The league of towerdogs.
Wesley B. Crawford
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.
Cliff G. Barringer, Esq.
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 Allen Fitler
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.
Jeff is a national poster child for hard work. This guy, once geared up, stops at nothing. Disciplined, determined, well prepared and well stocked, he is another that does not come home empty handed. As well thought out as he is, he really needs to be in politics. We could use someone in elected office that looks at every problem from every angle. A fine fellow and great companion on any job, he is a kind, decent and respectful man who always is willing to help when asked. He is a former air traffic control systems technician who received a humanitarian award along with an achievement medal during his tenure in the United States Air Force. Jeff is in the business, but now works for another tower firm.
Pictured above making new friends with a pony just prior to a lighting job is Dustin Cruseturner. Dustin recently graduated from our local university as a Political Science major. Someday he will rule the world, or at least some major city in south Arkansas. Full of youthful exuberance and vigor, he is a fast climber and good hard worker. In between diatribes on community, local foods, recidivism and global peace initiatives, he can work with the best of them and have fun doing it. We certainly enjoyed his tenure with our firm and wish him well in the future; even if he does get a law degree.
The Mighty 40 Watt
I am certain to many that the mild mannered individual pictured above, none other than Mr. Paul David Worthen, man about town, seems like just an average towerdog type fellow staring up a 300 ft. free standing tower on the gulf coast. If one were to assume that, they would be terribly wrong. What you see above is not a towerdog, but a miniature conglomerate on feet.
Paul Worthen has more jobs than most towerdogs have missing teeth. He towerdogs for us and others, he vends at the local flea market, he makes a market in scrap metals, he trades in antique pottery and glassware, and fixes and vends chain saws to boot. One thing is for certain. If it can be bought, sold, transported, traded, assessed or mortgaged, PDW can most likely make a market in it and turn a profit. E-bayer of the first order and tower climber to boot, many a fortune 500 CEO would love to have his margins each month.
Jeff Wade Hogan
This is my friend Jeff Hogan. He worked with us for a couple of years. He presently is working with another tower firm on a full time basis. He’s as good a tower man as I have ever worked with. I know few that can do what he can do.
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.
The Infamous Joe Callahan
Here is my friend Joe Callahan. Joe has a history in the Marine Corps and US Coast Guard and this past serves him well in the tower trades. A radio technician of the first class and all around good fellow, he was at one time manager of a motley crew of towerdogs in our market. After his days as a “dog-boss” he made the decision to get a real job until such time as he could enter retirement. We have plans to be interred at the same nursing home someday so that we can tell the same stories to one another over and over, which is what we do now.
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.