We Weren’t Made To Feel Very Welcome In Victoria, Texas

Back in the late 70’s things were going pretty well for us in the construction business, but had slowed a bit. As things often happen, a miracle job fell out of the sky. A Burnet County fellow had gone off to Houston and was doing well contracting with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. I knew of this guy but mostly just by name. He was a generation ahead of me, about my Dads age. He had been offered an opportunity to bid a project for SWB in Victoria. He didn’t have the manpower nor the proper sized equipment for such an … Continue reading We Weren’t Made To Feel Very Welcome In Victoria, Texas

While Building The South Austin Hospital – Early 1980s

We had contracted to install the water, wastewater and storm drainage for the new hospital that was being built just west of South 1st on Ben White. We were getting down to the end of the project. Everything had worked out about as well as we could have hoped for. It was time to hook into the city’s 66″ water main that crossed Ben White and continued south on James Casey Drive. We were required to tap into this large main at night, since it was the major source of water for all of South Austin. We worked through the … Continue reading While Building The South Austin Hospital – Early 1980s

Cecil Lewis Was Always Resourceful And He Taught Us

In the early days of our roadbuilding careers, there was a need to haul heavy pieces of equipment, mostly a D-7 Caterpillar Bulldozer, from Smithwick to Jonestown. We didn’t always have trucks that had the horsepower and the gears to get us over all the hills. We knew from experience which ones were going to give us fits, so I’d go along in a pickup and before we’d get to one of those such hills we’d pull over and hook a chain to the front of the truck and I could give just enough of a tug with the pickup … Continue reading Cecil Lewis Was Always Resourceful And He Taught Us

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, Leona (or Nonie) and a host of aunts, uncles and his grandparents. Ruby Lee, Grannie Ruby or Grannie was a big part of our life going up. She lived in Austin and 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, even if for just a few minutes. One … Continue reading The Fire

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 all over the state. 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 … Continue reading Hauling A Parsons Ladder Trencher

There Are Times You Have To Take The Bull By The Horns And Then Hope For A Miracle

I have a friend, I’ll call him John. We had worked doing the same type of construction for many years. He had worked for a couple of my competitors, but each were friendly competitors, so we have been in various joint venture arraignments throughout the years. Somewhere along the way, due to a divorce or perhaps it was the cause of the divorce, John developed a serious cocaine habit. He came to me in the need of employment. His habit had caused him to be fired from his last job. Not realizing that cocaine addiction couldn’t be cured with compassion … Continue reading There Are Times You Have To Take The Bull By The Horns And Then Hope For A Miracle

My Friend Jim

Here I was a couple of weeks ago, sitting thinking, thinking of my past. I decided 20 years was too long to go without seeing and talking to my ole friend Jim. Jim and I had once belonged to the same church, played on the church softball team together and between the two of us, we had 9 kids, with only 1 girl in the bunch. We had a lot in common, yet hardly anything in common. Jim was college educated and had worked in the non-profit world and I barely made it out of high school and was attempting … Continue reading My Friend Jim