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My Dad, The Lineman

dad, Mike Mosby, was hired as a meter reader in 1973, and now
after 28 years has become operations superintendent at the
Burkesville office of Tri-County Electric co-op, headquartered in
Lafayette, Tennessee, and serving members in both Tennessee and

Since I was born in 1973,
whenever my older sister and I were asked where our father worked,
we always answered, "Tri-County." I’ll always remember
being in elementary school, where only a chain-link fence
separated us from the co-op office building. At recess I would
rush to the playground to see my dad with his green Tri-County
uniform on, loading power poles on the big truck. He would often
wave at me and sometimes even walk to the fence to give me a kiss.
Needless to say, in this third-grader’s eyes he was the biggest
hero in the world. The boys all liked how he moved those huge
poles onto the trailer. I thought it was neat that the guys
thought my dad was cool because "he could climb poles with
his bare hands."

I would often tell my friends
that during thunderstorms, he wasn’t in the greatest mood. The
phone would ring a lot in the middle of the night and my dad
wouldn’t be home when I got up for school the next morning.

As the years passed, I
understood more about my dad’s job and the boys came to think
differently about him. As a teenager I learned that new rules
applied when your dad worked for Tri-County. When he was on call
the phone was off-limits (lots of Tri-County kids can sympathize
with me on this one) in case someone tried to call to let him know
their lights were out. And because my dad was a physically fit
man, to a teenage boy he was a little scary. The boys would often
hesitate to ask me out: the joke was my dad didn’t use the bucket
truck to set poles, he would just pitch them up and set them in
the ground himself. Once one of my dates asked my dad if that was
true. My dad just smiled. Come to think of it, he never did answer
the poor boy.

I look back and realize how
hard my dad has worked. I’m married now and have three children of
my own, and I think a job says a lot about a person. But the
dedication you give says more. My dad works for Tri-County full
time and farms after work, and sometimes if he’s on call (and even
when he’s not) he will walk in the door, answer the phone, and
have to leave again to go and fix someone’s lights. Not many men
these days can endure eight hours of work, much less come home and
not eat supper, just change clothes and then go back to work.

I was 16 years old when a huge
ice storm hit Kentucky. For three days I didn’t even see my dad.
He worked without complaint. I remember people fussing about how
long they went without electricity and I would get very defensive.
When they left I would think, "Don’t these people care how
hard my dad and all the other Tri-County employees have to work?
Don’t they realize I haven’t seen my dad in three days because
he’s working to get their lights back on?" It would really
make me mad. But now I realize most people don’t see behind the
scenes. They don’t see the hard work that goes on behind the name

If you can’t already tell, I’m
a "Daddy’s Girl." He’s the greatest dad in the world and
he has my utmost respect. He is a man of his word, a big teddy
bear, and a very dedicated worker for Tri-County. Even though I’m
not in third grade anymore, he’s still my hero. My dad’s lifetime
of work with Tri-County has given me a respect for
"jobs." You see lots of people who have jobs, but very
few also offer life lessons that make impressions on their
children by teaching them respect, hard work, honesty, and
dedication, which is what Tri-County and Mike Mosby have taught

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