The Summer Of 1961

Much of our summer of “61” was spent down in Woodsboro, Texas. Our dad was the chief inspector for Marvin Turner Engineers in Austin. He was sent to Woodsboro to oversee a complete makeover of the Water and Wastewater system.

Knowing that we needed to do stuff that regular city kids did, we started off the summer by going to Austin and Navy Store on Congress to buy baseball gloves. I still have mine 60 years later.

A new start up company, B & T Construction from Port Lavaca had the contracts to perform the work. I turned 9 years old at the end of that summer. I spent every minute that I could with my dad out watching every move the crews made.

While there were good hard working men out doing the work, there was very little qualified supervision. After a few months the construction company tried to hire my dad to take over the management of the project. That didn’t seem like the best way to handle the situation so he recommended his cousin, Nelson Lewis for that position.

Within a couple of years Nelson bought the company and spent the rest of his life as a Utility Contractor. He in turn gave me my opportunity to become a Utility Contractor. Next year will mark 50 years since I did my first contracting.

What brings all this to mind is I am traveling to attend the funeral of Reynaldo “Rey” Asassi in San Antonio today.

Rey was a young man, in his mid 20’s when I was watching and learning the business in Woodsboro. Nelson inherited Rey and many other great men when he took over that business back in the 1960s. Rey was Nelson’s “main- man” during the entirety of his career.

I learned a lot watching Rey. He always did his job, regardless of what it took. He always took care of the men working for him. He was a company man. I have valued his friendship for sixty years.

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