The Road Life
In ’88 I was on a pole in a backwater by the name of Caliga Bay, AL. I was about 40 feet up when I turned around in my belt to pull up a gas drill to pump a hole in the pole for the hardware when my gut felt something was wrong.
For a split second I was unsure of what it was that was outta whack.
It became apparent in a big hurry..!!! The pole I was on started to fall backwards!
Of all the rotten luck, I was strapped to the damn thing. A quick thought was to just jump, land how-ever and deal with all the broken bones afterward.
What ended up happening was as the pole came down backwards, I just hopped upward and started to drop.
With a quickness…!!!
My safety was still around the pole and with the angle of the pole being to the back of me, I came down in about 6 or 8 big drops as my safety would catch & drop, catch & drop.
Which is about as lucky as you can get in that situation. I didn’t bounce off the pole. Had I bounced off the pole while falling, the splinters from gaff marks, shell-rot and just the wood itself would have shredded my stomach and chest.
I’ve heard some stories over the years about guys who’ve gotten long splinters up into their chests in such a situation…
The pole ended up landing on our truck. 72kv (for those who don’t know, that’s 72,000 volts!) laid across an ’80 something, Ford 1-Ton Flatbed…!!!
My groundhand, Chris, was literally running around in a little circle, screaming: “Oh My God!, Oh My God!.” When he stopped, he looked at me with eyes as big as Bart Simpson’s and said “Dave… I seen body parts everywhere!!!”
I started counting things.
I had 1 splinter in my left arm and a case of the shakes that would last about 8 months.
I didn’t pay for a beer or a shot at “The Wooden Nickle” for a week.
Afterward, there were close to 50 or 60 people at the site. The Power Company, Phone Company, Cops, Fire Department, Ambulances (2 of them!), all kindsa town folks, my whole company.
And they were all looking at me.
It was later that night before I calmed down a bit.
There was this one Power Company Supervisor who had to be close to 70 years old. He had white hair and hands, that when you shook one, you could tell that this man had worked since he 3 years old.
At well over 6′ he had a great presence.
He walked up to me with his hand out to shake mine and asked if I was the man who rode that pole down. My reply was “Yes sir.”
His next words still give me shivers: “I’ve seen ’em go and I’ve heard the stories of them going, but I’ve never heard of a man walking away. You’re a lucky boy, son.”
Dodged ANOTHER bullet…!!!
Damn right, it’s good to be SuperDave…!!!
And it damn sure ain’t boring…
More to come…..