Prince Electric Learning Curve

Chuck Prince was one of the smartest men I’ve ever met as far as practical working in the world skill. He knew something about everything, seemingly. Our primary job was to wire residential houses. Because this was a “mom and pop” business we could not over schedule or over book more than what two guys were able to do. The lead electrician was named Ron. I was the helper and we could only do so much in a day or week. Therefore, Chuck could not take on too many builders because we were not able to provide. There were times when Chuck would run two trucks and have four guys working for him. Because he was such an angry man it was hard to keep people employed. He had no authority over him so he could act any way he wanted to. There was no governing device on him. Therefore, people did not stay with him long. Once upon a time I told him I was going to quit. He offered me more money. By that time I had learned quickly and was very fast at what I did and he didn’t want to lose me. It was not about money however. It was about getting cussed out every day or every other day. After two years of this I had enough. It was also about working in the cold or hot or rain or snow. In outside construction work the elements were hard to endure, they were sometimes harsh.

When we were not working Chuck was very good about keeping us busy. One time we built a pond down at the front of his drive. He had other folk come in and move the rock and dig the hole. Another time we put up a fence to pasture on some of his property. We used the tractor and auger to dig the holes and tamp the post in. Another time we castrated some of his pigs. Another time we demolished one of his barns. We also poured concrete and finished it or built a building from the ground up. We helped to install a wood burning stove and hook it up to his vent system in his house. We also built a green house attached to the main house and wired it as well as installed piping and set it up on a timer to where it would water the plants periodically. This was cool. Every time the sprinkler system went off it would smell like a spring rain afterwards. We installed vacuum systems in homes as well as security systems.

On the farm we did construction, plumbing, farming, electrical, pond building, fence installation, roofing, bird house building, rebuilding motors and much more. It was one of the best times in my life to learn so much about so many things. It was grueling, but it was unbelievably profitable as equipping me for life. I have used what I learned from Chuck Prince all my life. He was a mean, unhappy, controlling and frustrated man. These attitudes and behaviors were foisted on you and it was very difficult. However, the result was good and that is what I remember and what I’m grateful for nearly 30 years later. I’m sure Chuck is dead now. I’m not sure about Marlene, his wife, or the business. It was a learning time for a very young man.

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