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Old 02-23-2018, 09:37 AM   #21
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Jesus, you are going deep sea diving with a broken arm and now I find you speak German, what other tricks you got in that cast????? Waiting with baited breath might explain the taste in my mouth.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:29 AM   #22
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The floor of that little structure in the Southeast corner of the pasture down below that mountainous barn could be removed. Underneath those big thick 4x 12 planks was a hand dug well that was plenty wide and 80 feet deep. The perfect spot to do a little trial run on a prototype before any public unveiling. We chained the winch to a cross member on the back of the old farm truck that was just outside the door of the well house. By setting the winch in 'freewheel' one could use the band type brake on the winch and lower the 'diving bell' into the depths. We lowered the bell down the well. At the height of summer, the water level was rather low (an unexpected but fortunate circumstance, as it later turned out). Cranking the bell back up took some doing but up it came and it was still dripping with nice cool well water. I climbed inside and looked around. It was all dry, as I expected. Confidence was high. There had been some cracking and popping of wood, cable, and chain as the structure took the full weight of the rig but nothing to write home about or so it seemed.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:47 AM   #23
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It was dark in there as I set on the edge, legs dangling in anticipation of cool water. It was quiet also, only the muffled sound of the drag saw/air supply and the reassuring hiss hiss hiss of air. It wasn't smooth at all, like an elevator might be. It was kind of jerky. I made a mental note to go over this with the topside operator. There came another jerk and then there was this sleightly uncomfortable feeling of weightlessness immediately followed by a soul shattering crack of wood from somewhere above. It sounded kind of funny, like being in a tunnel. The edge upon which I was seated seemed to drop away but just for a moment. Probably a good thing too, as it turned out but at that moment I was suddenly getting a picture in my head of The Flame pulling on the brake lever on the winch and then letting a few feet of cable out and then applying the brake again to give me as jerky a ride as possible. Then the edge of the 'bell' kicked me in the posterior like a mule. A big splash of water followed. It was a little cooler than expected. Touchdown, I thought triumphantly. There was a funny muted scratching sound on top of the 'bell'. I was rather perplexed by that and also as I was getting resituated in the 'bell' there was now a soft floor under my feet. The roof of the 'bell' seemed a little closer than I remembered it too. I figured I'd better get some light on the subject and reached for one of the flashlights.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:10 PM   #24
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This just sounds really bad
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:14 AM   #25
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Scary - but the fact that you are still here to tell the story makes it a little anti-climactic.

I'm sure "the rest of the story" will be entertaining.
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Old 02-28-2018, 09:58 AM   #26
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Suddenly, I was swimming along the bottom but what was this? The bottom of the well was somehow attached to the lake that was several blocks away. Oh it was beautiful and calm and remarkably clear. I put my hands together out in front of me above my head and then pulled them down in big arcs to my waist. I was propelled along with surprising speed. There were countless logs just lying there on the bottom. The water was refreshingly cool and inviting. I rolled over on my back and looked up and could clearly see the shadow of a boat floating along up there. Over to the left were the pilings of the dock. There were a couple of local kids swimming around there. Oh it was all quite wonderful until a dark shadow crossed above the lake blotting out the light. It was then pitch black. Cold too. Then my head hurt. I bolted upright to a seated position and put my hands out in front of me like a blinded person might do. Water lapped at my chest. My ears were ringing like when someone has just fired off a big rifle right next to you. It was at about this point that I noticed that the escape springs were beginning to wind up in my legs. I stood up to help relieve a little of the pressure but hit my throbbing head on the roof. What is this, I thought. I put my hands up and could feel the crumpled up top of the diving bell, then the familiar form of a flashlight. Diving bell? Oh, that's right, I'm 80 feet deep in the well. The beam of the flashlight revealed muddy water at my knees. The roof of the bell was crumpled in some, kind of like it had been struck by several hundred pounds of chain, a bunch of cable, and a big winch, maybe even 'The Flame' too. I called out just to see if he might be out there. I listened intently. Aahh, I thought, my hearing is coming back. I could just make out the hiss hiss hiss of the air supply.
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:34 PM   #27
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ok, standing by, waiting to find out what happened
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:48 PM   #28
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I was genuinely concerned that the flame might have been caught up in whatever catastrophe had happened up there. It couldn't be that bad, though,because the air supply was still working. I kind of smirked at the thought of the flame, scared spitless and barely touching the ends of the blades of grass as he flew up the the ranch house in gigantic strides for reinforcements. I should have put in an escape hatch, I thought. It was soft on the floor of the well. The muddy water was cool. I was getting cool. I better put some extra clothing in next time too. I would have sat down but the 'bell' was sunk into the mud a bit. I should have brought a shovel too, I thought. All I could do was wait. It soon became somewhat uncomfortable. Maybe there aint gonna be no next time, I thought. You couldn't quite stand up straight but to sit down would put the water up to the stomach area. I called out a few times to see if anyone was about. It was deathly quiet. The only sounds being the hiss hiss hiss of the air pump and the beating of a heart. Ever so slowly, over the course of what I thought might be several minutes, I began to get the slightest of impressions that the water level was rising inside the bell. This development garnered my full attention. My interest in underwater business began to fizzle. I suddenly realized that a lack of extensive planning and preparation had put me in a rough spot. Yes, there was no doubt about it anymore, the water was now just above my knees. I beat on the roof of the bell and offered words of encouragement to whomever might be listening. If I wasn't already cold, I think my blood might have gone cold at this point. My head hurt but I surmised that it was probably nothing compared to what the future might hold for my posterior. This whole endeavor suddenly had all of the earmarks of a bad idea. Drat.
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:42 AM   #29
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So the plaster cast was falling apart, another bad sign, but making my right hand somewhat usable again. It seemed like a long time while the water ever so slowly but inexorably rose from the knees to the hips. Valued parts of anatomy were becoming bereft of feeling. It was cold now and waves of goosebumps washed ashore with an accompanying rip tide that was doing it's best to suck me into a ice age. I came to the conclusion that it might be time to take matters of rescue into my own hands and started digging around at the bottom of the bell. It was soft but you had to pretty much get under water to dig. At least I was doing something now. As I popped up for a breath, I detected muffled voices, familiar voices, spoken with an edge of haste. I banged on the caved in roof with the flashlight. There was no response. I banged on the roof intently with one of the metal air cylinders. It got quiet. I banged on the roof again with increased intensity, intense being the word of the day. Something touched down hard on the crumpled roof. "Bang on the tank again" said my Grandfather. I obliged. "Glory be!" yelled Granpa, "He's alive". I relayed the interior conditions with great haste and offered my sincerest wishes to be any where but under there. "I reckon so" said Granpa, "Got anymore holes in ya?" "Any vital fluids leaking out?" he added.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:41 PM   #30
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You really should write a book!!!!
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