Guest Post: No One Knew Wei Loved Ella, a French Girl in China | Speaking of China

7 Responses

  1. ManilaMemories
    ManilaMemories April 27, 2017 at 9:43 am | | Reply

    Oh man…what a really sad story…. 🙁

  2. baixiaotai
    baixiaotai April 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm | | Reply

    This is the most touching story I’ve ever read on your blog…

  3. Blue Sky Country
    Blue Sky Country April 29, 2017 at 11:24 pm | | Reply

    When my uncle first told me this story, I did not know it would enable me to influence the lives of many other people in ways I could only have hoped in the beginning. Something like this often sits right at the forefront of your mind and comes back time and time again to haunt you. By that time, in 2006, my uncle had retired from the mine and was running his own small metal fabricating shop from his ranch house. Despite being afflicted with a lung ailment, he still stood tall, gaunt and powerful, getting up each morning before the sky has even began to light to prepare his forge and ready his tools. He always reminded me of Clint Eastwood whenever he donned that old leather cowboy hat that he had always wore.

    I have always told everyone that I am acquainted with, that the most important thing you can ever do in your life is to cherish what you have and most especially, the time that you can spend with those you love, because these are moments that no wealth in the world can ever buy. Now, the most important highlight of my entire adult career is when I was the operational supervisor in a large scrap/salvage shop in Texarkana. This is where I had earned my certs in TIG, MIG, oxyfuel and plasma welding and also where I was compelled to ensure that the story of Wei, a heroic young man who I never even met, can be used to change the lives of so many other people. For this shop dealt primarily with very large and powerful machinery. Some which can reduce an entire truck into minced scrap metal within minutes.
    And when I gave speeches about safety and observing ANY and ALL regulations to employees on the shop floor, guess what story I always used to stress the point about the sheer importance of safety.

    YOU GUESSED IT. I think I may have told this story, in an extremely condensed and shortened version, HUNDREDS of times to make sure that such tragedies can be prevented. The people who I work with often refer to me as being as fussy as an old Marine sergeant, but ever since my uncle had told me this chilling memory from his past, I had been compelled to make sure that NO ONE will EVER have to face such a horror, even if I have to be despised or scorned. If someone is working on a lathe or drill press with sleeves carelessly dangling or earbuds running, they can expect to get a real chewing-out from me. Once during a windy and rainy day I caught one of the workers lighting up a cigarette in an attached garage where the acetylene tanks that power the welding/cutting equipment was stored. He had apparently not wanted to go outside into the storm and decided that the open garage would be enough to disperse the smoke. OH BOY did he get an earful from me, including a warning that if I EVER caught him doing it again, I will fire him on the spot. Now, even though we are all a bunch of hard working and hard drinking men who go on regular trips to the local saloon as a group of friends even outside of work and hang out and watch football as such too, I had made it clear, that if I EVER was to detect the slightest hint of booze on the shop floor, the person or persons involved will be out of employment quicker than the blink of an eye. I had made it my mission to make everyone realize just how powerful and potentially destructive industrial machinery is and that I would not tolerate ANY horseplay around them. I don´t think I can ever live with my conscience if a guy on our team is killed or maimed due to carelessness.

    Now, after further talking to my uncle, I learned that the worker in question who had damaged the steel gate of the storage vestibule and failed to report it had indeed faced criminal charges due to this incident. Apparently, this had not been a simple accident, but plain and blatant, utter disregard for the safety and well being of others. He had damaged the gate while unloading a pallet of concrete for the continuing extension of the tunnel, and realizing that his shift was almost up, wanted to finish up and clock out as fast as possible, neglecting to report the incident and taking appropriate measures to aid in the assessment and repair of the damage. This action eventually ignited the chain of events which led to the deaths of 4 workmen, including one who would never get to experience true and everlasting love again. To this day once every while, I would still think about just how many trips around the world Wei would have enjoyed with Ella, how many moonlit nights spent walking down the riverfront promenades of Suzhou and Zhaoxing, and how many passionate kisses they could have shared, had Wei lived.

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