Jim the builder
By Sandy Gladfelter from June 2014 Issue
Credit: Jim Miller
Retired Meade County Rural Electric Co-op employee Jim Miller credits his dad Rich for his direction in life.
Miller, a lineman in Brandenburg for 12 years and 24 with the purchasing/warehousing department, has fond memories of his dad's 41 years as a lineman.
He says, "When I was a kid, customers came to our house to report power outages because they depended on employees like my dad to report them or to discuss their electric bill, how to sign up for service, things like that, as telephones weren't readily available. In those days, my dad would often go on an outage by himself and sometimes take my mom, sister, and me along. I can remember waking up in the service truck, looking up to see my dad on the pole. When I was in high school he asked me if I could climb a pole, and when I said 'yes' he had me put on climbing tools and scale a telephone pole in our back yard. Those skills and liking to work outside landed me my first job."
Since retiring in 2013, Miller continues to enjoy being outside and completing projects in his workshop. He's built unusual items like a land luge with wheels, a 4-wheel bike from PVC pipe, a bike with skis, a lamp from an electric meter, as well as guitars and mandolins.
"I like to be active," he says. "When the weather permits, I ride my bike 50-60 miles a week. If I can't, I'm in my shop."
His latest challenge came when Brandenburg Mayor David Pace (a Meade County Rural Electric Co-op employee) asked if he might have materials for a bridge they needed on a hiking trail.
"Since the co-op was involved with the routing of that trail, I volunteered to do the entire thing. It's a 40-foot wooden bridge with two arches spanning a 30-foot creek that runs through the hiking trail. I got the whole family in on this one. My wife, two sons, grandchildren, and I would all get together, take a picnic lunch, and spend hours there. It was completed and put in place last November and this spring we'll install a bronze plaque in memory of Dad and Mom."