Author: Rhynes, J.D.

Ramblings of an Old retired Pipe Fitter and Bluegrass Musician

When I was working as a welder/pipefitter, there were several humorous times that I can recall, but one of the funniest one's was the time I welded up the door on a company truck. I was working at the Holley Sugar Plant in Tracy, Ca. in 1978. It was a HOT August morning, and my working buddy, Bob Van Steenberge and I had jes sat down in the shade of the cooling tower's that we were piping, to have our morning break. The Super's little bookkeeper son came roaring up in a company truck, backed into our area creating a HUGE cloud of dust, jumped out of the truck, and said: Hey! You BOY'S straighten out this tailgate on this truck! I jumped up, and grabbed him by the shirt collar, and informed him that we weren't "Boy's"! AND, furthermore DONT come roaring in here when we are having our morning break, and raising a cloud of dust! I sent him a'packin' with his little tail between his leg's! In about 30 minutes, here came his daddy who was a friend of mine, and the job superintendent. He was laughing his butt off, and asked us to straighten out the tail gate, that his green kid had crumpled up, by backing into a light post when it was down. We said, sure we would, and got started fixing it. WELL, it was one of those tailgate's that had the chain and hook's on it. My pard looked at me, and said; You realize of course that we have a VERY dangerous situation here? I asked how so? WELL, he said; Suppose this green kid is coming back to the jobsite with about 6 er 7, 12 inch valve's in the back of this truck,[ about 300Lbs. a piece] and he hit's a BIG bump in the road, and a couple of these valve's fall out in front of the car behind him, goes through the windshield of that car and kill's a family of four! YER RIGHT I SEZ! SO , I welded the hook's in their respective holes so that wouldn't happen! To make sure that the 'Green Kid" got the message, I welded the drivers door shut too! Ha ha ha ha ha! We figgered, that all that they could do to us was to fire us, but they were gonna be stuck with that dumb green kid fer a LOT of years! His Daddy came out to where we were working laffin' his butt off, and told us that we taught his kid one great lesson about messing with a couple of REAL pipefitter's!

Well, I know yer a? wonderin' jes where is the Bluegrass content this month? Well, here it is. I was a'talkin' with my buddy Russell Moore the other nite, and he told me a great music story. We've all heard of how this music has it's " stingy" moments when it comes to getin' paid fer doing a gig. Well, Russell told me of this old timer that he made acquaintance wih down in Florida about 20 years ago. Seems as to how the old timer had quite a good "Country Band" back then, and was likely to make the "Big Time". He had a booking agent that was really doing good fer him, and kept promising him that it was jes a 'Matter of time" till he would hit the "big time". His name was Tommy, and one day his agent called him with the news that he had booked him and the band in a great venue, in NASHVILLE,TENN! WELL, 'ol Tommy was really pumped up to say the least, and he and he agent discussed the dates they were to play, etc., and finally Tommy asked WHAT the job was gonna pay? Well, the agent told him a VERY low sum of money, and 'ol Tommy told his agent; Hell, I caint go all the way to Nashville and back fer that little bit of money! I'll go in the HOLE fer at least $300.00! To which the agent responded. HELL TOMMY, you got to start saving up fer these BIG JOB'S! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! AH, the life of a country/bluegrass musician! TRUE story folks.

Russell and I laffed our butt's off over this one!
Posted:  8/27/2009

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email