Birdie Smith Reflects on 35 Years
It has been nearly 35 years since Byron “Birdie” Smith was part of a construction crew remolding OREMC’s headquarters building in Nahunta, when OREMC Construction Superintendent Culbert Johns approached him about working for the co-op.
The rest, as they say, is history. Birdie began his OREMC career working on the right of way crew (ROW) clearing the way for the construction of new power lines and welcoming new consumer-members. He recalls the long days working down in Hilliard with ROW Foreman Ed Brand back when there wasn’t yet a district office there and everyone was based out of Nahunta.
From there, Birdie moved on to a two-man construction crew and learned how to climb poles. He was “really climbing” when he was among the crew sent to Kingstree, South Carolina, to help with the recovery efforts after Hurricane Hugo blew through as a category 4 in 1989. “I was up there for 17 days,” he recalls.
His next step was working a two-man crew with a bucket truck. He was based out of the Kingsland district office for about five years before coming back to work in Nahunta.
As a Journeyman Lineman 1 Birdie has seen the OREMC distribution system grow over the years and continues to work to help build its future. Born and raised in Brunswick, now living in Hickox, Birdie says OREMC has been a good place to work. He enjoys the people he works with, and the pay is good. The best part though, is it is “right here at home.”
General Manager John Middleton congratulates Birdie on his 35 years of service as OREMC's recent Employee Appreciation Day.