March 16, 2020
I have recently retired from the Roofing Contractors Association of Washington as it’s Executive Director. And I find that the daily need to ensure everything is perfectly organized for the Board and for the Members of the association is missing in my life now, so I have re-activated my management company called SDO & Associates, Inc. which was founded in 1993 and I have kept it going since then, because I had established a very good rapport with vendors and various clients around Washington State, across the USA and around the World.
Then out of the blue and old friend of mine called inquiring as to my well-being I had not seen butch in 15 years. So, the telephone meeting was very welcome, way to re-new old friendship. I met Butch when I was the Director responsible for a company manufacturing line stringing equipment. These machines are used for the installation and maintenance of high Voltage power transmission lines. Really fascinating work both the manufacture of the machines and then having to go into the field to ensure the buyer was fully conversant with the machines and the various additions we had included to further safety and to increase the efficiency of the installation.
Butch worked for a rival manufacturing and installation company and we built an exceptional relationship when we visited their headquarters in Ohio. The end of the visit Butch gave me memento to remind me of our association with each other. It was a “bald eagle” carved out of a single piece of wood. Unbeknown to me Butch’s hobby was wood carving I am including a picture of the carving complete with embedded clock in the middle. The detail required to make these kinds of gifts is incredible. And a whole bunch of patients also. He was not retired at the time, so he had to do his carving in the evenings.
This brings me to the point of my story and that is Friends (the genuine ones) are the most precious people you can ever wish to have near you especially when we have the whole world in such turmoil over the Covid-19 virus. And our friendship endured even though we were competitors.
And this is a hallmark of the line-stringing fraternity, why I say this the following. We were commissioning a refurbished machine stringing line across the Mississippi in Missouri and they had located the tension machine in one of the farmers’ Fields and we were using helicopters to gain access to the main towers. But during the night it rained very heavily so when we went to tend the machine it was standing in a considerable amount of mud (silt from the Mississippi) one the line men saw I had only short boots to get to the machine. He then made the following gesture he removed his waders and gave them to me, and he carried on working in normal rain boots. I could not believe my eyes. He had only met me the day before. I did the repairs to the machine returned to dry land and returned the waders to their rightful owner.
This what I call a good and successful day.