Pete and the Boulder Busters

Times have changed a lot in the 50 years that I’ve been in the construction business. The only economical way to excavate rock for installing underground utilities in the first 10 years was blasting with dynamite. It tapered off over the next decades to where that method is rarely even used today. We blasted up and down streets in very congested areas. In my first 4 or 5 years there wasn’t even a city permit required in Austin to transport and use explosives. Anyone dealing with the City of Austin now, would find that hard to believe. Now you need … Continue reading Pete and the Boulder Busters

The Double Tailed Quarters

There was a time in the 80s when times were really good in the construction business. I was flying high, as was Kenny and our friend Coy. We all had our own businesses but we worked together at times, hiring each other’s companies to help out on projects. Kenny & Coy had a lot more in common with each other than with me. During that phase of their lives they each were without the benefit of a wife at the time or at least they acted like it. They worked hard and partied hard as the old saying goes. Now … Continue reading The Double Tailed Quarters

The Mean Streets Of Houston

As a boy going up in the small central Texas town of Marble Falls, I dreamed of getting out of high school and finding a vocation without ever needing to go on to college or any other formal education. I grew up in a family where operating equipment and driving trucks came at an early age. I thought a career as a truck driver and maybe even owning a fleet of trucks one day was in my future. I was a high school senior, but not yet eighteen. At that time, you could get your drivers license at 14 and … Continue reading The Mean Streets Of Houston

My Big Surprise (from Nov. 2014)

I had a very pleasant surprise this evening. I got a text from a very dedicated employee, Chris Chapman and his wife Jeni. Jeni is the daughter of Madeline’s brother David. Chris has worked for the company almost his entire adult life, just short of 20 years. They had left a box by our back door here in Bertram. When I went out and retrieved and opened it, there were 5 copies of The Angora Chronicles, volume one. It has 67 stories, mostly some of the first stories I submitted. It is so professionally done. When Chris heard about my … Continue reading My Big Surprise (from Nov. 2014)

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

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 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

Just Imagine My Surprise

I haven’t been posting much lately. Call it being tired and worn out. Or I could blame it on a bout of COVID 19 back in March and then a pinched nerve and in my neck and left shoulder. All the above hasn’t made be feel all that much liking getting out and doing things and writing about them. Before I go on, let me tell you I’m also not all that pleased with FaceBook and how they have treated many of us. Therefore doing business with a business that is 180° from where I am on about 99.99% of … Continue reading Just Imagine My Surprise