Although I had joined the “Roofer’s Union” , all the other Union guys that worked for my friend knew that the “Boss” had given a job to his friend… and they also knew that Phil was not a “roofer”… nor did Phil know anything about “roofing”… the rookie of all rookies… and oh how they did enjoy that….
The voices were constant every day... “Do something, Wolff… even if it’s right!”… “Don’t just do something Wolff, stand there!“…. “We don’t run on the roof… slow down” … the best one though was when we were working on the Mother’s House in Mahwah… 3 floors of rooms for the nuns… it had a pitched roof that the guys were banging shingles on… there was a laddervator mounted to the ladder that would run up the ladder to the edge of the roof… the guys on the ground would throw shingles on the laddervator and run them up to me… standing at the edge of the roof… my job was to take them off the laddervator put the bundle of shingles on my shoulder and walk them up the roof to the peak… give them to the guys nailing… then go back down to the edge for the next bundle of shingles…
As the day wore on, more and more granules were falling off the bundles, making the roof quite slippery. I hollered down to the guys and told them it was getting pretty slippery up here… looking for some wisdom on how to approach this problem. I got it without hesitation.
“Be very careful up there, Wolff… if you slip… make sure you holler good and loud so we have time to get out of the way down here!”