Making a Living on the Edge

 Part professionals, part athletes, Brady King and his crew swing from window to window like real-life Spidermen, cleaning each window in less than one minute, often surprising those on the other side of the glass with their aerial acrobatics. While those on the inside cannot hide their acrophobia, those on the outside, like Van Morrison, relish cleaning windows. The outsider perspective is something poetic for the Soap on a Ropers and Brady said, “We are viewed from this fishbowl perspective with the insiders looking out at us. All of us have funny stories about people freaking out or flirting with us.”

 Brady is able to “see areas of the building that no one ever gets to see or touch.” These places reveal graffiti from the turn of the century and offer a unique perspective of the city. A philosophy major in college, Brady speaks of the Zen-like rhythm of the repetitive S turn pattern that is used when cleaning windows– a pattern that allows thoughts to flow as freely as the squeegee across the glass. Describing the benefits of “seeing the world from afar in order to get the big picture,” Brady King attests to the notion that adventure is found not only in living life on the edge but also in experiencing the moments of stillness that derive from a world without walls. Of course, there are risks—risks that Mr. King knows all too well. Years ago, Brady plummeted six stories from the top of a building to the ground below. This was after he was well established in the Washington DC, Baltimore, and Manhattan markets. The impact left him with 36 broken bones, including a shattered pelvis, a cracked cranium and the loss of his spleen.

Safety precautions are always his priority, and after this accident, Brady has intensified his safety training to include mindfulness training and currently sits on a safety advisory committee for the International Window Cleaning Association [IWCA]. Incidentally, no Soap on a Rope technician has had an accident during the company’s 14 years in business. Unfortunately for Brady, he did not follow his own protocols once and as he said, “Most people don’t get do overs.”

For the full article pick up a copy of the April/May issue of South magazine.

Story by Briana Gervat

Photography by Jabberpics