Nelson Took A Tumble

We were on a project in the early 70s between 12th and 32nd St, installing new water and wastewater lines all up and down I-35. We were moving water and wastewater lines for an expansion of Interstate 35. It was one of the most difficult projects I have ever been involved in. Nelson Lewis had a very sharp mind and could figure out these difficult jobs and how best to make everything work. Nelson was a great person to study under and learn the business from. I will always be thankful that I got my start working for him. Most … Continue reading Nelson Took A Tumble

Ross Bros. Horse & Mule Company

This was a business that was located at the Fort Worth Stockyards. The barns were wooden and destroyed by a fire on March 14, 1911. It was rebuilt using concrete and steel at a price of $300,000 and were said to be among the finest stables in the world. The Ross Brothers – Waddy, Sam & R.E. became very wealthy selling horses and mules during World War I, sending them to Europe. Once again they sold many more during WW II. Continue reading Ross Bros. Horse & Mule Company

San Antonio’s Union Stockyards

Below is about the best article I’ve found on the history of the SA Union Stockyards that has now been closed for more than 15 years. From The Houston Chronicle: “Union Stock Yards says goodbye after 112 years in San Antonio” John W. Gonzalez | April 22, 2001 SAN ANTONIO — After 112 years as a landmark of the South Texas cattle industry, the Union Stock Yards held its final auction last week, giving workers and well-wishers one last chance to savor its colorful yet faded traditions. In an auction barn that used to witness thousands of transactions a day, … Continue reading San Antonio’s Union Stockyards

The Evolution of the Excavator Buckets We Use to Dig Ditches

When I first started in the underground utility business, almost 50 years ago, excavator buckets were all flat bottom, mostly lighter weight buckets made for digging in dirt. We dug rock with them by day and welded on them by night. Standard Weight Bucket A Heavy Class Flat Mouth Bucket For some of our harder digging we started welding ripper teeth pockets on the back of our heavier buckets. The ripper shanks were used to contact with rock by curling the bucket inward and dragging the ripper into ledgey rock and even in blasted rock. They worked well most of the … Continue reading The Evolution of the Excavator Buckets We Use to Dig Ditches

The Women Only Bank

One day in the 80s Kenny was driving and I was the passenger. That’s generally the way we have always have traveled. Who needs to listen to a bunch of belly-aching about my driving. Not me. So I didn’t have to watch the road and see what he was about the crash into, I decided to read the newspaper. There was a story that I found intriguing. It was about this new bank they were opening in Austin and they were only going to have women customers. Relating the story to Kenny got him all stirred up. “This Women’s Lib … Continue reading The Women Only Bank

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

My Friend Udo

I have had the great fortune to meet many people in my lifetime. None probably made a greater impact on me than Udo Haufler. Udo was my neighbor, my friend and my mentor. The first day of 1977, Madeline and I moved into a house on a very quite, secluded south Austin street. Albert Road was like being in another place altogether. It wasn’t like living in Austin. Directly across the street was a large 2 story house, with a horse stable in the back. Esther and Udo Haufler were the elderly couple that lived there. (of course now that … Continue reading My Friend Udo

I Have Decided After Almost 6 Years That It’s Time For A Change

I have found that it’s time for a change with The Angora Chronicles. I don’t see it going away, but I think it would be better if we change the way it is brought to you. So rather than it being in written word form, I am tooling up for it to become a series of audio clips, photos and memes. Of course it will still have titles and brief descriptions of what you will see in the clip, that will be written out. It will be necessary for each of our comments to also be an audio clip. It … Continue reading I Have Decided After Almost 6 Years That It’s Time For A Change

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

The Circling 4-Wheelers

Back in the winter of 1984, Kenny had a deer lease on several thousand acres of south Texas land between Laredo and Freer. He was so gracious to ask me down a few times. (or anytime I wanted to come). That weekend several people were there, but all were still out hunting. Kenny and I both arrived back at camp lodge, on our 4 wheelers. The timing was such that coming from opposite directions we reached the big open gravel parking lot in front of the lodge at the same time. We skillfully headed for each other but turned slightly … Continue reading The Circling 4-Wheelers