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Brad Collins has lineman genes


by Tory Tedder


Brad Collins is a man with a mission. "I have to make sure these young kids


know everything I know before I go," he says tongue-in-cheek with a wink. Collins knows a lot. He's spent 34 years, as of Jan. 22, on the lines like his father and grandfather before him. (You can see Brad's grandfather Fred Chapman, along with his pioneering co-workers, in the January 2012 OEC News on page 10. He is pictured in front of the OEC office on E. Gray St., the Norman headquarters from 1949 through 1974.)


"Tey used to come in from work and


sit around all night talking about it. It was a different time then. Me, I like to do the job and when it's done, I leave it," said Collins.


Chapman passed last January and Collins


found an old hotstick in his attic. "It's pretty neat having the tool he used to do the job I do now."


Collins, a Norman native, came to OEC


straight from high school. "I went from going to class once a week to the college of hard knocks run by Professor Clyde Shatley," jokes Collins. Shatley is a retired OEC district lineman from whom Collins learned most of what he knows.


"It was different back in the day," recalls Brad Collins, from


top to bottom: Dec. 2012 employee portrait; Collins


standing next to his


truck; Collins with an athlete at the 2012 Special Olympic Summer Games in Stillwater, Okla.


12 January 2013


Collins. "You didn't go to college to learn how to be a lineman. You learned on the job. You started at the bottom and worked your way to an apprenticeship and up from there."


Brad Collins isn't sure how close he is to


fullfilling his mission. He is a private man of few words—with a nice smile if you can catch it—but for now he is here telling the young kids what they need to know.


OEC People


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