Earlier, we did a family outing to Onondaga Park (not that one, this one.) After some minor frustration with all the one way signs in the park, we figured out that things were a little more convoluted because of some paving going on Roberts Ave which borders the park.
The Mrs. was pushing Luke in the stroller and Jilly and I were walking. It turns out we got an up close view of the grinder machine that was chewing up the old pavement. Jilly enjoyed seeing the old pavement piling up in the dump trucks and them switching every few minutes as they filled up. We then set off to catch up with the Mrs. who was a ways ahead of us on the road.
Jilly did a great job walking and got almost all the way around the park. Normally, she’ll only go about half that far before she starts begging to be carried. With the Mrs. not in sight, we took a shortcut through the middle of the park and caught up with her and Luke.
Just as we were about to start back to the car, a large excavator rolled toward us. As it got near, I told Jilly to wave at the driver. He waved back, and pulled to a stop right beside us. He then leaned over and asked, “Hey, would she like to see in the inside of the cab?” I asked Jilly if she wanted to, and she got kinda nervous and said no. I said, “I think she’s a little scared, but thanks for the offer.” He said, “well let me show her some tricks with the bucket.”
In the 30 seconds the conversation was going on, a van pulled up and was waiting for us. The excavator was blocking part of the road and we were on the other side of the road. We moved out of the way and the excavator driver waved the van through. The van hesitated for a while and then pulled up next to the excavator, rolled down their window and proceeded to curse out the driver for blocking the road (yeah, with me, the Mrs, and the kids right there.)
The excavator driver encouraged the van driver to just let it go and move on but he was already offended and proceeded to get out of his car and tried to talk the guy out of his machine for fisticuffs or something worse. But, the excavator driver (who probably sees this all the time) just blew him off. After some more threats and f-bombs, the guy eventually got back in his car.
The excavator driver gave us a little show, raising and lower the bucket, and opening and closing its claw. Jilly was still kinda nervous to really enjoy the show after the offer to see the cab, and all the shouting back and forth.
We hurried out before the situation got any more heated. I don’t think Mr. Van guy wasn’t really in that much of a hurry, because he sat parked for 5 minutes as we packed up the kids, and then spent another 5 minutes parked further down the road, yelling at some other workers on the site before he made it out of the park.
Its pretty sad that some jerk ruined all the fun for my kids. I solute the City of Syracuse excavator driver for stopping to have a little fun and not letting the bad situation get ugly. Maybe it sounds silly, but I might try to track him down and send him a thank you.
All can say for Mr. Van Driver is that I hope his day got better after all that.