November 21, 2012
A couple of days ago, I was on a 3-hour drive from North Jersey to Gettysburg. Anyone in the Jersey area knows all about traffic, but on this trip, westbound on I-78, I watched a remarkable sight.
A parade – no, a fleet – of utility trucks, all heading out of NJ after (I assume) many long days of hard labor helping out after Hurricane Sandy.
Surely, I thought, there must be a “Houston” in a nearby state to which all these folks were returning, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Surely these folks didn’t come all the way up from…
Then I spotted the license plates. Texas.
Countless dozens of these fine skilled workers had driven halfway across the country to help us out, and were now returning, caravan style, before their prolonged absence triggered a population redistricting in their home state!
Saturday morning, I enjoyed a pancake breakfast at IHOP with my son Ben, and (as has been the case for a couple of weeks now), the restaurant was loaded with utility workers, fueling up for another day’s labor in someone else’s neighborhood (these guys were clearly from the South).
One of the men had lost both arms at some point in his history. He had two mechanical arms ending in hooks. And he was still working.
Seeing these dedicated strangers/citizens/neighbors/workers helping us out after a crisis warmed my heart like nothing else in recent memory. It made me thankful to live in a country where people pull together, even at great personal sacrifice.
Thanks, utility folks. You may labor mostly unrecognized, but we see you. And we appreciate all you’re doing for us.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!