The league of towerdogs.
He is more affectionately known to those in the trade as “BC” and has been with our group since 1994. Known for his dogged discipline and determination, he can wrestle his way through tower problems that most would quickly give up on at first resistance. Patient, methodical, and highly driven, he never comes off a job empty handed. He represents all that is virtuous about hard work. BC is a veteran of the US Marines.
Reason would dictate that there are some things in this world that Cliff is unable to repair, but as of today I do not know what they are. Cliff is a veteran electron chaser of the first order. He holds numerous commercial and amateur radio licenses and certificates. He can troubleshoot and do board level repair with the best of them. His current specialties are transmission line dehydrators, tower top amplifiers, and tower light controllers.
Not content to work a normal 9 to 5 schedule, he can be found relentlessly thrashing miscreant amplifiers at all hours of the day and night. Never one to let a piece of equipment get the best of him, he has been known to spend days flogging that which can only be billed for hours; the sign of a pure technician. Craftsmanship has no better apologist than Cliff.
Paul has worked with us for around 12 years or so. He is, as far as I am concerned, from another planet. His mind is in touch with some force of the universe that the rest of us can’t fathom.
On occasions too numerous to mention and too voluminous to catalog, I have been on a job site vexed with some problem that seemed to defy any reasonable solution. In such situations I’ve seen Paul get a very unusual look in his eye, start to twitch a bit, and then in a voice that is not his, blurt out some completely off the wall verbage that seems to have no relevance to the problem at hand. Once he finishes his diatribe, he will go quiet, we will all stand there a bit dumbfounded, and in time someone will say “No Paul, that’ll never work”, to which he immediately responds, “It will too, watch this”, and in a matter of minutes or hours what seemed an irreconcilable obfuscation completely melts into a solution right in front of us. Paul functions on a level I’ll never understand, and I’m sure glad I worked with him and not against him.
Pictured here is none other than the infamous Jerry Robinson, knower of many things. Jerry is a licensed paramedic as well as a high ranking official with our local fire department. He can do just about anything known to man. Part machinist, welder, towerdog, carpenter, plumber, electrician, there is nothing he cannot do. Always on time, always prepared, always resourceful, you can give him a pile of scrap steel and some old circuit boards and He’ll have a complete television station built and running in no time. He is a problem solver of the first order, and unlike the rest of us, has a real job, which gives our group some degree of legitimacy regardless if we deserve it or not.
This is our friend Max. He is about 4 years into the business and there is no one more enthusiastic about the trade than he. Always ready, always willing, always on go. Oh, to have another hundred like him. As good a fellow as you would ever hope to meet. Were there more like him in this world it would be a better place.
Here pictured is a magnanimous leader of towerdogs. 20 year history in the US Marines and the US Navy, Joseph is a man among men and an effective manager and leader. Up until the age of 68 years he was still climbing to 500 ft. or better. Now in his 70's, we have robbed him of his harness and relegated him to his desk in the office, where, with booming voice and forthright demeanor, he keeps us all in work and paychecks. I once had a crewman ask me if he "had to do what Joe tells him to do." My response was "Hell yes. I do what Joe tells me to do so you should too!"
Joe carries with him many distinctions in his employment, the most impressive one being that he, at many points in his life, has met such qualifications to be employed in a "real job", which is something the rest of us may aspire to, but can never seem to attain.
Pictured here is Justin. He has had the misfortune of being in the trade one way or another for 36 years having grown up in it. He came to the trade two years ago full time and is on his way to becoming a find top hand.
Well, this is me. I’ve got scores of photos of the others, but precious few of me, which is as it should be. I’ve been in this business quite a while. I consider it a great blessing to wake up each day and go to a job that you love to do. I’ve been able to do that most of my life, and I’m sure thankful.
Below I have a few shots and comments about good towerdogs I have worked with in the past. All are good fellows and all have taught me a thing or two.
If this fine individual looks suspect to you then your intuition serves you well. Aaron Wilson, Esq is a smooth operator. Having taken a declivitous path to the land of real employment, he is no longer considered worthy to be a good towerdog. Word on the street is that he has real paychecks, a brick home, and has descended into a life of complete sobriety. We consider his life as an executive salesman for one of the equipment suppliers in our industry to be a waste of a good towerdog. That notwithstanding, he is still a good fellow and we welcome him into our midst when he chooses to rise up and be amongst us.
Pictured here is my ole’ buddy Billy Ross. Now, Billy was a transmitter technician. Trans Techs are the real work horses of the broadcast trade. They get up early, stay up all night, pull rabbits out of hats, do something with nothing, and generally work like dogs for a pittance of what their coworkers make. When push comes to shove, Techs are the ones that make the signal sing, and bring traveling electromagnetic waves to those of us that need to see their results. He was as even tempered and good-natured as they come, and I’m glad I got to work with him.
Much to the chagrin of the amalgamated towerdogs in our market, Billy left the planet December 12 of 2013. Complications from pneumonia as I understand. We are saddened by his passing, and trust that once he gets over to the Other Side, he will locate Albert Einstein and take a ride on a beam of light (or radio wave, in his case). Rock on Billy, don’t allow the physical separation to get in the way. We will be listening for you in the hum of the final amplifiers at 2:00 AM on sleep deprived weekends.
His counterparts at the other stations in town and likewise good fellows for they, as I, make their living with their hands, and they have to think for themselves as opposed to following some set of rules laid down by someone else.
I’m glad to know them all…….. I just wish I had all of their pictures.