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It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not stormy but dark, cold and windy. 

They may be sung or unsung, and they are paid for what they do, but the repair people of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) have a tough job.

Around midnight Tuesday, the power lines that feed our house suffered a dramatic failure, the explosive kind — flash, flash, bang, bang, boom. Using a little princess telephone that we keep for such emergencies, we tried to call the REC outage center. No luck. The phone didn’t work. But knowing that sunup would be around 7 a.m., when we could drive around looking for a phone connection, we climbed into bed.

Just about an hour later an REC truck, lit up like a science fiction movie, pulled into our driveway. Stephen put on some clothes and went outside to greet the crew — just one man as it turned out. He told the man how happy we were to see him and asked how he knew that we were out. “Oh, somebody called it in,” he said. “There are about 88 people without power.”

Stephen came back inside, but the repair man — whose name Stephen forgot to ask — spent the next hour or so following the lines through our woods and eventually fixed the problem.

Let us emphasize that the night was cold, windy and dark and hunting through the woods for equipment problems was not easy. But REC’s man pressed on. The lights returned about 3 a.m. and he left.

So, here’s to our hero (and to his colleagues) who not only handle electricity with its perils but do it on nights when everyone would rather be in bed.

Eve and Stephen Brooks


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