I drove up to Nederland this morning in search of the sunrise and some time in nature. Instead, I found a great conversation. I stopped off at Train Cars Coffee and Yogurt Company (which is, not surprisingly, a coffee shop inside a set of old train cars) and ran into this man, Mike. It was snowing this morning, so the sunrise was lackluster and it was much more pleasant to sit next to the wood burning stove with my warm cup of coffee and talk with him.
Mike is trained as a metal worker. He moved to Nederland 15 years ago and worked in the fabrication of metal parts for various companies, including NASA. Some of the parts he created are now on Mars with the Mars rover program. After the explosion of the space shuttle Colombia in 2003, NASA canceled all the contracts with the smaller fabrication companies and Mike lost the majority of his work. Since then, he has been working as a handyman with the hopes that he can get back into fabrication.