JAY HENRY 1st Barn picture, NJ
BIRTH OF A LEGEND (or Jay Henry is a slave driver)
Being as this is The House of Steam site, I thought I would tell the story of the Origins of the Barn Ramp, complete with the first ever photo. This was taken at the first session, before we even put the coping on this side, still running on the original 2 layers of used wood. The wood came from my crappy 8′ wide backyard ramp that had to come down. This ramp was so kinked that we had continued to add layers to it over the years in an attempted to smooth it out a little. When I had to move it I realized that this of course was usable wood, so I went about the daunting task of removing one piece of plywood at a time salvaging whatever I could. I was thinking of working with Dave to add on to the Girl ramp, but Jimmy and Dennis said “to heck with that, we should build a ramp at our house!” I was weary due to the hassles my neighbors had given me so I asked what was the backyard setup like. Jimmy Kane said “Oh, we’ve got a huge backyard, and we can build it on the cement left behind from the chicken coops”. I thought that sounded pretty good and asked how far from the other houses the cement platform was and Jimmy said “way back from the houses, back by the barn”. OK, this is the point where my heart pauses, “Come again, did you say “barn?” I asked Jimmy. He immediately knew what I was thinking and told me it was full of junk. And it was; we pulled 2 kitchen sinks out of it, as well as used tires, golf clubs and other junk, not to mention almost all of the 2 X 4′s that we would need to build the ramp. I wanted to make it 9 foot transitions, a foot and a half of vert, with a 12 foot flat. After I measured though I found that there wasn’t enough room, so I had to go with the 8, 1 and 10 that made this tight little bastard the ramp that it was. Jimmy, Dennis and Stevie D were my crew, but they had jobs. Everyday I showed up early, started measuring, cutting and planning. When my crew got home, they would come back to the Barn to have me bark orders at them for hours on end, putting all of my pre cut pieces into position. Those guys were great, and I now realize just how much of an ass I could be, but they dealt with me and we got it done. Mrs. Kane at first was in shock, she had thought it was going to be maybe 4 feet tall! At the same time she was so astonished at my construction skills and thought, hell if these guys want to make it, let them do it. She was really the champion of that whole thing, I’m not sure I ever thank her appropriately for letting us have that ramp, and all the people there. Mrs. Kane, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!!!! So it’s no shock that I was the first one that got to ride it, here I am doing a….yeah, you guess it, a handplant.
Jay Henry 2009
Well this is pretty darn cool. I wont add much except enjoy a little more oral history of The Barn…and feel free to send me more like this. As always Jay Henry is out front setting an example for us all to follow. Fricken cutting edge!
Jay, thanks for thinking of me… Those are memories that neither you nor I will ever forget…You are right.. I was in awe of your talent. Not every guy your age would have been able to build a structure of that magnitude.. I am so thrilled that those few years are embedded in all your memories and that it allowed you a time in your life that most of you will never forget.. I tried to keep you safe. Seems you all will never forget “The Warden” LOL I wish you all love, happines and success…
Hugs to you all,
Nancy (Jim &; Dennis’s Mom)