On A Quest To Buy A Truck

On the day after Thanksgiving in 1977 Kenny and I went to Cross Plains, Texas to look at a potential truck purchase to haul our equipment with. We started out from Smithwick. We were both there with our families where we were spending the holidays with our mom and dad. Being a 3 hour trip up to northwest we left early in the morning and arrived in Cross Plains by 8:00 AM. We had seen an ad for this used truck dealer in a magazine. When we got there, they had a sea of trucks on the lot. We test … Continue reading On A Quest To Buy A Truck

My Friend & Classmate Gary

I wrote one time about the summer before I was going on to the 4th grade and losing a friend/classmate to a train crash at US 183 where MOPAC now intersects. There were nothing but warning lights and some said even they weren’t working. He and his father was going into Austin, from Jollyville where we lived and went to school. It was early on a Saturday morning. We were out for summer vacation, but word reached us soon. We had just finished 3rd grade. It was strange returning to school when summer was over. It was our first time … Continue reading My Friend & Classmate Gary

My Friend & Classmate Gary

I wrote one time about the summer before I was going on to the 4th grade and losing a friend/classmate to a train crash at US 183 where MOPAC now intersects. There were nothing but warning lights and some said even they weren’t working. He and his father was going into Austin, from Jollyville where we lived and went to school. It was early on a Saturday morning. We were out for summer vacation, but word reached us soon. We had just finished 3rd grade. It was strange returning to school when summer was over. It was our first time … Continue reading My Friend & Classmate Gary

Drilling A Water Well

Cec talked LJ Henderson into bringing a track drill, normally used to drill holes for blasting rock, down to Smithwick to drill a water well. That wasn’t the conventional way to drill a water well, but Cecil Lewis and LJ Henderson weren’t your conventional guys either. After going down close to 100′, they hit water. When drilling with a track drill, the operator would stand right next to the hole being drilled,so all of the dust and rock cuttings being blown from the hole come out and cover the driller. Very few jobs could be dirtier. When the drill bit … Continue reading Drilling A Water Well

The Train Locomotive

When were were kids driving around looking for something to get into, a bunch of us ended up out on Fairland Rd. There was a little train locomotive they always left sitting. This one particular night it was parked a long way from anything so we decided to stop and check it out. Someone suggested if we could get it started, perhaps we could take it for a spin. I was pretty savvy with machinery and got it started in the matter of seconds. Luckily I could not figure how to engage it and make it move. I also couldn’t … Continue reading The Train Locomotive

The Runaway Tractor

We always had a problem with trucks, cars and machinery taking off and rolling away when we parked it at our house. Most of the time it worked out without being a real disaster. We didn’t live on top of a hill exactly, but the ground wasn’t level either. Which was good and bad. Bad if the brakes weren’t set good, but good when the battery was down on a vehicle and you needed to roll it to get it started. Once I started to town, forgot something and came back. Forgetting to set the parking brake and in a … Continue reading The Runaway Tractor

The Runaway Trailer

Matthew, our first born, was just the age where he wanted to go with me everywhere I went. We left the house early on a Sunday morning and was making the 8 to 10 mile trip to our construction yard where I was going to unhook from the rather heavy built shop-made bumper pull trailer we had on behind. Back then, in the 1970s you could get out and drive around Austin without running across all that many other cars on the road on an early Sunday morning trip. Matthew, about 3 years old, was standing up in the passenger … Continue reading The Runaway Trailer

The 58 Ford Pickup Takes A Roll Or Two

It’s funny the ideas that young boys can have! Living about 9 miles out of Marble Falls meant a drive home every night on a very crooked stretch of paved country road. It’s common knowledge that deer feed at night by the moon. So on a moonlit night there were more deer along the roadway. We were convinced that on nights when the moon was really bright that driving home without headlights provided an overall better chance of not hitting a deer. With headlights off you could see the silhouette of the deer along beside and in the road. The … Continue reading The 58 Ford Pickup Takes A Roll Or Two

The PreCast Concrete Venture That Exposed Me To A Ponzi Scheme

The year was 1991. I had spent 20 years digging ditches and I thought enough is enough. The economy was in the crapper. The great real estate boom of the 80s was over and all the big water and wastewater lines had been constructed to the far reaches of the city and beyond in Austin. The future didn’t look so swell for our business. I needed a break. I thought it was time for some new scenery, so to speak. I had two groups of employees by that time. The old and the new. It was time for the old … Continue reading The PreCast Concrete Venture That Exposed Me To A Ponzi Scheme

It Was A Day, Not So Unlike Today – October 6, 1971

I got off work up in Burnet where I’d been shooting dynamite all day, so we could lay sanitary sewer lines all around town. I had to make sure I didn’t run the track drill any that day, because I couldn’t afford to get as dirty as doing that would get me. Big Jimmy Palmer stayed up ahead drilling. I hit the road to Austin as soon as I could. I wasn’t as clean as I needed to be, but I knew I could shower at my sweethearts place before our big date night. But no way I’d be able … Continue reading It Was A Day, Not So Unlike Today – October 6, 1971