John L. Waldroop went to work for NP&L in 1939. He started out on the line crew making $0.30 an hour, which netted him $12.00 a week. When asked what an average dayís work was like Mr. Waldroop replied, "It was hard, because you didn't have the equipment that they have today. We dug the holes with hand tools called a spade and a spoon." He remembers using a tool called a "rocking jack" to set the light poles and the chain on a pocket watch as a plum-bob to make sure they were set straight. Shortly after Mr. Waldroop began work with the line crew, the company purchased a line-truck. He recalls that the addition of the vehicle was a big improvement, but only "if you could get the truck to where it was needed."In 1940, the company promoted Mr. Waldroop and he began training at the old Franklin Plant for his new position as an operator at the soon to be completed Glenville hydroelectric plant. Mr. Waldroop was present on the day the first switch was thrown to start the massive generators. He remembers that the plant had a little trouble coordinating the machines the first day and engines made a loud bump when they started. When Mr. Thorpe and the dignitary heard the noise, Mr. Thorpe leaned toward them and jokingly said, "Oh that happens all the time."

Mr. Waldroop admits to knowing very little about electricity when he was hired in 1939. When asked why he went to work for NP&L, Mr. Waldroop quickly points out, "I knew nothing about electricity--not one thing in the world about it--I was just hunting a job."

"We were all green. We didn't know anything about electricity, [but] we know we better learn something if we where going to hold a job." So we set up our own school. They studied the circuit layout and blueprints of the generators using the book supplied by the plant engineer. They took shifts studying and testing each other on their knowledge.

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