The Ugly Phone Call

I was sitting in the office one morning and had received several solicitation calls. I was busy and was fed up with all nonsense calls when the phone rang again. It was an area code I didn’t recognize at all. I picked that phone and the guy said “Hello Ron, This is Dave out here in New Jersey”. I launched into a complete tirade about how sick I was of getting these $:;@/”:?!)$ phone calls, and to never call here again. He had sounded just like the several other telephone salesmen I’d already heard from. He said “no, no I’m … Continue reading The Ugly Phone Call

We Did Things Much Differently Back Then

This was written back in September 2014. Within a month or so in the beginning of The Angora Chronicles. I grew up around construction equipment and trucks. In the 60s when I was in high school Cecil Lewis ran a fleet of dump trucks. Among other things we had the contract to haul the blasted rock from the Pure Stone Quarry out south of Marble Falls back to the crusher in town. Even as young and as small as I was at 14 or 15, I commonly and single-handey pulled transmissions and replaced clutches in those old dump trucks and … Continue reading We Did Things Much Differently Back Then

Snow Skiing – Ronnie Lewis Style

In the mid 80s several couples all went to Lake Tahoe for a little get away. I wasn’t an accomplished skier when we got there. To tell you the truth I had never had a pair of skis on. Several in our group had never skied either, including my wife and my brother, so they enrolled in Ski School. Only one couple with us were accomplished skiers. John and Belinda Kemper made it sound easy. So rather than waste time with ski school I got my equipment on and headed to the top of the mountain. I had never seen … Continue reading Snow Skiing – Ronnie Lewis Style

Harold & Catherine

Harold and Catherine were some of the first people that moved in at Smithwick Mills, the subdivision my dad had built from our old home place. They had spent most, if not all of their long married life in Houston. With the crime and meanness going on, they felt Smithwick calling. They became very good friends to my parents. In the later part of the 1970s Kenny and I had contracted some work up on Mormon Mill Road, in Marble Falls, installing water and wastewater lines for a development that Mike O’Connor was building. It required a lot of blasting … Continue reading Harold & Catherine

I Just Had A Winfield Scott Memory Pop Up In My Head

Not long before Winfield’s death, I was in Houston and met him for lunch near his downtown office. He had not yet been disbarred for getting busted with drugs. He was making plans to come to Austin and open a practice. The rules about Attorney’s had changed allowing television advertising. Houston was saturated with those commercials but it hadn’t so much made it’s way to Austin. He was sure that him investing in a great advertising campaign would put him on the map post haste. He certainly had the line of BS to go a long way. Maybe had things … Continue reading I Just Had A Winfield Scott Memory Pop Up In My Head

The Afternoon I Went On A Donkey Buying Spree

Right after we moved to our place in Bertram, I decided we needed to get some guard donkeys. I inquired around and found a women down the road a piece had three Jenny’s and a Jack she wanted to sell. Being green to buying such animals, I went to see her and ended up making a deal for the whole bunch. Of course I paid about double the going rate. I’m not even going to tell you what I paid. It’s been about 27 years ago that I made that transaction, so let’s just say I’ve forgotten the price. But … Continue reading The Afternoon I Went On A Donkey Buying Spree

The Styrofoam Cup Incident

Back in 1977 I was finishing up a project out west of Houston and had another one going down in Crystal City, Texas. I spent a while on the Houston job that morning lining out the guys there. Paul was the one I was leaving in charge. We drank several cups of coffee. I pulled out about mid morning for south Texas, a good long 5 hour drive. It started to rain and it was a cold wintery day. I got over onto I-10 and was heading to San Antonio. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me in a … Continue reading The Styrofoam Cup Incident

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