My friend, coworker, and fellow lineman Danny died in a tragic work event last April. These are some remembrances of him.
DANNY AND THE BUFFALO
Around the first of Sept. 1995, Hurricane Opal, a Cat 4 storm, made its way to the mountains of western North Carolina. Danny was the reluctant foreman of the crew that I was on. He preferred to be up in the air as a lineman but our previous foreman, Joe, had retired.
We spent four or five long days repairing mostly tree damage to the distribution system. Toward the end of it all, we went to a farm that had a large buffalo on it.
A single-phase tap went across the field with one solitary tree in the middle. Of course, the line went through the center of the tree and right there was a limb hanging on the primary and neutral.
One of the tree guys volunteered to climb the tree with some pruners to clear up the line. We all leaned on the nice board fence and took a little break. After struggling for a while with the limb, the climber called for a chainsaw.
Danny said he would take the saw to the tree. As he was making his way across the field, we noticed the buffalo trotting towards Danny, from the far corner. The buffalo was coming up on his blind side. When he finally saw the buffalo, he turned to face it and started pulling on the chainsaw rope, like a man possessed.
While still trying to start the saw, Danny hopped up on a large boulder rising out of the ground. When he got the saw started, the buffalo was within 25-30 feet.
We were all watching with great interest, from our safe spot outside the fence. As the saw started revving, we all joined in making some noise too, trying to distract the buffalo. He stopped, planted his feet, looked around. Then, deciding it wasn't worth it, just walked away.
The saw was delivered, the limb taken care of, and the line returned to service.
Dick Weaver – Retired Lineman