Thursday, August 4- The show is on the road! This week’s episode focuses on the Louisiana Gas Association’s Pipeline Safety Conference and the value it brings to the industry. This live show attempts to bring back the conference to those not able to attend.
Jim Schauer: [0:23] James, once again, I am excited to be at the Louisiana Gas Association Pipeline Safety Conference 192, 195. Quite honestly, I’ve been coming to this for 15 years, I think it’s been, and I am excited that we’re back at it and in full swing. We probably have 600‑plus people here. So, is this your first time here?
James Cross: [0:48] It is. I’ve always heard about it. You always talked about a lot, and it’s so cool to be live. I hope people are catching everything behind us, those that watch on video.
[1:00] I’ve heard a lot about it. I’ve always heard it was a bigger conference than some of our state‑level conferences, maybe, that we’re used to attending. It reaches a lot more than just Louisiana. That’s what intrigued me, and so when we were picking our live shows this year, this was one that we added to the list pretty quick.
Jim: [1:21] To build on that point, a lot of people think when they hear of the LGA Pipeline Safety Conferences, they think, “Oh, it’s a Louisiana show.” It really is, at the height of it, right before COVID in 2019, 14 or 15 states, people from 14 or 15 states, including California, were coming to this.
[1:39] Again, it covers both 192, 195. In our world, that’s the gospel, so to speak. People have come to it from all over, and it’s great to have everybody back. There are…
James: [1:52] This place is already buzzing.
Jim: [1:52] tons of people right over here.
James: [1:53] It really is. I’m…I don’t want to say surprised, but, again, you think of a state‑level show and it being smaller, a little more quaint. There are a lot of people here, and we’re not really even into the main day. We just barely started.
Jim: [2:07] This is?
James: [2:07] This is a welcome reception. We’re just diving in.
Jim: [2:09] That starts in maybe a few minutes.
James: [2:11] Yeah, it hadn’t even started.
Jim: [2:13] We do have to give a shout‑out to The Tatman Group, David Tatman and his team.
James: [2:16] Friend of the show.
Jim: [2:18] Oh, my gosh. I’ve known David for a dozen years. He and his team, Jamie and the whole team does a wonderful thing.
Jim: [2:27] Yeah, we got all the friends coming by.
James: [2:29] A lot of people coming in. We’re here all week. I’m here through Thursday. You’re here through Friday.
Jim: [2:34] I’m here till Friday. I’m going to help out with EGW. We’re going to do a little joint presentation tomorrow afternoon. Then I’m giving a TRACER presentation on Thursday afternoon, but tomorrow night…
James: [2:46] Yeah, we have a little VIP event going on.
Jim: [2:49] On Bourbon Street?
James: [2:50] Yeah.
Jim: [2:51] We’re else…
James: [2:52] With several friends, partners in the industry. I’ll let you name them. I can’t even name it.
Jim: [2:57] That’s right. They put EGW KIRO test footage tools. A bunch of our friends from the industry are going to be at the Royal Senses on the balcony and a very nice, classy event. Very classy.
Jim: [3:08] Wonderful night. If you didn’t know, we’re in New Orleans, right?
Jim: [3:11] We are.
James: [3:12] Awesome. Again, so many friends. Hey, we’re going to be bringing it back like we always do. Trying to show off what the LGA is doing here in New Orleans this week. Jimmy, it’s good to be live with you.
Jim: [3:25] Brother, it’s good to be back.
James: [3:26] We took a couple of weeks off to get our legs back under.
Jim: [3:29] Sharpen the saw a little bit.
James: [3:31] I hope you can tell by my town. I was able to sneak away to the Islands and…
Jim: [3:37] Saint Thomas.
James: [3:38] Yeah, yeah. It was great.
Jim: [3:39] Oh, man.
James: [3:39] Sharpen the saw, and I’m ready to get back out here and do some good stuff.
Jim: [3:44] We’re going to have fun this week. This is going to be a very good, informative, and very fun week, too.
James: [3:49] All right.
Jim: [3:49] Look, here comes to visual right here.
James: [3:51] Awesome, awesome. We’re going to grab some guests. We’ll be back.
Jim: [3:55] He came by. He said, “He’s not going to be on.” I said, “You’re going to be on.” I said, “Two to three minutes.” Our friend, Wade, thank you for sitting down for a few minutes. I’ve known him for years. He’s known Tammy for decades. Decades. They go back like…
Wade Farm: [4:08] Ames, Iowa.
James: [4:09] Oh.
Wade: [4:10] All the way back to Ames, Iowa.
Jim: [4:11] Never speak of it again.
James: [4:12] I don’t even know what that means. We’ve spent… It feels like the whole year together.
Jim: [4:19] Because we’re at all the shows together. Wait, before you go…
James: [4:21] Oh, sorry.
Jim: [4:22] Can you introduce yourself and your company please.
Wade: [4:23] My name is Wade Farm, vice president of sales for Mainland Control Systems. New tapping and stopping steel cast iron, PVC and PE pipe. One system does them all. Different sizes, different pressures. Bought the new technology, involved with GTI, brought it over from Europe, and CS turns eight this year, so we’re very happy about that.
Jim: [4:48] Good deal. Good deal. What were we talking about before I interrupted you?
Wade: [4:54] We were talking about that we’ve been seeing each other in different show. We are happy that we get to see people. The virtual thing has gotten over. It’s still a major part, but it’s nice to see people.
Jim: [5:07] Just here. It hasn’t even kicked off yet, and you could see all the people behind us. There’s got to be, I’d say five, six hundred, easily milling around through all these exhibit halls and everything.
Wade: [5:17] Enhance up to the LG.
Jim: [5:18] Oh, yes.
Wade: [5:19] Make your body comfortable. You can tell.
James: [5:21] No doubt.
Wade: [5:21] Shake my hand. Can we mark the elbows? Can we salute?
Jim: [5:26] A lot of people messed up. Everybody’s being safe, whatever that looks like. I think it’s awesome.
Wade: [5:32] It’s good to be here.
James: [5:33] Great event.
Jim: [5:34] Your first LGA?
Wade: [5:35] First LGA…
James: [5:37] A newbie.
Wade: [5:37] Maybe. I’ve heard stories.
Wade: [5:39] I’ve heard legends.
James: [5:40] We just talked about it. Where were you in the intro?
Jim: [5:44] I’m sorry. I’m putting eight and four together. I’m coming up with two.
Jim: [5:48] OK, I got it. All right.
Wade: [5:50] Down here with a great distributor grub there. It’s going to be a great thing.
James: [5:54] Coming up.
Jim: [5:55] I’ll say this. We’ll end up with this. I’ll be your Yoda, you guys be my Luke, and away we go.
Wade: [6:01] I’m all good. I just hope I get discovered to seeing this. That’s all I hope.
James: [6:04] You with the green dot.
Wade: [6:05] I’m green. Got it.
Jim: [6:06] Good to see.
Wade: [6:07] I appreciate it.
Jim: [6:09] We’ll be back.
Wade: [6:10] All right, bye‑bye.
Jim: [6:11] All right, we’re back once again. Our new friend Tony has joined us. Tony, please introduce yourself and tell the audience a little bit about yourself, your company, and what you specialize in.
Tony Gamboni: [6:21] My name is Tony Gamboni. I’m the senior director of sales and client engagement for Picaro. We do advanced leak detection and analytics and measurement of the emissions.
Jim: [6:34] OK. Have we ever met before? You look familiar.
Tony: [6:36] Yeah, A lot of companies, I’ve seen in…
James: [6:38] Just give me second. We were in the same circles.
Jim: [6:43] Guys, I’m still in the COVID fog. We haven’t traveled for two years completely, so we’re still picking up the pieces. When’s the last time you were at LGA?
Tony: [6:52] I was at LGA last year.
Jim: [6:54] Oh, you were? OK.
Tony: [6:55] Yes.
Jim: [6:55] The one here?
Tony: [6:56] The one in November.
Jim: [6:58] Oh, the annual meeting?
Tony: [7:00] Yes,
Jim: [7:00] Yeah, yeah. The annual meeting.
Jim: [7:02] That’s a different event, this one being the pipeline safety conference. I missed the annual meeting, but it’s good to be back here in New Orleans.
James: [7:08] My first one.
Jim: [7:09] He’s a newbie. He’s a newbie.
James: [7:12] Any tips?
Jim: [7:13] For you all?
James: [7:14] Me?
Jim: [7:16] Meet people, have fun, get to explore New Orleans a little bit, and do some good stuff. Go to Jackson Square. It’s beautiful to see there.
James: [7:27] I’ve been in New Orleans before.
Jim: [7:28] Oh. OK.
James: [7:28] I went to this company.
Jim: [7:30] Pop around the sessions. The sessions are fantastic, and the 192,195 sessions are outstanding. At the conference, I would pop around the session, definitely.
James: [7:40] Is there anything you’re looking forward to?
Tony: [7:42] Again, there’s a lot of regulations coming out, and so just continuing to hear how they’re evolving, how…
James: [7:48] How it’s going to impact this.
Tony: [7:49] How it’s going to impact the industry. Always finding ways to help all the operators out and help solve some of these problems, especially around the emissions and everything that’s coming out for the abatement for that.
James: [8:01] Absolutely. There are a ton of people here. It’s good to be back live. Tony, nice to meet you.
Tony: [8:07] Nice to meet you.
James: [8:08] Have a good conference.
Tony: [8:09] You, too.
James: [8:10] We’ll be right back.
Jim: [8:12] We are back with our friend, Ray Briars. Ray, welcome to the podcast. As you know, this is so in depth, it’s going to blow everybody’s mind. No, I’m just kidding.
Tony: [8:20] [laughs] No, great.
James: [8:21] This is 30‑minute episode.
Ray Briars: [8:22] Man, I think I had just in time.
Jim: [8:25] Please, introduce yourself. Tell them a little bit about your company and what you folks do and some of your specialties?
Ray: [8:30] Sure. I’m with the Pipe Yard, Inc. We buy and sell pipe. We pull pipelines out of the ground. We basically take all out‑of‑service pipelines, recondition them and then resell them to secondary markets, structural, marine applications.
Jim: [8:44] Is that mostly what they’re used for?
Ray: [8:46] Mostly, yeah. Nothing for pressure applications. It’s all for secondary structural infrastructure, marine piling, docks, pipe power, dredging, boring.
Jim: [8:57] That’s interesting, that doesn’t go to scrap or get whatever, there’s actually usages for it.
Ray: [9:03] Absolutely. If you’re selling for scrap, you’re selling for nothing. We would pay more than scrap because the way we use it. We recycle it and we use it for the market.
Jim: [9:11] For good applications and again, it’s the legacy of our industry keeps going and going and going. How long have you been coming to LGA?
Ray: [9:20] Gosh, we were here, we started coming here about four or five years ago. Then when COVID hit, we dropped off and now we’re picking it back up. Now, this is a big show this year.
James: [9:29] What do you think?
Ray: [9:30] Wow. It’s 600 people or something.
James: [9:31] Really? I haven’t heard yet.
Jim: [9:33] I was guessing.
Ray: [9:35] Not even the exhibitors, just the old guys.
Jim: [9:37] Attendees?
Ray: [9:38] Attendees, yeah. That’s right.
Jim: [9:39] With the exhibitors that’s going to push it over 700. That’s back to the heyday of pre‑COVID right there.
Ray: [9:45] It’s great. You got two halls here with full exhibitors and people are walking around, a lot of people
James: [9:50] Not complaining.
Ray: [9:52] It’s great to see it.
James: [9:53] I did want to say that I love you all’s logo and brand. I don’t know who’s in charge of that, but I like you all’s swag. I saw some hats last time. I’m a hat guy, but I don’t get every hat.
Jim: [10:06] James loves hats.
James: [10:06] I’m really picky about hats. I saw them and they were cool, but I love the logo, I love the work, it’s great.
Ray: [10:11] Thank you. Jessica Burandt in our office does all the marketing stuff. She does…
Jim: [10:15] What’s her name again?
Ray: [10:16] Jessica Burandt. She does a great job.
Jim: [10:19] Shout‑out.
Ray: [10:20] Yeah, great job.
James: [10:20] Kudos.
Ray: [10:21] Hey, thank you, guys.
Jim: [10:22] Absolutely.
Ray: [10:23] Thank y’all, appreciate it.
James: [10:24] Hope you have a good conference. We’ll see you around.
Ray: [10:22] Absolutely. We’re enjoying it.
Jim: [10:24] We’ll be back.
Jim: [10:28] We are back. I can’t tell you how many conferences we’ve seen Wayne in the last three months, back and forth, back and forth. You guys golfed together in Texas.
James: [10:40] We barely survived golf.
Jim: [10:42] Oh, that was in…
Wayne Dennis: [10:43] 106 degrees.
Jim: [10:45] That was a tough day.
James: [10:46] That was a long day.
Jim: [10:48] That was one for the history books. We’ll never speak of that again.
James: [10:52] Never again.
Jim: [10:52] It gives me the shivers just thinking about it. Wayne, please introduce yourself to the group and tell them what you do.
Wayne: [10:56] All right, name is Wayne Dennis, I’m with the Mueller Company. I’m out of the Dallas area but represent the company out of Decatur, Illinois. I am the regional account manager for the Southwest Region of the US.
Jim: [11:12] That was a mouthful.
James: [11:14] Whoa. What do you really do?
Jim: [11:16] Yeah.
Wayne: [11:17] I try to play as much golf as possible.
Jim: [11:19] That’s honest right there.
Wayne: [11:21] Actually, I wish I did. I’ll be retiring the end of this year. What I do is I manage the sales for the region. I help in the training for all our products throughout the region. The rest is just relationship selling. That’s what I do.
James: [11:39] Very nice. It sounds familiar.
Jim: [11:41] It does sound familiar. It’s our industry…
Wayne: [11:43] It really is.
Jim: [11:44] right there. That’s what our industry’s about.
James: [11:46] Wayne, have you been involved with the LGA for a while?
Wayne: [11:49] I originally was with the LGA back in 1995 with another company, the Elster Perfection Corporation, American Meter. I got out of that industry, which was gas distribution back then, in 05 and then came back about five years ago.
[12:10] In the interim, I was in the oil patch of oil and gas production.
Jim: [12:15] Very nice. Yeah, very nice.
James: [12:17] Places buzzing. We’re excited to be back. We’ll probably see this guy in a week or something, I don’t know. It’s nice to be back live.
Jim: [12:29] It is.
James: [12:29] Even if we just see each other on a monthly basis.
James: [12:31] Earlier, we had somebody on, and I’ve seen that person three times this year, and I don’t think I saw three people the last two years.
Jim: [12:42] People are starting to get back to… It’s nice. It’s almost a comforting feeling because this is our family.
Wayne: [12:49] That’s right. It really is.
Jim: [12:50] The industry is part of our family. It is our family.
James: [12:52] No doubt.
Jim: [12:53] Listen, Wayne, thank you, brother.
Wayne: [12:54] Good to see guys.
Jim: [12:55] I don’t believe he’s going to retire at the end.
James: [12:57] I think he meant from golf.
Wayne: [12:59] Maybe I should retire from golf. Is that what you’re saying?
James: [13:05] No way. All right, we’ll be back. Thank you.
Wayne: [13:08] Me too.
Jim: [13:08] Let’s get back on track, shall we, James? We barely got out of the seat when our friend Cole came walking by, and goes…
James: [13:15] He said, “I know you guys.”
Cole Vanderlick: [13:16] That’s right.
Jim: [13:17] We know you, and I’m like, “What do we see?”
James: [13:18] First of all, before we get into your background, how do you know us?
Cole: [13:22] I saw you all on the social media doing this, and we met at the Global Excavation Safety Conference in Phoenix. They were all allies and advocates for damage prevention. Right?
James: [13:33] For sure, Jimmy, you did get the word out.
Jim: [13:34] Our buddy, MG, was out there at the time.
Cole: [13:36] That’s right. MG and I have become good friends in Oklahoma, me and Louisiana, but awesome dude.
Jim: [13:44] Continue a little bit about that. Give us your name and tell me what you do with Louisiana 811 and your role and everything that you have service that.
Cole: [13:51] My pleasure, sir. My name is Cole Vanderlick with Louisiana 811. I’m the damage prevention manager. I travel throughout the states, giving presentations on Louisiana State laws, safe excavation practices, how to use the 811 system. Everything like that, public awareness.
Jim: [14:09] No, keep going.
James: [14:10] I feel like you might know Roger Cox.
Cole: [14:12] Oh man, don’t get us started. Roger’s the man.
James: [14:20] You say his name three times.
Cole: [14:21] They do an awesome magazine hall in the conference. Roger’s take care of us and they do their job.
James: [14:28] All our friends over there, Roger’s great dude. So, we’re here at LGA. You’ve been here before?
Cole: [14:34] Yes, sir. I’ve only been with Louisiana 811 for two years but in the industry for a few years longer than that. But, we’re three people in the utility and construction industry. So, it’s been fun. I’ve got a lot to learn. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from people.
James: [14:53] I have been in the industry for six years. Jimmy, how many years for you?
Jim: [14:59] 21 years.
James: [15:00] All right, so old‑timer, feels like. Probably somebody will laugh at that as I said old‑timer.
Jim: [15:06] I’m the young guy.
James: [15:07] Some guy is 40 years, in back there. I’m six years in, I know exactly what you’re talking about. It probably feels like a little bit of imposter syndrome and it feels like you don’t know sometimes anything or you just know a little bit part of it.
[15:23] I’ll tell you what. Just being around people listening, you start to ask question together. It makes more and more sense every single year. Hang in there, man. I remember two to three years going, I don’t know. I’m not really sure what I’m doing.
Jim: [15:41] What is this industry about? It’s a very unique industry…
James: [15:44] I know it’s great.
Jim: [15:45] but I love it.
Cole: [15:46] Everyone loves to help each other in this industry.
James: [15:48] Absolutely.
Jim: [15:48] That is true.
Cole: [15:49] Wants to teach each other, and a lot of excellent nice people, that’s for sure, who want to help.
James: [15:55] Cole, we always say you’ve been in damage prevention so I’ll hit home with you, but our vision is to make the world a safer place to work.
Jim: [16:01] It is.
James: [16:02] And we believe damage prevention is key to that, right?
Jim: [16:06] We do.
James: [16:06] In order to do that, we’d rather vent it all. Right?
Cole: [16:09] Absolutely.
James: [16:10] Thank you for everything you do.
Cole: [16:12] Thank you all for what you all do.
James: [16:13] We appreciate you jumping on board with us.
Jim: [16:14] Thanks brother.
Cole: [16:15] My pleasure.
Jim: [16:16] We appreciate you.
Cole: [16:16] Thank you all for what you all do. It was an honor to meet you all.
Jim: [16:18] Absolutely. Look for Cole mark on the road ‑‑ keeping us safe by teaching us and educating us.
Cole: [16:23] That’s right.
Jim: [16:24] Good work, brother.
Cole: [16:24] Know what’s below. Call us or click 811 before you dig.
James: [16:27] You heard him. Oh man, and then he bailed out.
Jim: [16:30] He’s gone.
James: [16:31] Whoa, he’s out.
Jim: [16:31] It was brilliant idea. We are back with our friend, Randall Rogers. We were just talking about… Randall and I have traveled together…not together, but we traveled the same circuit for, let’s just say 15 years, give or take.
Randall Rodgers: [16:45] That’ll be fair. That’s good.
Jim: [16:45] Pretty fair.
Randall: [16:46] Absolutely.
Jim: [16:46] And the one thing that we talk about at conference is batch. When you have a lanyard, sure as anything, it gets flipped around. We were some place where they put the name on both sides… so when you think of the next round, you had it. Where were we?
Randall: [17:00] I want to say it was Mango. It may be like those orchards. I think it might have been the one beforehand. It was one of those two where we’re together and it became an all‑moment, and that’s brilliant.
[17:14] Now I tell every organization and I asked the people who did it. I said, “How do you do that?” and they said, “We hit a button that says print both sides.”
Jim: [17:29] Is this Wade…
Randall: [17:31] They print both sides. You know there’s a laser printer here.
James: [17:34] They probably did it by accident the first time. Printed on the back of their leg…
Jim: [17:38] They probably did.
James: [17:40] Somebody went, “Wow, that actually works.”
Randall: [17:44] It was, and it was fun. This is sort of a bitter moment for me.
Jim: [17:50] Why?
Randall: [17:51] Well, Danny Nichols.
James: [17:53] Oh geez, yeah.
Randall: [17:54] He was a dear close friend of mine. Danny and I’ve been doing this show ever almost from the beginning. Yep. Now, a lot of people don’t know is that, one, I’m a beer drinker. Two is that Danny and I always went every year to Danny’s here in New Orleans and drank beer and ate oysters…
James: [18:16] Oh, really?
Randall: [18:17] and played golf. We’ve talked every week and for him to pass away…
Jim: [18:24] So shocking.
James: [18:25] It’s rough.
Jim: [18:25] So sudden.
James: [18:26] We just saw him in Texas.
Jim: [18:28] Joe, Danny and I were neighbors when I used to live in Katy Texas. ,
Randall: [18:32] Oh, is that right?
Jim: [18:32] Yeah.
Randall: [18:33] Cool.
Jim: [18:34] I mean, since I moved away, I haven’t seen him. I’ve saw him at TGA. That was a month ago.
James: [18:40] We just saw him at TGA. In New Bronx?
Jim: [18:39] Yeah.
Randall: [18:40] We were on the same team in New Bronx. It was 106 degrees, and. Danny and I said to each other, “What are we thinking.” I said, “Well, it might be cooler in New Orleans,” as a joke.
[18:53] Well, guess what? It’s cooler here than it is…
James: [18:56] A little less.
Randall: [18:58] in New Bronxville. So, to be able to speak a little bit about him on your podcast, and the dude is…
Jim: [19:06] He was a rock star.
Randall: [19:07] 59 years old. We all know that’s way too young.
James: [19:10] Way too young.
Randall: [19:12] He was great for Louisiana Gas. He was great for the industry.
Jim: [19:16] Energy transfer….
James: [19:17] CGD.
Randall: [19:17] Ooh, yeah. Great…
James: [19:19] So many folks.
Randall: [19:19] number one. I’ll never forget that, the family. He was all solid with the kids. That was pretty cool.
[19:26] But, to sit here now with you guys, and because we all know Danny, and what he brings to the organization, we’ll honor him in some way.
Jim: [19:36] You know what? That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to keep honoring Danny’s.
Randall: [19:41] He’s supposed to be here. I’m supposed to be leaving this podcast and going to Danny’s. Doesn’t mean I’m not‑‑I don’t think I could do it, no way. Because, the stories he told. All good here, and everybody sort of, grabbed your show.
James: [20:02] That’s good man.
Randall: [20:04] Though we think about this. Man, six‑hundred‑and‑some people here.
Jim: [20:08] Yeah, which is wonderful.
Randall: [20:08] Is that not cool?
Jim: [20:10] Hey, Danny’s right here smiling at us right now.
Randall: [20:13] He would be sitting right here going [slaps hand] .
James: [20:15] Absolutely.
Randall: [20:16] We were hoping maybe. Some people maybe went home. I think we went up having 650.
James: [20:24] We’ve been doing a lot of shows this year.
Randall: [20:26] It’s good.
James: [20:27] Very respectable number. I’m very pleased with it, absolutely.
Randall: [20:31] In Mango, that was a good show. This is all good. In two rooms for the exhibitors.
Jim: [20:38] Absolutely. That’s a nice sign. That’s a good sign.
Randall: [20:43] You want to be a positive influence. You want to be a good dude for the industry. You want to represent the industry in promoting it, and that’s where you’re supposed to be, and care attest. We have a plant here, so we have a little bit more motive. We employ a hundred and fifty people here in the state of Louisiana.
Jim: [21:01] That’s great.
Randall: [21:04] We got to sort of do these things. Not sort of, we have to do it. We have to do it.
James: [21:09] This is what we do.
Randall: [21:11] Made to see everybody here. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.
James: [21:14] Oh, yeah.
Jim: [21:15] Tomorrow and Wednesday are going to be…
James: [21:16] Tomorrow night.
Jim: [21:17] Cool event.
Randall: [21:17] Yeah. Cool event tomorrow. Co‑sponsors. That’ll be cool there. I guess I don’t know any illegalities. I don’t want to say where the hotels at because you might have to pay for using their name. I don’t know.
James: [21:31] I don’t know. Free sponsors.
Jim: [21:34] What do you say? We’re going to be on Bourbon Street tomorrow night.
Randall: [21:36] We’re going to be on Bourbon Street tomorrow night, and it will be a lot of fun. You guys are great.
Jim: [21:41] You’re great, brother.
Randall: [21:42] You guys are awesome. You promote the industry. That’s what we want, a positive influence.
Jim: [21:48] That’s what we try to do. The brainchild right here, this guy on the back of the napkin, told me he had an idea, and I’m like, “All right, let’s go with it.”
Randall: [21:59] How many things are done on a napkin? There’s great things that…
Jim: [22:06] And then it goes beyond that, to the people over there, and over there, and over there, and all the people behind the scenes that make this work.
Randall: [22:14] In the industry, and what you guys do here is awesome. It’s a lot of fun, and you make it enjoyable to come. Sometimes, the Grind shows, the trade shows.
Jim: [22:23] Oh, yeah.
James: [22:25] This is a fun one.
Randall: [22:26] You see, this is my favorite. Obviously, I have more emotional ties to it than other ones, but this one in Louisiana, and then what it does… I tell you, to see all the smiling faces. I’ll get out of here really quickly, but someone asked me the other day, what’s the best of all the shows since COVID? Smiles.
Jim: [22:54] Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Randall: [22:56] Selling stuff. It smiles. Look around.
James: [22:58] People are happy.
Jim: [23:01] This industry buys through reputation, through ethics, through friends, through friendships, and it really does. Randall, thank you for joining us.
Randall: [23:09] John and gentlemen, thanks for having me.
James: [23:10] Hey, thanks for sharing your heart with us today regarding Danny.
Randall: [23:15] Oh yeah, that’s true.
Jim: [23:15] And again, special memories of Danny Nichols there.
Randall: [23:19] And maybe someone else has it.
James: [23:21] Everybody has it.
Jim: [23:21] Yeah, I tell you we’re back. Freddie comes walking by. We see Freddie. We embrace, hug. We’ve known each other for years and we haven’t seen each other a lot over COVID, and just seeing you back. Freddy Sloan, please tell them who you’re with and what you do.
Freddie Sloan: [23:39] I would [inaudible] . What we do we publish one call magazine in nine states and we do damage prevention awareness summits in eight states. We get to travel a lot, but we’ve seen everything on the back burner for the last couple of years. It’s good to see folks out interact out again. We’re really social beings. We might not realize we are.
Jim: [23:59] Oh, Freddie is and Roger Cox is.
Freddie: [24:02] And Roger Cox is, and so we need to interact. We need to interact and we need to keep seeing the value of things like this. Get together and solving problems. You got to work towards a solution and get together like the issue folks meeting, training, and discussions. That’s how you come to a conclusion.
Jim: [24:23] Exactly, and the cross collaboration. You want to call it cross‑pollination of ideas because when people are here, the walls come down and they start talking about issues and ways to be better and ways to make things work a little bit easier, safer, and what some good safety best practices, etc.
[24:42] That’s some of the benefits that we see here. Those sessions are unbelievable for that.
Freddie: [24:48] They make a difference. Roger and I go back 41 years. When I came on board…
Jim: [24:52] So you started when you were five?
Freddie: [24:54] Yeah, I was 5 and he was 12.
James: [24:57] The best old‑man jokers.
Freddie: [24:59] When we started, he was talking one day, and the only thing I’ve ever had to do with anything like this, I had little dozer business for a while. I knew I needed to call before I did. One day we were talking, and he used the word stakeholder and I kept hearing him say it. I was talking later and I said stockholder. He said, “No, not a stockholder, stakeholder.”
[25:17] He said, “Tell you what I want you to do. You should think about that a while. Then, you tell me what you think that means.” I thought about it. I hate to fly. We had to fly to New Mexico. I was terrified because I don’t know the pilot. I’m not in control. I was nervous. I was nervous going over. I was nervous going back every time I get on the plane in the same way.
[25:37] You know what? Every night when I go to bed, I don’t think about a gas line. I don’t think about a pipeline, I don’t think about things like that, because somebody is making sure that all that’s taken care of…
Jim: [25:49] And safe.
Freddie: [25:50] And safe. I am the stakeholder and they’ve got my best interest in mind.
James: [25:54] This guy told this story before.
Jim: [25:57] Freddie is second to no one in telling stories.
Freddie: [26:02] I love Freddie.
James: [26:05] I met Freddie in Biloxi about three years ago, right before COVID at an accident. He told me that story, I’m pretty sure.
Freddie: [26:18] Probably.
James: [26:18] I’ve heard it somewhere. I think it was that day. I’m not him, man. He’s one of the nicest guys I met.
Jim: [26:23] He’s a supper nice guy.
Freddie: [26:25] He doesn’t know me very well.
James: [26:26] I will say this, that we’ve now said Roger’s name twice fully. If he’s like “Beetlejuice,” he’s about to show off.
Jim: [26:33] The thing with that, it just goes against the network of our industry, how everything’s interconnected.
Freddie: [26:38] It is.
Jim: [26:39] One thing goes to another, goes to another, goes to another, triangles around and back.
Freddie: [26:43] Everybody’s depending on each other, from the guy that’s digging a little bitty hole in his yard to the guy that’s sitting on a trencher trenching to the guy that’s bore into the guy that’s burying a 30‑inch gasoline line.
[26:54] All these things and the engineers. It’s all together. It’s all one package. None is less important than the other. You got to do their job. They got to have the same man shit. We’re going to do this right. Make sure it’s safe so that people are safe. That’s the whole deal.
James: [27:08] That’s the end of our commercial today with Freddie.
Freddie: [27:11] At work. Do I get a cheque to win?
Jim: [27:15] Thank you, brother.
James: [27:16] Thanks Freddie. Thanks for joining us.
Freddie: [27:13] Thank you so much.
James: [27:15] We’ll be right back.
Jim: [27:20] We’re winding down the night.
James: [27:22] We were about to close the whole show then.
Jim: [27:24] It seems the people are running. They’re ready to go to Bourbon Street and everything. All of a sudden, out of the corner of our eye, James goes, “His beard is really on point.”
James: [27:33] On point.
Jim: [27:33] On point” is what you said or variation of that. I looked around like, “That’s Brandon from GROEBNER,” and he comes. All right. We haven’t seen each other in…I don’t know how long. It’s been a year, maybe.
Brandon Meshell: [27:43] A little bit.
Jim: [27:44] It has been…
James: [27:45] No, no.
Jim: [27:45] Brandon, introduce yourself please. Tell them what you do with GROEBNER, please.
Brandon: [27:49] I am Brandon Meshell with GROEBNER. I cover our East Texas, Louisiana, and Southern Mississippi territory.
James: [27:57] I’m out of Decatur, Texas. Would I be in your territory? Is that considered East Texas? What’s your line? Give me your line.
Jim: [28:05] Just outside of the Metroplex.
James: [28:06] Where do you draw the line?
Brandon: [28:08] About the furthest west I go is Tyler, so you fall a little bit outside of that.
Jim: [28:14] We were close.
Jim: [28:15] You’re a second runner‑up.
James: [28:17] On second thought…No, I’m just kidding. Have you been to the LGA before?
Brandon: [28:21] I have, yes.
James: [28:22] This is my first time.
Jim: [28:24] He’s a newbie with us.
James: [28:26] First time.
Jim: [28:26] I’m bringing him along. As I say, he’s my Luke. I’m his Yoda.
Jim: [28:31] We’re taking him right along.
Brandon: [28:32] Awesome.
Jim: [28:33] We’ve known each other off and on for years now, and it’s great to see you. Your wife is here, too, and she’s actually filming us being filmed.
Brandon: [28:41] That’s right.
Jim: [28:41] It’s fantastic.
James: [28:41] I don’t know where we’re going to get more famous.
Jim: [28:43] I’d think over that one.
Jim: [28:45] She’s probably going to put it on one of those…
James: [28:47] She probably has more followers than we do.
Jim: [28:48] Yeah, we have four.
Brandon: [28:49] [laughs]
Jim: [28:50] Wait, five.
Brandon: [28:50] Five.
James: [28:52] After this one, yep.
Jim: [28:53] Are you excited to be back here at LGA?
Brandon: [28:55] I am, of course.
James: [28:56] Very good show so far.
Brandon: [28:58] first time back since the pandemic.
Jim: [29:01] It’s good to be back.
James: [29:03] A lot of folks here today.
Jim: [29:01] We’re going to have to get Ryan on, too. I saw Ryan Ellis walking around.
Brandon: [29:05] He’s creeping around here somewhere.
Jim: [29:06] Oh, he wants to be on.
James: [29:08] Very accurate description.
Jim: [29:11] Good seeing you, brother.
James: [29:12] Brandon, nice to meet you. Appreciate you coming on.
Jim: [29:14] Keep up the good work with the beard. Mine, I’ve been growing mine for 10 years. Am I there yet or not?
Brandon: [29:19] You’re getting there. You’re getting there.
Jim: [29:21] All right, we’ll see you.
James: [29:22] We’ll be back.
Jim: [29:24] We’re here, and again, we are being recorded while we’re being recorded.
James: [29:28] I’ll tell you what, paparazzi these days.
Jim: [29:30] Coby was over there. We were yelling for him, and he’s like, “I have to talk to at least 400 more people before I can come over.” This gentleman talks to everybody.
James: [29:40] That’s good.
Coby Camardelle: [29:41] That’s right. How you doing today?
Jim: [29:42] I’m doing good, man. Would you introduce yourself, please, and tell them what you do?
Coby: [29:46] My name is Coby Camardelle with GRIDSource. We do underground construction for Atmos Energy, CenterPoint. Anything to do with underground construction and utilities on the natural gas side, that’s what we do.
Jim: [30:01] You do it well, and you’ve been in the industry for a long time.
James: [30:03] Also a client.
Jim: [30:04] Oh yes, he is a client.
Coby: [30:06] Also a client, that’s correct.
James: [30:07] I played golf with Coby in Galveston.
Coby: [30:10] That’s right.
James: [30:11] We were at Moody Gardens. It was the first time I met Coby.
Coby: [30:15] You got a good…
James: [30:16] That was right before the pandemic.
Coby: [30:15] That’s right. Then everybody…
James: [30:17] He played golf. I played golf around him.
Coby: [30:20] [laughs]
Jim: [30:20] Is that right?
James: [30:22] took two of my putts.
Coby: [30:23] There were two of them.
Jim: [30:23] Is that when Nick Temple was there, too? Was it Nick Temple?
James: [30:28] Yeah. He was on our team, too.
Coby: [30:31] Two of the best putts, by the way, I got to tell you.
James: [30:31] I remember them.
Coby: [30:31] Oh yeah.
Jim: [30:33] Are you still on the board of directors here?
Coby: [30:35] I’m on the committee for Education and Training and the Scholarship Committee.
Jim: [30:40] Good, so you’re very well involved with the…
James: [30:43] Active…
Jim: [30:43] Active, yes.
Coby: [30:44] Absolutely.
James: [30:44] This is my first time to this event.
Coby: [30:47] Wow.
James: [30:47] Give me a pointer. Tell me something to do.
Jim: [30:50] Not about the town but in the event.
James: [30:52] Yeah, I’ve been to New Orleans before.
Coby: [30:54] The one thing I enjoy about it is this typically brings a lot of people in the industry to this event. People from all over like to come here because they like New Orleans. To me, it’s about mingling, having a good time, talking to people, and brainstorming about new ideas.
Jim: [31:10] Yeah, how to be better.
Coby: [31:11] How to be better. Even our competition, we all get along. We’re all friends, and we want to be better at what we do. We want to hire the best people. If you know any CDL Drivers, we’re looking for them as well. Anyway…
James: [31:25] [laughs] Now hiring.
Jim: [31:26] CDL drivers, right here.
Coby: [31:28] People that care about the industry, that’s what we look for.
Jim: [31:31] That’s what this is about.
Coby: [31:32] That’s what I love about this industry. On the natural gas side, for what we do, typically people really, really care. They do, and you can tell with the relationships.
Jim: [31:42] They want to give ideas to make people better and safer.
Coby: [31:46] Absolutely.
James: [31:46] You’re like the 10th person to say that to…
Jim: [31:50] It’s the truth, and the more we can shout it from the mountaintops, it’s important to realize how much people care about everything, people…
Coby: [31:59] It’s about safety. I’ll tell you what, to see everybody really get along, that’s what it’s about. When it’s the competition, most people’ll say, “Hey, how you doing?” Nobody’s a stranger here, and I think that that’s important. That’s what I love about LGA.
James: [32:13] Yeah man.
Jim: [32:14] Thank you, brother.
Coby: [32:15] All right, man. Thank y’all.
James: [32:18] Good to see you, Coby.
Coby: [32:18] Take care.
James: [32:18] We’ll be back.
Jim: [32:18] We’ll be back.
Coby: [32:18] All righty.
Jim: [32:19] James, I think we’re going to…
James: [32:23] We’ve got to shut this place down.
Jim: [32:25] James, it’s the end of day one. We are going to put a fork in it, not for the whole evening but for this. We need to move on.
James: [32:32] We do.
Jim: [32:32] We need to do some networking. People are migrating out. They’re going down.
James: [32:38] People are about to make some bad decisions, but this is the town for it.
Jim: [32:41] We are going to make good decisions.
James: [32:42] We are. We always do.
Jim: [32:43] We do.
James: [32:44] This is a great town. Love New Orleans. Tonight is shutting down. We had a lot of people pour through tonight, I’m happy to see.
[32:56] The sentiment from most people was number one, it’s great to be back, we heard everywhere. Just how awesome this organization is, this association and this event, in particular.
Jim: [33:13] It’s the full gamut. When you intertwine safety and best practices and regulations and rules, and 192 and 195. You bring in a very robust week where you can get so much out of it. It feels like you’ve spent four weeks here in four days is what it is.
James: [33:33] I’m excited for the next three days. We’re going to bring this show back tomorrow at the reception as well.
Jim: [33:40] I think so.
James: [33:41] We’ll see how the week goes. Some long events. We haven’t had this type of opportunity yet with the live shows. We’re going to play it by ear. Let’s just say that.
Jim: [33:52] We’ll try to stretch it.
James: [33:55] We’ll be back somewhere at some point.
Jim: [33:56] You’ll see all of that and we might have some good things planned. Until tomorrow, James, let’s not do to…whatever we do in Bourbon Street we’re going to remain calm tonight, OK?
James: [34:10] Remain calm. All right. We’ll see you tomorrow.
Jim: [34:13] You all stay safe. Take care.
Transcription by WatchingWords