An Appreciation of Stone (35)

wci-chop-2.jpgA little different thought and image for my appreciation this week. There is stone involved, trust me-you just can’t see it. This is an image of a iron ore ship called Buckeye, and it’s owned by the Oglebay-Norton company.

Back in the day(my day) this ship was called the Sparrows Point and was owned by the Bethlehem Steel Co. I spent three years working on this ship and another until I was laid off in 1981. Man I could tell some stories, some really good stories, so good . . . that you wouldn’t believe them, so I’m not going to tell them.

This lay-off pushed me back into the landscaping business which I am very grateful for. From there owning my own design/build landscaping business for several years. I wanted to get away from having employees(another story) so now I am self-employed as a Landscape Designer and Consultant.

iron ore ship

[ The Buckeye in port loading taconite for the trip South. ]

The stone part . . .

Well we used to haul taconite pellets (iron ore) down to the steel mills. I was a deckhand and spent a lot of time working in very rough conditions and circumstances. Shoveling wet stone dust in a driving rain and 15ft waves will change your outlook on what working for a living means.

Sparrows Point

[ Another lovely morning at the office. ]

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Ah, I lived 24 years in Buffalo, 1978-1992 (though I was in school in Connecticut for 3 of those years, too). Best years of my life. Bet you’ve been there!

    Buffalo, some . . . . but we spent more time going into Erie or close by in Lackawana(sp?). Rough winters, I would have to say I don’t miss that, but I sure am glad I was there.

  2. Remember the Edmond Fitzgerald?

    Of course. I started working on the Great Lakes about 3 years after the storm that took the Fitz. I worked with a few guys who were on the Anderson, the ship that was the closest to the Fitz when it went down off Whitefish point.

    By what they told me it was one of the worst night they ever had experienced while working on the Lakes.

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