STORIES FROM THE FIELD
If you want something in life, you gotta work for it.
– Journeyman Electrician
Growing up on a farm was great. There were no kids next door to play with. I played with my brothers and sisters and made up games. And you did a lot of work, an awful lot of work. Everybody had their job. After my mother cooked breakfast, she went out and picked pickles. So you had to pick up after yourself because no one else took care of it for you.
My brothers and I still farm 230 acres of vegetables. You have to plan your crops out, how much to plant here, plant there, and where you’re gonna plow. If something goes wrong, like if a plow breaks, just don’t let it sit there! You’ve gotta fix the plow, you’ve gotta fix the disk, you’ve gotta fix it yourself. I make up my mind. I don’t care if I fail. I gotta try it, and if it don’t work, just try it again.
If you want something in life, you gotta work for it. You gotta want to do it. And once you’re in that system, you just keep going. I just keep doing my job.
The same with the electrician—I like to get my project done for today. I’m doing my best when it runs smooth, when the wire is straight. I don’t like sloppy work. Instead of putting one strap every 10 feet, I put it at 7 feet. Make the guy say you did nice work. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to pay me any more, just say a nice job, say thank you.
And the same with farming. When I plant melons or sweet corn with no weeds, well, that’s a good field. Or perfect straight rows, that’s a good field too. It makes you want to work.
I think I’m getting close to retirement. I want to retire early. And if I don’t do something, I’ll just go nuts. I can’t believe people retire and just do nothing. I want to die in the field. That’s the way to do it.