The Ugly Phone Call

I was sitting in the office one morning and had received several solicitation calls. I was busy and was fed up with all nonsense calls when the phone rang again. It was an area code I didn’t recognize at all. I picked that phone and the guy said “Hello Ron, This is Dave out here in New Jersey”. I launched into a complete tirade about how sick I was of getting these $:;@/”:?!)$ phone calls, and to never call here again. He had sounded just like the several other telephone salesmen I’d already heard from. He said “no, no I’m … Continue reading The Ugly Phone Call


This is a story I wrote 4 years ago, in Oct. 2017. It tells of a typical love/hate between two men, of which I’m a part of. It’s hard to believe that it’s now been this long since I’ve seen my old friend. I decided to check with his daughter Rose this morning to see how her parents are doing. Remarkably they are still living out that life they have lived for so many years, almost 70 years. I vowed to go see them soon and I will do that. Within just a few months of me starting into the … Continue reading Espinosa

Harold & Catherine

Harold and Catherine were some of the first people that moved in at Smithwick Mills, the subdivision my dad had built from our old home place. They had spent most, if not all of their long married life in Houston. With the crime and meanness going on, they felt Smithwick calling. They became very good friends to my parents. In the later part of the 1970s Kenny and I had contracted some work up on Mormon Mill Road, in Marble Falls, installing water and wastewater lines for a development that Mike O’Connor was building. It required a lot of blasting … Continue reading Harold & Catherine

Did Your Mother In Law Ever Gift You Anything Like This ?

Back several years ago I had a friend that was the Director or the American Quarter Horse Association. She had seen our Company BBQ Trailer that we had put together and wanted to know if I’d sell it to her to auction off at their Annual Meeting that was taking place out at Los Angeles, California. It looked pretty good back in the day, but it had been pulled many miles and would need a makeover before it would have been suitable to send. Besides, that would have left us without a trailer to drag around to job sites to … Continue reading Did Your Mother In Law Ever Gift You Anything Like This ?

The Styrofoam Cup Incident

Back in 1977 I was finishing up a project out west of Houston and had another one going down in Crystal City, Texas. I spent a while on the Houston job that morning lining out the guys there. Paul was the one I was leaving in charge. We drank several cups of coffee. I pulled out about mid morning for south Texas, a good long 5 hour drive. It started to rain and it was a cold wintery day. I got over onto I-10 and was heading to San Antonio. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me in a … Continue reading The Styrofoam Cup Incident

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

The Princess Mobile Phones

Back in the early 70s there was a fellow that started a new mobile phone service operating out of Austin. It was a far cheaper option than Southwestern Bell had at that time. That service could run into hundreds of dollars per month. I believe it cost “X” amount per call placed plus something like 50¢ per minute. Some high rollers would actually spend over a $1,000 per month, but it was the cost of doing business. Larry Bird with Capital Communications, the new guy, tapped into some new technology which allowed for a fairly small radio box to be … Continue reading The Princess Mobile Phones

The Machine That Developed A Mind Of Its Own

Back in 1973, we were doing a project out in the Northwest Hills Area of Austin. We had just acquired a new C14 Hein Werner Excavator, much like the one below. To make it travel the 2 shorter levers (with the black grips) in the picture below would be pushed forward or back depending on the direction you wanted to travel. Of course only pushing or pulling one lever would cause the machine to turn. If you were traveling for a far distance they could be snapped in, so you didn’t have to hold them. At the end of the … Continue reading The Machine That Developed A Mind Of Its Own

The Pipe Bursting Experiment

Back in the 1980s I was contacted by the owner of an apartment complex over in “Apartment City”, the area along Riverside Drive east of I-35 in Austin. The city was requiring them to upsize the wastewater, as it wasn’t adequately handling the amount of flows that the apartment was generating. Evidently a few years before, when the project was built there had been a sizing miscalculation. With it being a nice property with beautifully landscaped yards they wanted the disruption to be held to a minimum. I made some phone calls and found a company in Louisiana that was … Continue reading The Pipe Bursting Experiment