Aged Bourbon

I have told many people before that I lost all taste for bourbon after drinking a fifth and a pint of Old Crow in about 30 minutes one time, and eventually woke up in jail the next day. But that was when I was 16 years old. I just never could stand the smell, much less the taste of it after that. That was well over 50 years ago. I have several bottles that have been in the top of a cabinet, leftover from when the popular thing to do was hand out whiskey as gifts at Christmas time, in … Continue reading Aged Bourbon

Don’t Ever Talk Down To Your Crew When You Are In The Underground Utility Business

There was a contractor that was laying a deep wastewater line around on the East Side of San Antonio. It was deep in the ground. The owner of the company would come to the job every few days and express his displeasure with the progress. No matter how many joints of pipe the crew installed, the boss man would complain. Finally the crew decided that every time he came out and tore them a new one, they would leave a few gaskets out of the next pipes they laid. When they finally got to the end of the line and … Continue reading Don’t Ever Talk Down To Your Crew When You Are In The Underground Utility Business

Loaning Out My Jeep

There was a fellow, seemed like a nice guy that worked for one of my competitors. I’d see him at bid openings, but never really knew him. After working for that other company for a while, he decided to go in business. Bob knew I had started out on a shoestring so he came to me to get some advise. I gave him all the pointers I could think of. I felt it a compliment that the guy came to me. So we became kind of buddy’s. I wasn’t really looking for additional competition, but I was okay that his … Continue reading Loaning Out My Jeep

Eavesdropping Through The Motel Wall

Back in the late 70s, we decided to bid on a project for the City of Laredo. I usually traveled to these out of town destinations alone, while Kenny kept an eye on things back at home. But this time he accompanied me on the long road south. We left really early in the morning so we could look at the job site conditions and see what kind of productions we could expect. We checked into a Holiday Inn Motel in Laredo to finish up on a bid that would be turned in later that afternoon. We were staying over … Continue reading Eavesdropping Through The Motel Wall

The Contractor That Did It All

One time we ventured off to Laredo to bid on a project, a new water line. This was way back in the late 70’s. The bids were turned in the late afternoon. We had to stay over until that night when the bids were opened and read at the city council meeting. I figured that was a ploy to get more hotel tax revenue. My brother, Kenny was with me for this trip. We got to the council meeting and saw where not only our bid was going to be opened that night but probably 6 or 8 other bids … Continue reading The Contractor That Did It All

Hauling A Parsons Ladder Trencher

Back in 1970, not too long after I graduated from high school, I was driving a truck for Nelson Lewis, hauling equipment. I remember being dispatched to Devine, Texas to haul a Parsons Trencher from there over to Port Lavaca. It was a trip of around 200 miles, maybe more with weaving my way down through the many little south Texas towns. This was before any big highways were built. Those towns were connected with Farm to Market Roads and a few State Highways. I got to Devine late in the afternoon one day, loaded the machine and chained it … Continue reading Hauling A Parsons Ladder Trencher

The Check Washer

Years ago, maybe 1977 or 78 a fellow showed up in our office selling portable check embossing machines. Those are the ones that punched a series of tiny perforations in the amount line of the check, to make it less likely to be forged. As part of his sales pitch he had us write out a check and within 3 minutes he had put a solution on the check and washed all the ink off. He left our signature on it by taping over it before the washing started. Then he made it out to himself with a million dollars … Continue reading The Check Washer

Hiring The New Office Guy

Many years ago I had lost my office person to a better opportunity in Houston for him. I knew of this young man that I thought would be a perfect replacement. This fellow was very good with radio’s. In fact he had been trained in electronic repair. He was a HAM Radio Operator. That would come in handy, because back then when most all of our dispatching was done with 2-way radios. We had just started using computers in the business and Joe was already getting into computers himself. This fellow was very orderly and organized like no one I’d … Continue reading Hiring The New Office Guy

I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road

It always amazed me how often I used to find tools, like wrenches, hammers, screw drivers and the like laying on the road when I was traveling from place to place. 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. Paul’s carelessness fed … Continue reading I Could Never Pass Up Tools Laying In The Road