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Thank You Pacific Northwest Linemen: A Poetic Tribute

The mom of an apprentice lineman wrote a poem to thank the line crews after a storm.

After a storm blew through her town, Kala Cota, the mom of an apprentice lineman, wrote a poem to thank the West Oregon Electric Cooperative crew. Rodney Lewis, field supervisor and general foreman for Portland General Electric, shared this poem with T&D World magazine, and on National Lineman Appreciation Day, we are sharing it with our readers. Thank you for all you do to power America and keep the lights on!

What if someone told you…

“We need you to get up and go out in the dark, 

Drive out in this weather and put it in park, 

Tromp out through the brush with a spotlight, 

Find out what went wrong on this stormy night, 

Crawl through the viney, you best bring your saw, 

Cut down the fallen trees that started it all,

Find the power line that sling-shotted somewhere,

Patch it back together with a hope and a prayer,

Then climb in this bucket, we’ll lift you up high

Watch out for the tree limbs that fall from the sky

Hang on tight! It will jerk and it sways,

But in the sleet and the snow, you’ll be okay.”

What if somebody asked you to do something like that? Would you scratch your head as you pulled off your hat? Give them a look like they’ve lost their mind Say, “You’re some kind of crazy, the special kind!”

As you sit cozy at home, though the lights just went out You’ve got your own problems, you can’t help them out You’re cold and hungry, you can’t watch your TV Thinking, “Why don’t those guys do something for me?” Just who in the world do they think they are?! Go out in this weather?!

Now, they’ve, gone too far,

Who are these guys who would do something like that?

Oh…I guess it’s our linemen… that’s how they react, 

Out in the dark, sometimes working all night,

Finding the problem and making it right,

Years of experience, weathered and worn,

That’s what you get when you go out in the storm, 

When the lights go out we shouldn’t complain

Just pull out the candles and an old board game

Or wrap up in a blanket and grab a good book

When the cold wind blows, just think what it took,

To fix your small problems on this stormy night, 

Somebody is working to bring back the light, 

We take them for granted, but they’ve families too, 

That worry about them and the work that they do,

So, when the wind starts to blow and the lights blink, 

Before you complain take a moment to think, 

Our linemen are heading out to fix and repair,

For their families and safety, instead, say a prayer,

They’ll have the lights on as quick as they can,

In all kinds of weather, they’re out lending a hand, 

Out in the dark, just doing what they do

I’d like to say “Thank You!” to our lineman crew!

Written with gratitude by Kala Cota

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