A Great Moment in Paving
by David Hogan, Tofino
Blois came to town with the crew that was paving Campbell Street.
There came a time when they needed to spread hot tar on the old pavement from First Street down around the corner to Second Street.
For this job they used an old International Harvester, a tanker truck which had previously been orange but was now mostly black. In order to spread just the right amount of oil, this beast had to achieve a speed of not less than fifty miles per hour, which was asking a lot from an old "cornbinder".
Traffic had to be stopped at both intersections and the safety vested crew lined the route to keep children and loose dogs from straying off the sidewalk. A crowd gathered as Blois drove down the block to Duffin Cove and turned around. He needed the room to get up to speed.
The signal was given and with a great moaning racket and a cloud of blue smoke, Blois began working the old truck up through the gears, each gear sounding more tormented than the last, each shift punctuated by a blue cloud of exhaust.
Blois came blasting through the intersection at exactly fifty miles per hour, horn blowing, engine roaring, hitting the valve to start the spread of oil precisely on the far side of the crosswalk, an exhilarating blur of orange and black that rushed down the road and out of sight, leaving only the pungent smell of the hot tar and a steaming road as proof of it's passing. It was as if the devil's own Delorean had gone back to the future.
The crowd whooped and hollered in approval. They had seen a master at work.
Thank you Blois for what was truly a great moment in paving.
December 3, 2005