May 5, 2019

POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAYS: Jax Lunar Lumber #1


On the way to the neighborhood Home Depot for the obligatory weekend project as well as a load of flowers and potting soil, I started musing on my hitch as a “yard ape” for a company called Knox Lumber. We, too were busy this time of year, and it was a familiar feel whenever I went to one of these stored. Know was one of the original “Do It Yourself” (aka DIY) stores, a precursor to today’s Lowes, Menards, and Home Depot. Eventually bought out by Payless Cashways (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payless_Cashways), the rumor in the store was that you could build an entire house by waiting patiently for a year while EVERYTHING went on sale…Rolling down the driveway, I suddenly had a thought and snickered.

When my wife asked, “What?” I shook my head. “No, what?”

I reiterated the train of thought above, then added, “I was wondering if it would be possible to build a colony on the Moon using just what you could buy at Knox?”

We pondered it for a few moments, then suddenly said in unison, “Yes!”

Inspired by Matt Weir, the result of my musings begin below.

As we rolled down the driveway, I snickered. We were on our way to pick up supplies for our early May project in the backyard. This year, her first as a Retired Person, she had exploded from the gate with dozens of plants ready and waiting to be transferred outside. An early spring blizzard had chased anxious Minnesotans back inside twice this year and so the porch was a jungle of young tomato, squash, herb, cucumber, zucchini, chamomile, beans, onions, and carrot plants. She said, “What?”

“I just had a weird thought.”

She rolled her eyes and with a justifiably long-suffering tone, said, “What?”

“Well,” I started, hesitating. It was a strange idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe… I said, “You remember how, when I worked for Knox, they said if you waited a year, you could buy everything you needed to…”

“…build a house. Of course I remember. What about it?”

“Well, I was just wondering if it would be possible to buy everything you needed to build a Lunar colony.”

At first she snickered, but after a pause, we both said in unison, “Yes.”


That was the birth of Jax Colony, and I sit here looking out over a pile of Lunar regolith outside the main airlock of the colony, I’m amazed that someone didn’t think of it thirty years ago during the “rush” to go to Mars.

I know that Weir Base on Mars is a going concern, but they only have fifteen people and they’re mostly scientists and engineers. We have those here at Jax, but we also have fifty-three other Waqans, Khadijahs, Toms, Katherines, Mayras, and a bunch of other people who cook, patch, build, and like me, maintain the plumbing…


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