Watching the New Power House Get Built
I expect to hear water falling when my father sends photos
taken from across the canyon where he raised us kids.
The river is as it’s always been, but now the water’s gone.
How can that be, I worry. What is a river without water?
He writes of newer slower turbines timed to turn in ways
any fish can survive through these next years of construction.
Penstock, channels and after bays. Depths of sediment.
These were words we heard at dinner time when he was boss
of the power camp. A hundred years ago,
before the dam was built, a deep hole was dug
in case of water shortage, or a need to hold some back.
Next time you come home, he writes, we’ll go out and look around.
Once I see the holding pond, I’ll believe rivers can’t run dry.
In case you are still interested: the logistics of building a power house downstream from the dam requires water being diverted to allow for a dry building site. The photo below shows the old power house (circa 1910 or so ?). Once the new power house is built (with the slower turbine, with its wider blades), the old power house will be torn down. Sad face thingy for me. The dispatchers’ office in that power house was the nearest place we could go to for a candy bar. The guys usually had chocolate bars and cough drops stashed in their desks. We could show up with a nickle and buy from them, even though our folks told us not to. We didn’t understand “personal stash” when we were so young.
Here’s a photo of the old power house and the new construction site. *Wah*
Look to the right horizon. See the train cars? That is where my brothers and I learned
to run across the tops of train cars, just in case we ever got cast as robbers
needing to make a fast getaway in some fast action movie.