How We Almost Lost Juan
Lanty Wylie 2017

It was cold in Houston, Texas. I arrived via Southwest Airlines from Love Field. The temperature was teetering between freezing and miserable as I waited for Juan to pick me up.

Juan was our technician in Houston. It was his responsibility to keep the Radio Paging system up and running. When he needed help, I would fly down from Dallas and pitch in. We were going to install an antenna and transmission line on the tallest building in Houston.

After picking up some stuff from the local shop, we started looking for a parking space near the building. The light rain had some ice pellets dancing around on the side walk, but that did not deter our project.

The antenna was too long to fit inside the freight elevator, so we had to wait for the building maintenance man to let us on top of the elevator. The elevator is lowered one floor below, the door is opened and we fitted the antenna close to the elevator cables. Juan chose not to take the outside ride with the antenna, but caught another elevator to the top. The maintenance man runs the elevator from a control on top. We final got the antenna to the top floor.

The outside door opened from the top elevator room. We were going to install the mounting brackets first, then comeback to the elevator room for the other stuff.

Juan stepped out on the roof first and hit the ice. He started sliding toward the edge with me hollering, “Juan grab onto something.” Juan grabbed a pipe sticking up through the roof and stopped his slide toward eternity.

We almost lost Juan.

That stopped our project till another day.

Last I heard Juan was back in Puerto Rico.