The Strange Case Of The OSHA Inspections

We were involved in a very high profile construction project in Austin, the north extension of Loop One. This was during a time span between 2005-2007. We were a subcontractor relocating various water and wastewater lines to allow for the highway expansion. All eyes were on us, as we were working for a consortium comprised of two large highway contractors, with oversight by TxDot, The Tollway Authority and City of Austin. Our work is always under scrutiny, due to the dangers involved in digging deep trenches, but this project had many extremely difficult circumstances with traffic congestion being one of … Continue reading The Strange Case Of The OSHA Inspections

A Cat On His Shoulder !

Once a fellow called me to come to his office and talk about a big project he was getting ready to build. I’m not sure how he came across our name. When I got there his secretary took me into a conference room. In a few minutes the dude came in carry a big fluffy furry cat and set it down on the table. Then the cat jumped from the table to his shoulder. We conducted the whole meeting with me looking across the table at a guy with a big furry cat on his shoulder. We didn’t make a … Continue reading A Cat On His Shoulder !

The Fire

Ruby Waggoner was my dad’s mother. She and my grandfather had divorced when Cecil was very young. He was raised by his dad, Theron and Leona (or Nonie) his stepmother and a host of aunts, uncles and his grandparents. Ruby Lee or Granny Ruby as I called her was still a big part of our life growing up. She lived in Austin and we visited often. She was one funny old gal that laughed a lot and made the rest of us laugh. Any time after I was grown and had projects around north Austin, I’d stop by her house … Continue reading The Fire

Glenn and the Hat

If you grew up in Marble Falls, you knew Glenn. If you ever passed through Marble Falls you may have encountered Glenn Lewis. His was a real cowboy, doing ranch work most of his life. You always hear it said, that ol boy was born a hundred years too late. In Glenn’s case, there was never a truer cliché ever used. He was rugged, both inside and out. As a young man you would seldom see him that he wasn’t riding a horse or didn’t have one in a trailer behind an old pickup. He was 5 years older than … Continue reading Glenn and the Hat

My Friend Dave

I first got to know Dave in 1972. He was a successful underground utility contractor and very well respected in the business. His office was located in Lubbock. My first subcontract was working for him installing water lines in Burnet, Texas. It was actually more complicated than that. I was a sub to another sub that subcontracted to Dave’s company. That happens in our business a lot. Ok if you aren’t too confused I’ll continue. Throughout the 1970s I worked with Dave several times. He had an enormous capacity for numbers. I learned a lot from him. There came a … Continue reading My Friend Dave

$$$$I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

It always amazes me how often I used to find tools, like wrenches, hammers, screw drivers and the like laying on the road when I was traveling so much. I always accused my careless mechanic Paul of being the one that lost most of them. Almost any day I could drive out of the yard and find something Paul had left laying under the hood or on the bumper that would fall off. Of course he wasn’t too worried about it as long as I had charge accounts at all the parts houses in Austin. Perhaps Paul’s carelessness fed my … Continue reading $$$$I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

An Unfortunate Situation

It was not long after I graduated high school that Cecil, my dad, hired on one of his trucks to haul equipment with an old Austin trucking firm. I was the driver that went with the truck. Charlie Evans had spent many years in the heavy haul business in Austin and branched out and opened up a second yard down in San Antonio. Business was expected to be pretty good there so I ended up being based out of that yard, which was on the east side out on I-10, near WW White Blvd. I stayed in a fairly dated … Continue reading An Unfortunate Situation

Replacing The Old Brackenridge Apartments On Lake Austin Blvd.

Sometime in the earlier part in the mid 1980’s, I contracted to run the underground utilities (water, wastewater & drainage) for the New Brackenridge Apartments that were being built. The project involved the tearing down of the old wooden buildings that had far outlived their normal life. Then the site was prepared and prefabbed concrete modules built by the HB Zachery Company In San Antonio were brought in and stacked together like toy building blocks. It was a new building concept. The Zachery Company had just finished building the Palacio Del Rio, a high rise hotel on the San Antonio … Continue reading Replacing The Old Brackenridge Apartments On Lake Austin Blvd.

The Nichols Brothers and how the magic of Facebook helped to write their full story

Back in the 70s we had a band of brothers that came to work for us. They were hardworking, honest to a fault it seems like and a little bit crazy. When I say “honest to a fault”, I mean that they gave you a better days work than maybe they should have, as in it seemed like they were killing themselves to be sure you knew they were earning their pay. Larry, Richard and Conner were their names. Larry was a little older than me, Richard was about my age and Conner was a bit younger. It was easy … Continue reading The Nichols Brothers and how the magic of Facebook helped to write their full story

Death By Seatbelt

Once when we were doing a project in Dallas, my Suburban was having mechanical problems so I took it to the shop. They gave me a rental car. This was in the early 90s. Kenny was up helping me on that project so we would go eat before we would go to our apartment each evening. This night we determined where to go eat on our way home, but then I changed my mind. He was following me when we stop at a red light. I just opened the drivers door and stuck my head out to tell him to … Continue reading Death By Seatbelt