Keeping the electricity flowing


Greg Shaufer’s life is not as thorny as it once was.
For 28 years he worked for the City of Phoenix, Ariz., as a tree trimmer, but much of his work did not involve trees. Instead, he was often transplanting saguaro cactuses to more desirable locations.
It was tricky work, battling their thorns and making sure they thrived in their new location by painting a mark on their south side and orienting the cactus to south in their new location since the saguaro cactus will not grow once transplanted if it does not continue to point in the same direction, according to Shaufer.
He and his wife, Sunny, who works as an Animal Control Officer for the Lebanon Police Department, decided to leave Phoenix and move to Lebanon when Greg Shauffer was just two years shy of earning a retirement check. They had purchased a home here to use as a rental, but Sunny Shaufer liked the Lebanon area so much, especially as a place for her pets, that living in Phoenix was no longer attractive to her.
Greg stayed in Phoenix for a time but missed his wife too much to stay there long enough to earn his retirement. He moved to Lebanon full-time and left the “rat race” of Phoenix behind for good.
He worked part-time for the city of Lebanon before finding full-time work with a golf course in Springfield.
“That drive was just killing me,” Shaufer said.
Fed up with the daily trek, he asked Joe Berkich if there were a job for him with the city.  Shaufer returned to his former vocation of tree trimmer. Now, Shaufer, 56, is working on his seventh year as a tree trimmer in the City of Lebanon’s electric department.
Shaufer’s main goal is to keep Lebanon’s electricity flowing to its homes by keeping trees trimmed and out of about 150-200 miles of power lines.
Shaufer said people are typically thankful for their electricity staying on, especially during ice storms. However, he does run into some resistance when it is time to trim back someone’s favorite trees.
Shaufer is the foreman for the tree trimming crew. He and three others try to keep the power lines free of limbs.

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The Lebanon Daily Record

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