Praise for the annual convention, and further adventures while on the job are the topics of this month's “Porky's Hole Thoughts.”

Rigs of all sorts were seen on the most recent business trip.

One driller's experience has shown that some people are more willing to spend money on their front door than on their water well system!

The recent National Ground Water Exposition in Atlanta was great. Our NGWA Executive Committee planned and presented a great show and workshops in a fine convention center. The keynote speaker, Mr. Richard “Pitch” Picciotto, being the last fireman to survive the World Trade Center collapse and the author of the book, “Last Man Down,” spoke about the explosion, fire and collapse. He spoke on the collapse of both buildings and the escape from being trapped in the debris. I felt it was interesting to everyone.

To eliminate any problem with riding my two-wheel electric scooter in the hotel and convention center like I had experienced in Las Vegas, my employer rented an electric three-wheel scooter. Renting a car would have been less expensive, but I doubt if I could have driven it in the hotel and convention center, either. I met some new driller friends from New Zealand, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Brown with Kiwi Well Drilling and their associates. It was their first attendance to the NGWA Exposition. I hope to have the opportunity to visit them one day.

Bess didn't attend this exposition with me, so I didn't have anyone to keep me in line and be sure I attended all the meetings I was supposed to. Our elder son, Randall (“Randy”) attended the exposition with me, but he's not experienced at managing Porky. Our younger son, Chris (“Piglet”), was working and unable to attend the exposition this year.

Doing my usual thing - running my mouth, meeting and visiting old and new friends - I missed the Master Ground Water Contractors' Luncheon, the thing I look forward to the most each year. Upon being scolded by Kathy, I was informed it was well attended.

I attended the certification subcommittee meeting, which was well attended. Our new chairman, Jason Hatfield, MGWC, presided over the meeting. Roger Renner, MGWC, and Richard Thron, MGWC, and I were thanked for being on the subcommittee. Our terms of service on this subcommittee had expired.

Everyone enjoyed the exposition, but the attendance could have been better. Now let's start making plans for the Las Vegas NGWA Exposition in 2006.

Renting a three-wheel scooter made it easy to get around the convention center. Porky visits with publisher Linda Moffat at National Driller's booth.

Additional Travels

I was able to meet so many drillers and water-system people on my recent trip around the northeastern United States. I saw the start-up of a factory-rebuilt (like new) 20-W Bucyrus Erie (now Buckeye) cable-tool drill. I also saw drills from dilapidated old antique rigs to new modern rigs.

Bess and I encountered snow in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. My new company car managed the snow and ice real well. We saw some beautiful country and met a lot of new and old friends. There always are interesting encounters on my travels.

One driller commented, “People are willing to pay more for the front door to their home than they want to pay for their well system.”

One Saturday, I asked a person at a drilling business if he was a driller. He said, “Yes, but not today.” He thought I wanted a well drilled.

While I was taking a photo of the pump rig of a driller in Pennsylvania, the driller came out of his home to see what was going on. I told him, “I'll bet you are wondering what I'm doing.” Seeming a little grumpy, he said, “You're on my property!” After explaining who I was and what I was doing, he invited us into his home for coffee and conversation.

In Pennsylvania, we met a lady who was a certified driller/pump installer - and water dowser. She has owned and managed the drilling business with her husband for some 20-plus years. I was impressed with their operation.

We saw some very impressive drilling and pump businesses and operations everywhere. Some were new, and some had been in business for a long time - some were second-, third- and fourth-generation drillers. After visiting many businesses, you usually can predict the businesses that will be successful and those that will not.

Most drillers, water supply people and some suppliers prefer not to see a salesperson unless they are having a problem with the salesperson's product or they are in need of one. However, they usually welcome Porky when they have read “Porky's Hole Thoughts” stories in National Driller.