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 … Continue reading Ain’t No Need To Talk Down To Me !

Kenny And The White Bronco

I have to admit that in my younger years I spoiled myself with buying vehicles. I was doing a lot of driving, bidding on work all around the state. When I say a lot of driving, somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 miles per year. I had a new Buick Rivera that I considered my road car. And it did handle the road very well. We had a project in Kendall County, just north of San Antonio building the Guadalupe River State Park, which was a undeveloped tract of ranch land when we started, so I couldn’t see driving that nice … Continue reading Kenny And The White Bronco

Bar Ditches

Bar Ditch is what we commonly refer to as the ditch along side of driveways, roads and highways. Like so many other things in our Texas Speak, Bar Ditch is a shortened version of Borrow Ditch. So called because when building the roadbed, dirt is taken or borrowed from the sides of the road and brought to the middle to build up the roadway. This provides positive drainage so the rain runoff can be directed natural drainage ways. Streets with curbs don’t have bar ditches because drainage is achieved with inlets, flumes and networks of underground piping to direct runoff … Continue reading Bar Ditches

Impersonating Kenny

For years Kenny and I sounded amazingly alike on the phone. We both have what I guess is a distinct Smithwick accent. I’m doubtful that Kenny ever took advantage of that. My wife admits to getting us confused a few times. Maybe they can tell us if any of those conversations ever went hay-wire.If they did, I never heard about it. On the other hand, I can’t tell you how much confusion I caused by letting different ones think they were talking to Kenny when I was the one they were actually talking to. Our Grannie Ruby was easy. All … Continue reading Impersonating Kenny

Reflecting Back To An Incident Over Fifty Years Ago

I started thinking back to a time when I was just a know-it-all kid. I had just graduated from high school and The Dean Word Company had just opened up the quarry out north of Marble Falls. My friend Pat Henry was working there and suggested that maybe I could come out and get hired on running a loader. By that time had been operating loaders for at least 6 years, maybe stretch that to 7. When I got there I met with a Mr. Green I think his name was. He was the plant manager. I’m sure when he … Continue reading Reflecting Back To An Incident Over Fifty Years Ago

George and the Misunderstanding

One day back in the late 1970s Cecil, our dad, called and asked if we could do a favor for George. George is Smithwick’s own George Despain. They both knew we did a lot business with Holt Caterpillar. “Would we put a set of dozer tracks on our account, so George could get the best deal possible”? George would give Cec a check for the bill. We readily agreed to it. Wasn’t any skin off of us. George got his tracks all was great. Kenny nor I gave it much thought, figuring that Cec gave the check to the other … Continue reading George and the Misunderstanding

A Hunting Trip To Utah

Back in the days, mid 1980s, when I had the energy to trek up and down mountains hunting deer I went off to Utah with few others to hunt for the big one. We were supposed to spent five days up there and not a one of us ever got a shot off. Of course it was the worst spell of rain to ever hit that area. It was however one of the greatest adventures that any of us had ever been on. This trip happened right in the middle of the double tailed quarter episode that I’ve written about … Continue reading A Hunting Trip To Utah

Chief The Stuttering Mexican

Back in the days, the 1970s and into the 1980s when blasting was necessary on almost every project, we would have to hire outside “blasting contractors” to supplement our forces. We had done this for a big subdivision we were building and this guy was well into a project and he hadn’t shown up for a couple of days. I would stop by and it was evident his crew was without leadership and therefore without direction. So I ask where their boss was. No one knew but they were beginning to get concerned because payday was coming up and he … Continue reading Chief The Stuttering Mexican

More On Blasting Rock In Marble Falls

We encountered many people through the years with crazy notions about their house being destroyed by blasting. Some truly believe their house would fall down around them and others believe money will start falling from the sky. We had a situation many years ago when installing waterlines for a new development out on Mormon Mills Road in Marble Falls. There was a local banker, we had never done business with, but our Dad had a long relationship with him. He lived up that direction. I always considered the guy a shyster, but what did I know. Kenny and I encountered … Continue reading More On Blasting Rock In Marble Falls