Hoover Dam

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In Colossus:

“The first bucket of concrete had been poured for Hoover Dam. … Many more milestones would be passed in the next two years as the concrete monolith rose toward the sky.  It was only one bucket after all. Another half-million just like it would be needed to finish the job.”  Page 324

In Real Life:

So yea – that concrete monolith is pretty awe-inspiring. Hoover Dam is ridiculous. I rolled up to it with my son, his friend and my sister – she’d gotten some sleep by then. It was a hot day – no joke – triple digit heat. I dodged that bullet by staying inside AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. I signed us all up for the tour – the long version. It started with a little movie and then it walked us around the interior of the dam. And – thanks to Michael Hiltzik and his work in Colossus – I had, I believe, a great understanding of the whole thing – which was satisfying. I might have known more about that dam than our tour guide but I didn’t challenge him because I was traveling with my teenager and apparently I’m embarrassing enough without asking weird questions. We walked the rim from Nevada to Arizona and checked out Lake Mead on one side – and Black Canyon on the other. I schooled the boys about the high scalers who – during construction – hung from the walls of that canyon to drill and even jackhammer, risking their lives to bring us – in California (well, Southern California) – water, SO DON’T WASTE IT. I also added that the dam went up during a depression and there really weren’t a lot of other options for work – SO GO TO COLLEGE AND SAVE ALL YOUR MONEY. We went to the cafe and had ice cream – a must – and I will warn you again – it is SO hot out there.

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