The Evolution of the Excavator Buckets We Use to Dig Ditches

When I first started in the underground utility business, almost 50 years ago, excavator buckets were all flat bottom, mostly lighter weight buckets made for digging in dirt. We dug rock with them by day and welded on them by night. Standard Weight Bucket A Heavy Class Flat Mouth Bucket For some of our harder digging we started welding ripper teeth pockets on the back of our heavier buckets. The ripper shanks were used to contact with rock by curling the bucket inward and dragging the ripper into ledgey rock and even in blasted rock. They worked well most of the … Continue reading The Evolution of the Excavator Buckets We Use to Dig Ditches

Making A Trip Down I-35 With Kenny Lewis

I made a lame attempt at telling this story just after it happened. I don’t think I did justice to it, possible for fear that something might come along a bite my brother in the rear end and I didn’t need to be on a witness stand trying to explain myself. But since a couple of years or more has passed, I’m going to make another run at it. Kenny asked if I’d like to ride with him up south of Dallas to look at a piece of machinery that he was contemplating buying. I thought we would enjoy the … Continue reading Making A Trip Down I-35 With Kenny Lewis

The Schefflera Plant Incident

Madeline had a plant she always kept right outside the front door in a huge pot. She took such great care of it. She would have me bring it in during part of the year. She always monitored my coming and going with it to be sure I didn’t knock any leaves off of it. She was very particular about that Schefflera. It was about 4 feet tall, therefore it required a large pot which was really heavy. She said something to me one day that I didn’t take real kindly to and rushed out the front door. I know … Continue reading The Schefflera Plant Incident

A Sure Sign I’m Aging

I bet many of you on here with us for the past almost 6 years have noticed that I have told the same story several times. Well that’s a fact. I know how that’s partially an old folks thing, telling the same story more than once. At least I haven’t got to where I tell the same story several times in the same day. But there’s one thing you may want to keep in mind. I may be repeating myself, but I always tell them the same way. So that lends credence to them being true. It’s hard to remember … Continue reading A Sure Sign I’m Aging

The Women Only Bank

One day in the 80s Kenny was driving and I was the passenger. That’s generally the way we have always have traveled. Who needs to listen to a bunch of belly-aching about my driving. Not me. So I didn’t have to watch the road and see what he was about the crash into, I decided to read the newspaper. There was a story that I found intriguing. It was about this new bank they were opening in Austin and they were only going to have women customers. Relating the story to Kenny got him all stirred up. “This Women’s Lib … Continue reading The Women Only Bank

Cecil Lewis, The One And Only

When I’ve tell stories about my Dad, I’m always hopeful that I don’t give the impression that Cecil Lewis was only an outlaw or something. He was, but what can I say, he was Cecil Lewis. Truly a one of a kind. If he liked you he’d do anything for you, if he didn’t like you, he’d still do anything for you. He was liked by most people, respected by many but people knew to give him a wide berth. I owe much of my success to him. Not only in the things he taught me to do, but in … Continue reading Cecil Lewis, The One And Only

Tumbleweed Hill

Kenny had only been out of the Army for a short time. He was working for the company. I had a 1976 Chevy 4 Wheel Drive Pickup that I handed down to him. We had a project installing a new waterline that extended from near Mesa Dr, along Far West Blvd. The line would end near FM 2222 and Bull Creek Rd. This was Kenny’s project to oversee. We were for the first time living a role reversal, where I was his boss. I made an early morning drive by to check the progress and didn’t see Kenny anywhere, even … Continue reading Tumbleweed Hill

A Nice Sunday Afternoon Motorcycle Ride

A few years ago we were doing a project in Brownsville, Texas, a seven hour trip to the south. Being a nice Sunday I decided to ride my Goldwing down. Madeline was coming down later so she was pulling the trailer so I could haul it back home later that week. Ron Jr. was working on that job so he was already down there. He had a motorcycle so I suggested he ride up to Corpus so we could meet for lunch then ride back together. After having lunch we headed out for the 3 hour trip to the valley. … Continue reading A Nice Sunday Afternoon Motorcycle Ride

Going Boating

Kenny was away serving in the Army, so when he would come home, we spent as much time together as we could. He got home this one time and I had just purchased a Chrysler 17′ fiberglass boat, light yellow, with a 55 HP Chrysler outboard motor. (Yes there was a time that Chrysler got in the boat business – not a real successful venture) It was used, but just gently so. Not a real powerful boat but it would cruise up and down the lake. Gasoline was well south of $.50 per gallon back then. (For those unfamiliar with … Continue reading Going Boating

Ingrown Toenails

As a teenager I was plagued with ingrown toenails. They came and went. One day as I complained about the pain, probably using it as an excuse to get out of work, my dad had heard enough. “Come here boy, I am gonna fix those toes of your” As I set in the kitchen floor, he brought out a syringe that we had recently used while castrating hogs. It had the largest and coarsest needle you can even imagine. He had the same medicine we had used for deadening the hogs. He loaded that syringe full of it and as … Continue reading Ingrown Toenails