Friday, February 1, 2013

Retirement from Shakespeare Springs Utilities

Upon the event of the retirement of Henry LeRoy--Prometheus is free.

The Charles Dickinson novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” starts with this line: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” This could also start the story of my career at Prospero Power Plant. I will remember the best of times and forget the coal dust, the fly ash, the heat, the cold.

I will remember the times when operators, mechanics, electricians, I &C, management, admin, building services, engineering, planning, and stores all came together to solve a problem. Or those start-ups that, because of teamwork, went on without any problems and the generator breaker was closed in and load was dispatched when requested.

Then the bosses tell you “good job.”

I will remember those long nights when the machines would operate without a hitch. We would arm ourselves against the siren of sleep with stories and even though we had told each other the same story a hundred times before, we all still listened because it was a well told tale.

I will remember the funny hour--usually around 4 o’clock in the morning of the fourth nightshift—when everything anybody said seemed funny and we would laugh and get through another shift.

Some of us remember people like Bottom the Weaver and the late John Falstaff they were both such characters that we smile when we think of them.

My wife Diane and my son Reed will remember that I always came home safe.

I will remember summer nights--the plant being so un-godly hot I would go out on the roof to catch some cooling air and see the city lights. Those shining lights always inspired me. Because of what we do here, our city’s lights glow across the horizon.

Because of the power Prospero Plant generates, people are eating hot meals. They are reading and writing, watching television and computing. They will be having parties, listening to music, singing and dancing. Babies are being born and someone will be dying.

The design of a power plant is to burn coal to make steam to make electricity. The goal of all the men and women who work at Prospero Plant is to bring light to the city of Shakespeare Springs. That is the important job that you all do.

I thank the operators that I supervised. Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.

Our goal was to generate safe, clean and economical electrical power. I like to think that we did some good towards that end, and if we did it was because of their hard work.

I will remember those who were with me during the best of times and those that stood by me in the worst of time. I will remember all of you warmly.

After nearly 21 years working for Shakespeare Springs Utilities at Prospero Power Plant, I can say that the last two years have been the Best of Times.

Adios, good luck, Prometheus is free.

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