Ain’t No Need To Talk Down To Me !

Back around 45 years ago I had a project in Austin and was waiting for John Harlan and his boys to finish another road bore (that’s the process of drilling a hole underneath a highway to installed a pipe so you don’t impede traffic) then come to mine. I was driving down Ben White Blvd and looked over and spotted John standing there beside the highway so I turned around and went back to check with him about when he’d be to my job. It was a very customary to do. Everyone wasn’t walking around with a cell phone in their pocket.

John & I had talked for a couple of minutes when the contractor he was working for walked up and climbed all over me for “birddogging” his project. That fellow, Tommy E and I knew each other, however not all that well. While most competitors in that business got along and were friendly, Mr. E always seemed on the outside of the social click. He was a full generation older than me, having a son about my age.

I was so stunned, being talked to that way, that I didn’t say anything and walked over and got in my pickup and drove off.

It was late in the day, so went on home and contemplated that situation throughout the night. Early the next morning I drove back over to that same job so I’d be there when Mr. E and his bunch all arrived.

Once he got there and stepped out with most all of his employees standing nearby, I collared him and explained a few things to him about how he would never want an incident like happened to afternoon before to happen again.

I’ll have to say he appeared more dumbfounded than I had the afternoon before.

I don’t remember there ever being another word spoken between the two of us. Which was fine with me.

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