We were called in early on a Thursday afternoon in Sept. 1989. We were told to go home and pack for two or three days. We would be preparing to go to work in
Charlotte, North Carolina. I was a first -class lineman working for a distribution contractor, in Asheville, N.C.
We left the next morning and went to Florence, South Carolina. for twelve days and then moved over to Sumter, S.C. for five more days. We worked 15 to 16 hours a day every day, rain or shine. There were no company cards back then, so each foreman carried a big wad of cash for food and gas.
In Florence, we were two to a room in a hotel which was next to another hotel and a Waffle House. Both hotels were full of line workers (the other hotel also had a bar but that's a whole other story).
Several of us started getting up early and having coffee and cigarettes in the Waffle House. This, before our group went out to breakfast. Most of our meals were at a local family restaurant (probably the best storm food I've ever had). So, the Waffle House was always packed and there were always other people waiting also.
One morning, we were all sitting and talking and suddenly, the whole place got as quiet as a church. I looked up and there was "Big Red" just inside the doorway. He was about 6'4", in excellent shape, with a full head of red hair. He was wearing his line boots, a cheap hotel towel and nothing else! Seeing his boss (his crew was known as "Summey's Dummies"), Big Red shouted out something like, " Those G**D*** SOB's stole all my G**D*** clothes". He had come out of the shower to find his co-workers had taken everything out of the room except his boots. His foreman just got up, shook his head, and said, "Let’s go Red".
Dick Weaver – Retired Lineman