Last Friday we were finishing up the basement excavation for Marshall and Carla Hansen’s new home on Sixth Street. We ran into an old water cistern that extended below the excavation level. This required getting a load of granular material, filling the cistern hole, and compacting the material as it was installed.

Just as we were starting this task the Site Superintendent for Northfield Construction, Brent Hauge, received a call that his wife had been in a car accident in Iowa. She was not hurt, but the car was not driveable. Brent had to immediately leave to deal with that situation.

Two events then transpired that show what good people are out and about the world today. The first was that Arland Schwake, my great long time “do everything” employee, volunteered to come to the site and run the compactor. That meant we only had to round-up someone to be a “wheelbarrow jockey” and place the granular material.

The owner, Marshall Hansen, volunteered to shovel gravel and wheelbarrow as needed. He could see between shoveling and wheelbarrowing the material he would have his hands full, so he ask his neighbor Lyle Jokela to lend a hand. Lyle cheerfully came along to work in the basement excavation and in short order Arland, Marshall and Lyle had the cistern hole filled and compacted, ready for footing installation.

It is refreshing to see three people volunteer their efforts on a hot, humid day to work to take care of an unexpected task, and help out to replace an employee that was called away to a sudden family emergency. And two of these people were not even NCC employees!