Mr. Lawson Gibbs was such a nice man. He was the head of the Water Department in Burnet for many years and was in that position when I worked all over town replacing water lines in the 1971 and 1972.
The pipe we used back then was AC (asbestos cement) and was very fragile. Sometimes the pipe would break after being put in service as settling would occur. Most of the time in the middle of the night, it seemed.
Madeline and I rented a room at the Arrowhead Motel. (That’s a whole other story) Many times I got a call from him or he would come knocking on the door when we had a broken pipe. I would head out in the middle of the night to turn the water off and fix another leak. He never seemed to get frustrated, no matter how often it happened. In fact he would act as if he hated calling me out.
No one knew where all the old lines were located as the maps the city had weren’t very good. So it was common to break an old line as we were digging. He was very understanding. He would come help us find where to turn the water off, so we could repair them. He knew where every value was located.
However I did see him come unglued one day when the backhoe operator I had, Bill Deets, broke the same pipe, in the same place the third time, at which time he said, “if Mr. Deets breaks that line again I’ll ban him from ever digging another ditch in this town”.
Luckily, we got that area covered up and the next line Mr. Deets broke was in a different location.