Friday, August 26, 2011

After the Storm

Hurricane Irene has lost some of her fury over the past 24 hours, but I can tell you the northeast will still be a mess over the coming days.
My blog buddy Marsha over at Spots and Wrinkles wrote an entry that was close to home for me. It was about those guys that work for the power company and the phone company that come in after the storm and put things back together.
These guys often leave their families for months and even longer to help bring order and service back to where there was none after the storm.
Back in 1979, Hurricane Fredrick slammed into Mobile Bay and had its way with the infrastructure in Mobile, and miles inward.
At the time I worked as an installer/repairman in Jasper, Alabama and my boss came through asking for volunteers to go down and help put Mobile back together.
I was young then having been with South Central Bell for only a few years, and I thought I should go. I called Jilda and she agreed that it was the right thing to do.
The next morning, there was a convoy of almost a hundred phone company trucks heading south on I-65. We got rooms in the Howard Johnson Hotel and I stayed there for just less than a year. After a month or so, I got a rare day off and I came home, fetched Jilda and our German Shepherd and they came back with me.
It was grueling work, month after month. I spent days hanging on poles 30 feet off the ground reworking terminals and running new wire.
Today we all take  a great deal for granted. When we flip a light switch, we expect it to come on. And when we pick up the phone, we expect to have service.
That doesn't happen magically. There are people who plan, install, and maintain the stuff which makes our lives easier.
So for the folks on the eastern seaboard, after the storm, try to give those guys who are out in the weather a break. It is their job, but it's hard dangerous work.  A little consideration goes a long way. I know from experience.


  1. Your right about all the people who help during a storm.

    Man I hope for a miracle and doesn't hit land.

  2. A little consideration and respect all around comes in handy in a crisis. Hope everyone stays safe, and as warm and dry as possible.

  3. Very timely, thoughtful post. I have also read Marsha's post and enjoyed both yours and hers.

  4. made me feel guilty... now i understand...

    nice post sir!


  5. Hey, Rick
    Glad you like the post - and wow, you really lived the drill, didn't you?

    You know then, why I admire all those guys so much. Talk about the "salt of the earth" - and sometimes as salty as sailors too. :)
    have a good weekend - Marsha

  6. Sure appreciate your words and local update as well.
    - Joy

  7. Well said. I used to live on the Florida coast. I remember getting hammered every year and all the workers who put us back together again. Bravo to those illustrious workers.

  8. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Didn't really have time to follow news till tonight.Good to hear you guys are ok.Praying for thsoe that are still waiting/Must be horrible.And taht New Yorke evacuation si pretty scary staff

  9. Anonymous6:05 AM

    Glad to hear our girl Irene is dying down a bit.
    Thanks for the reminder to have patience with our service workers.

  10. Yay for all these unsung heroes and heroines! They are often overlooked in the great scheme of things but are probably the most important in keeping a nation ticking over!

    Take care

  11. Very informative post, Rick. We tend to stop at thinking, "Wow! Just look at all that mess. How will it ever get put right again?"

    Thank you for making me think a lot further!

  12. Anonymous2:02 PM

    These workers to a tremendous work, being out helping and trying to settling things during the storm.
    Hope everyone stays safe over there.
    Good post!

  13. Something we all need to hear. Thanks for sharing your first-hand account.

  14. I'm always grateful for those crews - they are my heroes. Nothing like being up in a cherry-picker during a snowstorm trying to work on the lines.


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