Topping Out

Topping Out


Nathan Dixon. Mr. Dixon is my best friends’ father. He grew up in New Jersey under some challenging circumstances. He was not given anything and had to work for everything that he had. He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18 and has worked his way up from the role of a humble construction worker to the owner of a construction company. He is a very successful contractor and enjoys an adventurous life full of skiing, hiking, and traveling with his three sons and wife.



“So I guess the closest tie I have to Folklore in my line of work would be ‘Topping Out.’ It’s different for every job, but basically, when me and the guys reach a certain point in the construction process, we celebrate. Depending on the job, this can be when we put the last beam in place when framing. A lot of the time when it’s a remodel, it’s when our mason puts the last brick or stone in. A lot of people put a tree or wreath there and make a toast…. We work harder than that. I’m not very superstitious, but I do acknowledge it. We’ll have a lunch break or do something like that, but we don’t call it quits. We roll up our sleeves and continue to finish what we’re there for.”



This custom seems similar to the celebration of breaking ground on a construction site. I like Mr. Dixon’s approach – he acknowledges the tradition, but adapts it in his own way. He doesn’t conform to the natural custom, but places his own personal approach on it while still staying true to the roots of it. It seems that this is an international tradition, which is more widely celebrated in foreign countries.