Sunday, June 18, 2006

Acrophobia ruins an otherwise lovely trip

I used to work with a lady named Jo at the newspaper. She is a reporter, and a helluva good one.
She's really more of a dame than a lady.
And not in a Dame Judi Dench sort of way, but in a Frank Sinatra calls bitches dames kind of way. She's a tough cookie.
She grew up around our area, on ranches and whatnot, and this area though now a major second-home town for rich people from Phoenix and other hotter than hell towns in Arizona, used to be a seriously rough ranching area.
She's been married three times, never had kids of her own but raised her stepkids from when they were in their teens.
Jo takes off from the paper in the summer to work as a fire spotter for the Forest Service. That job basically entails sitting in a giant tower and watching the landscape for signs of fire.
This is the tower she's been assigned. That's her at the top. That tiny speck.

It's like 8 million feet in the air. No. Not really. But it's damn high up there. Jo has a bad knee, she's had surgery on it, but she still climbs the eight flights of stairs up there every day.
Oh, did I mention...Jo's 72.

We went out to the tower she's sitting in this summer to visit and bring her dinner. My husband, Elizabeth and our renter Bill all climbed the tower with ease.

I got up ONE measly flight of stairs and my stomach dropped into my shoes and my knees started knocking and I had to turn back. It took me twice as long to get DOWN one flight as it took the others to get all the way up.
Fear of heights has always been a problem for me. I get dizzy on the third story. I used to have to go to the fourth floor of the building I worked in to get paid. That sucked. My job, conveniently, was in the basement. Nice and underground.

Jo thought I was not coming up because I had Dylan with me, but truthfully, I was waaay more worried that I would collapse in fear and totally embarrass myself than that he would go flying over the railing of the eight jillion foot high fire tower.
She told me to come back later when I can climb it...a septuagenarian with a bum knee is cracking on ME?! Yeah, I suck.
But look at that thing. Holy mother! I can't do that!


eva said...

I'm with you sista friend. A fear of heights is my kryptonite. Just peering down from a second-floor balcony makes me woozy. Oddly enough, look out a window from a skyscraper is OK. Probably b/c I feel safe in a tall building and not so much when all I have between ground and me is some wooden slats.

Jessey said...

Oops. I was incorrect. That speck at the top of the tower isn't Jo. It's my husband and my daughter.
Sorry for the mistake!

Freebird said...

Damn that's high. I don't really have a fear of heights, but that would scare the hell outta me.

cube said...

We went to Busch Gardens on Friday & Sheikra (the rollercoaster with the 90 degree drop for 200 feet) got stuck at the top & those poor people had to be rescued. I watched them climb out of the cart & walk to safety. For 30 minutes we thought our kids were on that very cart. Talk about scary.

Jessey said...

There was a kid in Stockton who fell out of a ferris wheel and died over the weekend. Very scary.
And that is why I don't go on carnival rides.
The story here

pstvnrgy said...

I can totally relate. I wouldn't have gone up there either! Hells NO!