Mr. David Lindell retired as transportation supervisor in 2006. We asked him to sit down with Jason Day, who has worked as an assistant mechanic for two years.
Jason Day: When you came on board in 1972, were you working out of our main Summerdale office?
David Lindell: Oh, yes. I knew that [Baldwin EMC] had built this new complex, and I’d heard they needed a mechanic. When I was hired, I was
the very first mechanic on staff.
J.D: So it was up to you to service the vehicles at all three offices?
D.L.: Yes, some days I spent a lot of time on the road. When I first started, we had 54 vehicles in the fleet. There was always one needing servicing
or an oil change.
J.D.: Did you know right off the bat that it would turn into a lifelong career?
D.L.: Oh, I knew immediately. My first day was July 3, and the next day was a holiday. I thought, “This is the job for me!” Right away, I knew I’d be here forever. It was just good people. I’d grown up in a service station (Lindell’s Garage), so it was in my blood. While I’d never worked on diggers or utility trucks before, they made sure I got the training I needed.
J.D.: You were here during (Hurricane) Frederic, I guess it was after that when Baldwin EMC really started to grow.
D.L.: Sure, it was about that time when they promoted me to supervisor and they hired some mechanics because our fleet was growing and everything was growing. I sure needed the help because it was at that point that they asked me to start bidding on vehicles and deal with salespeople and all of the paperwork.
J.D.: What changes did you see during your time working here?
D.L.: One big difference was that at one point we had a lot of vehicles fueled on propane. At the time, it was about half the cost of gasoline and it was cleaner, because it has less carbon, and so
we were able to extend the oil changes. That, and the growth. It would get really busy sometimes, but we always had the support of the management, and that helped.
J.D.: What are some of your favorite memories?
D.L.: Oh, there are a lot to choose from. I worked the night shift for a time and was responsible for taking the flag down and locking everything up. I remember when right of way got their first bush hog tractor, a John Deere. I remember getting called at 3 a.m. after a storm and being told I needed to get up to Bay Minette to get the generator started because that’s where we were going to be running dispatch.
J.D.: I guess there were times you wanted to pull your hair out.
D.L.: Nah, it was just part of the job. I enjoyed the people I worked with every day and the security of the job. It was a good job, and I loved it.
J.D.: Do you want to come back?
D.L.: Well, I like retirement, too.