A Lineman for Life: Steve Harrington

photo of lineman Steve Harrington

Longevity of electric cooperative careers is a hallmark of the business. After almost 35 years as a Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC) lineman, Steve
Harrington continued this admirable tradition and retired in early March.

In Steve’s words: My dad was a lineman for 36 years at Tri-County Electric in Robinson, North Dakota. I grew up with Dad going to work at all hours of the day and through all types of weather conditions. I decided that this career made a lot of sense for me too, so I enrolled in the lineworker school at Bismarck Junior College, and then went to work for Cass County Electric Cooperative in Valley City. We had our three kids there and then moved to Wing when I was hired
by Capital Electric Cooperative.

I spent 21 years working out of the Wing outpost with fellow lineman, Bob Hanson. After the kids were grown, I transferred to the Bismarck headquarters and worked there for the remainder of my career.

Being a lineman was a career I would do all over again. I enjoyed working outside — one day changing out poles and the next digging up an underground fault. There was always something new going on.

Being a lineman for 42 years, you get to see a lot. Once I was driving down the road noticing the heavy frost on the lines. When I turned around to go back, I saw that the poles had all fallen to the ground. It was always rewarding to fix a line and restore power to a home and see the joy on the members’ faces.

The year of the flood was a little different challenge for us linemen. Riding in boats, jumping into homemade wooden boxes to pump the water out and repair the transformers was a unique situation.

One of my proudest accomplishments along the way was to play softball for many years and to be inducted in the North Dakota Softball Hall of Fame in 2013. I have been lucky to play with some great players since I started my softball career in 1976. I still plan to play softball after I’m retired, as well as hunt coyotes, play golf and chase my 11 grandchildren around.

I would like to thank Operations Manager Rick Dressler for all he’s done for me. We have worked together for the past 35 years. I’d also like to thank the employees I’ve worked with over the years. There was always something interesting going on at the co-op.

CEC congratulates Steve on his retirement and thanks him for 35 years of service to the cooperative and its members.

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