown in Calgary, yeah go figures eh?

Me and Chucky on top of HIS mud tanks!

Me and Chucky on top of HIS mud tanks!

Chucky wasn’t a very jolly little fella at all, he was bitter and rough around the edges. I was always nervous when I had to go work with him on his mud tanks. Although he was somewhat patient when in the mid of an operation, which can be a whole 12 hour shift and a bit sometimes. But he could be very aggressive when his mind was freewheeling…

Like most people, Chucky had terror stories about his childhood. His stories, embellished or not drew my sincere captivation from beginning to end.  I quickly caught on, that all his stories had one thing in common, they all finished with Chucky proving his critics and cynics of what was physically possible and impossible for a man his size.

What I understood from his stories, is that they were merely to prove to himself firstly, of what he could and couldn’t accomplish.

Me and Chuck outside the the mixing shack.

Me and Chucky outside the the mixing shack.

One of the first things I learned from Chucky was that there is a difference in between a midget and a dwarf. He was a midget. Female of the same height, like my girl friend are NOT technically midgets because they have to be a little much shorter than their male counter parts. People like Vern Troyer “mini me” from the Austin Powers series. I think mini me stands less than 3 feet, is a dwarf.

Chucky kinda had an advantage for working on the rigs. Because of his low center of gravity, he could lift heavy objects that are low to the ground, of which is a big part of our job. He could also easily fit into tight spaces, and clean them out or fix a mechanical defect or fix some cables.

Thank you Chucky, as I got to witness what a genuine hard ass man is.