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Living On Lightning
by:Mr. Don Green
When twenty-five-year-old Emmett Green, his wife, and baby are forced off their Oregon farm in 1932 by a rent increase they can't afford, it sets off a chain of events in which Emmett becomes a lineman working on live power lines at up to 120,000-volts in Eastern Washington. At such high voltages, electricity can jump through the air out of the sizzling,...
When twenty-five-year-old Emmett Green, his wife, and baby are forced off their Oregon farm in 1932 by a rent increase they can't afford, it sets off a chain of events in which Emmett becomes a lineman working on live power lines at up to 120,000-volts in Eastern Washington. At such high voltages, electricity can jump through the air out of the sizzling, crackling wires like lightning and kill anyone who gets too close. Attracted by the high pay and steady work, which were rare job benefits during the 1930's, Emmett continues working as a lineman in spite of the danger. This story is set in the high-tension time before much of today's safety equipment and procedures were developed for line work, and one in three linemen were killed on the job. During his adventures in this job, Emmett narrowly escapes being killed. Working in windstorms, freezing winter cold, and scorching summer heat, he finds himself constantly stalked by death, and he is not certain that he will survive. His plight is no different from that of the other linemen, and there is a close brotherhood between them as they face these hardships and dangers together. In spite of the adventure, danger and tension in the story, some hilarious situations result from interactions between men in the line crew, and between Emmett and members of his family. Emmett's wife urges him to get a safer job, and he ventures into other jobs in heavy electrical industries. However, these also prove to have their dangers. After some hair-raising adventures in these jobs, Emmett returns to line work. He has a final accident that ends his career as a lineman, but surprisingly puts him into a position to fulfill his lifetime goals. This story is a work of fiction, but it is based on the real-life experiences of the main characters. Two of the older linemen who have reviewed it said that some of the narrow escapes in the story are similar to ones they have experienced themselves.
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