Archive: » 2019 » May

Communicating Before E-Mail and Zip Codes

As I mentioned last week, I am spending much of the summer going through the R.G. LeTourneau archives, placing the material in acid-free folders and categorizing it. I enjoy this type of work. I fully realize that, despite three of us working 29 hours a week on the project, we will barely make a dent in the mountain of material. But it moves the project a bit farther down the road, and it provides a glimpse in the famed Christian industrialist’s many activities – and the voluminous correspondence he received from around the world. The material I am going through now is from 1959. Mr. R.G....

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The Story Behind the Domes

The LeTourneau domes are a familiar landmark when driving into the heart of Longview from the south. The name of the industrial company has changed several times — it’s now Komatsu. Still, for long-time residents, the domes retain the name of the company founder, who left his mark on this city in many ways. R.G. LeTourneau founded the company that bore his name, invented massive earth-moving equipment and off-shore oil drilling platforms, held hundreds of patents and developed a private Christian technical institute after World War II that evolved into LeTourneau University. Eventually that...

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After the Storm, the Cleanup Begins

A week after 90 mph straight-line winds whipped through North Longview — our neighborhood in particular — the cleanup is well underway. The near-unending hum and whine of chainsaws, leaf blowers, the rumble of diesel engines for clean-up trucks continues from just after sunrise until dusk. We were without electricity for six days, as was nearly the entire neighborhood. The winds apparently took down many of the poles and wires bringing the power to our homes. Many of our neighbors decamped to their lake homes or hotels. We stayed put, relying on the trusty Honda generator to keep our refrigerators...

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After The Storm

The sound of chainsaws cutting up fallen trees, accompanied by the hum of generators, is the soundtrack of our neighborhood right now. The noise, and an absence of electricity, likely will continue for several days after a fierce storm blew through Wednesday afternoon. When it arrived, I was working in the university library while my Beautiful Mystery Companion was in her office across campus, preparing for the semester’s conclusion. The storm was not particularly scary on the south side of town, though we soon lost power. A small group of us hung out in the library and watched the trees sway...

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When Havlicek Stole The Ball

Growing up in the1960s in New Hampshire, I avidly followed three professional sports teams: the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics — all of whose names back then were preceded by “Boston.” They remain today my favorite teams in those sports. If prodded, I would add hockey’s Bruins to the list, but I never was much of a hockey fan. At the time, the Red Sox hovered in or near the cellar each season, back when the American and National leagues each had 10 teams, and there were no divisions. So the cellar meant finishing 10th. The Patriots fared somewhat better in the American Football League,...

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