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

When A Man Has A Good Wife Behind Him

This is a complication of stories (3 of them) that were written by Kenny Lewis. In the beginning of the third story he proclaims it’s the last one. That may be correct, but as long as Kenny Lewis is walking around on this earth and still drawing breath, there’s a chance another incident could still be yet to come. If another one comes along, he may not write about it, but I’ll gladly do the honors. Wife To The Rescue – Part 1 For those that are not aware, I have been married three times. Even though I’m sure, had … Continue reading When A Man Has A Good Wife Behind Him

My Mother

Bonnie Gay would have been 87 today. She grew up poor, in a very large family. She was the 8th out of 11 children. Her father died when she 9 years old. She married at 15, had her first child at 17. She waited until she was 19 to have her 2nd child and that was me. She only lived in Smithwick and Jollyville her whole life. She was a friend to many and an enemy to no one or nothing. She was a deadly shot with a Winchester 30/30, lever action rifle with open sights. She wasn’t very big, … Continue reading My Mother

Is It Bell’s Palsy or a Stoke ?

Back when we had our house in Corpus Christi, I was home alone. I hadn’t slept well, but what’s new. I got up and went down stairs and made myself a cup of coffee. I went over and took a seat in my easy chair where I would be waiting for the sun to rise over Corpus Christi Bay. I was dressed in my usual attire for the coast, shorts and a tee shirt. As I started to sip my coffee I started to notice that my mouth wasn’t working exactly right. I’ve been drinking coffee for over 50 years … Continue reading Is It Bell’s Palsy or a Stoke ?