Just when the Coronavirus pandemic is translating into an invisible plague with social stigma attached to those who persist in pretending they can beat the odds or that the risk is somehow confined to the elderly or everyone other than themselves, I have been meeting people here who characterize my winter visit as extraordinary. For the second time in recent weeks I have met a chap aligned with the power generation industry. He’s from Pennsylvania where – not surprisingly – the generation of power is not from run-of-the river water (as was my experience) but rather coal fired.
My encounter with Roger was stimulating because his evident skill, grounding and knowledge echo the traits which distinguish those general managers whom I know in the same industry back home. Though he is self-effacing, he clearly understands the complications of running a multi-million dollar business which is topical in the evolution of power supply in modern society. Roger is a straight-shooter but also a man who has incontestably gained advantage from the opportunities of which his career was a part. He and his wife are not saving the cookies for their funeral. Over the better part of the past decade they have wintered in various parts of the nation from the Gulf of Mexico to California – and Arizona is on the immediate horizon.
I consider it no insignificant coincidence that some of the people whom I have met here are associated with the industry of which I was so proud to have been a part during my own career as a country lawyer. Accordingly I mentioned to Roger the driving forces – both historic and current – behind the Brian J. Gallagher Generating Station including Dr. A. A. Metcalfe in 1890, Brian J. Gallagher (since at least the 1970s) and Scott J. Newton (from 2000).
The irony – as I intimated from the outset – is that just when things are getting interesting we are on the cusp of leaving in two days to return to Canada in response to the government of Canada’s Travel Advisory. As so often happens, the confluence of these intriguing encounters gathers speed as our departure is imminent.