Powering Up

Summer never felt quite right when he lived in Wiscasset. The wind carried a hint of year-round winter, and he never wore shorts as a result. Swimming? Out of the question. The weather, combined with the closing of Maine Yankee 17 years ago had chilled Jeff to the bone. Skyrocketing taxes and poverty – plummeting quality of life. Nuclear power plants can make or break the towns they’re in – Maine Yankee had broken Wiscasset.

Moving wouldn’t hurt Jeff – he’d be an outsider, but at least he’d be an employed outsider. A warm outsider. Who gave a fuck? Seventeen years on and off the dole and running cranes and forklifts in the cold was enough. Jeff’s buddy got him hired on a contract at Arkansas Nuclear One at the end of last year. Jeff was glad to go south. Southern hospitality, sweet tea, sweeter girls – Jeff thought he’d thaw out.

His first day was hotter than he had ever known in March. Standing near a truck in the plant, sweating, Jeff heard a creak – just as a steel beam crashed through the ceiling.

He was buried in Oakland Cemetery in Russellville.

nuclear

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