After not being there for the past three weekends, it was time to head west this morning and do some more electrical wiring over in Pearlington, Mississippi at The Pearlington Recovery Center.
Herbie, white-haired, kind of grizzly and as slow movin’ as I am, called a couple of days ago and said he had some wiring work this weekend, if I wasn’t already promised out to someone else to help. Apparently, two of the bunk houses on the property have some wiring quirks, and a new combination kitchen-porch was added on recently to Bunkhouse A, which needed some lights and outlets added, where the AMERICORPS USA young folks out of Maryland have been staying for the last five weeks.
It had been about 3-4 weeks from when my last opportunity was to go over and help out those folks, so I told Herbie that I would be over, if it don’t rain too hard this morning.
Well, it did rain pretty good here on the coast, but stopped about 8:00am or so, so I called herbie and told him I would be over shortly.
Things were more quiet than the last time I was there, as there weren’t any spring breakers there to speak of, many church folks, this one group from Pennsylvania, coming back to help out again after earlier trips.
Just after I arrived there at the Center, picked up some wiring supplies, and was backing out to start my wiring project, a smallish white bus pulled up and a fellow got out and hustled over to my car. Turns out he needed to know if there were any 3/4″ CPVC reducer fittings inside the supplies house. “Well,” I said, let’s try to get ahold of Herbie and ask him.”
As I talked with Herbie on the phone, telling him it was Lance calling, the fellow from the bus got a really funny expression on his face. After I had hung up with Herbie, the fellow says, “How did you know my name was ‘Lance? I don’t remember even telling you that; are you psychic?” I says to him, “Hi, Lance, I’m Lance, from Wisconsin. Where you from?” He says, “I’m Lance from Galveston; very happy to meet a fellow Lance!” It seems that he and about 10 of his fellow church folks were there for a repeat volunteer week, helping out in Pearlington.
After Lance from Galveston left with his church bus to go back to their job, I headed over to Bunkhouse A to figure out what I needed to do try to repair what wasn’t working, and then install lights and outlets in the two new additional rooms.
Upon inspection of the existing wiring there, I found that part of the problem probably had to do with a leaky roof, and water infiltrating the wiring apparatus somehow, which kept tripping the circuit breaker, outside on the power pole. As the ‘attic’ area in the Bunkhouse was totally enclosed, I figured that the best thing to do was to install completely new wiring. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get at that until next weekend.
In the meantime today, though, I could start installing the new circuitry in the two new rooms, as I had most of the supplies required to do that with me. What I didn’t have, though, was the underground-rated wire to be able to run power from the breaker box on the meter pole outside, from there, underground to the Bunkhouse, up the outside wall inside PVC conduit, then through the wall into a new junction box, to serve the new lights and outlets circuit that would be installed there. Just looking at all the extension cords running from the older section of the Bunkhouse, out to the new rooms, really had me shaking my head, “Oh boy, look at that mess!”
So, I got busy installing 2-gang and 4-gang plastic boxes, which would hold switches and outlets, and ran much of the wire between them, until it was finally time to quit for the day, and head for the trailer for the night. God, I love doing this work!!!
In the morning, there will be some of the AMERICORPS youngsters to help me with the rest of the wiring in their Bunkhouse, and to dig a 150′ trench between two other buildings across the large parking lot, which would provide electricity to a large dormitory tent on the property.
That should all happen Sunday, hopefully, probably, maybe… We’ll see… I really want to energize those two new rooms for those AMERICORPS kids before I head for my trailer tomorrow evening. Not to accomplish that would be very disappointing, both for me, and for the kids stumbling around out there in the scary setup that have rigged up now.
It’ll happen! It’s got to.
More fish to fry; more families left to help yet; many more…