The year of 1973 was a beginning in itself. New friends, new hobbies, new challenges, and a definite path for a career was opened up for me.
Little did I know how the decision to apply and being accepted into the IBEW LU479 sanctioned apprenticeship training program would shape my life as it did. The brotherhood spilled over into my personal life with a boat load of new friends.
A family of electricians so to speak. This particular family had roots that ran deep into the local union and its beginning and they accepted me for what I had to offer. Which at the time was very little, but like a stray dog, they kept feeding me and I kept hanging around.
Wesley Holst and his parents soon came to be my 'adoptive' family. These are the people that took me under their wings and taught me how to get outdoors and to find my way home. I'm talking about the hunting and fishing aspect of the outdoors and all that is covered by those activities.
Mom and Pop Holst as I came to call them were patient with me back then, but patience was something they learned with the raising of their son Wesley so it pretty much came second nature to them.
Over the years we have amassed more than 30 years of hunting, fishing, and camping together. You can only imagine some of the stories that have been shared around camp fires, boat docks, and cook outs.
Recent years have brought me another set of memories with the inclusion of my own son into the mix at deer camp, my fishing partner now, or just learning the different types of trees in the woods.
My experiences with the Holst family is being passed along to my son. You've most likely heard the saying..."if you've seen the son you've seen the father", well that goes for Wesley and Pop Holst. As different as individuals can be, the apple didn't fall very far from that tree either. Just make sure you get the rope you borrowed from Pop back to him rolled up like you found it...and Wesley is the same dog-gone way.
Going back to the career, Wesley and I both were accepted into the apprenticeship program the same year. At the time of swearing in the new apprentices, Pop stood with both of us that night. I am not sure if I ever thanked him for that gesture.
Wesley and I both worked our four years of apprenticeship with the same electrical contractor and finished the class in 1979. Through the years, we have always been there for each other through marriages, children, life, and death.
Somewhere along the line, Mom and Pop began referring to me as the #2 son. I wear that badge proudly still today even if we don't get to hunt and fish together as much as we did way back when.
Being #2 is just alright with me.
D.A.'Pop' Holst has gone on over to the other side of paradise now. Mom is hanging out in the old neighborhood...I probably need to call her soon to check in.
Me and Wesley, finally got to go fishing earlier this year. First time in over 20 years. The deer lease made some changes a couple of years ago and I had to drop off, but those memories still abide in the back of my mind.
Thanks to the Holst family for making me and allowing me to be the #2 son.