Find Your Folklife – Shawn Lynch

I work inside Hoover Dam…

…You have the people working in the offices, support staff or engineers, and then the craftspeople out on the floor, the blue-collar or industrial side of it, the trades. My apprenticeship was four years of on-the-job training. They taught us pipefitting, welding, machinist work, and crane operation, things like that. You learned the basics in class, then they took you into the plant to learn how things are done specifically at Hoover Dam.

After 26 years here I can walk through the power plant and see things I made or worked on. I’ll be under one of the Hydro units in some weird spot inspecting something and see where some worker wrote their name and the year.  So, there was someone down there doing that same work fifty years ago, and they left their mark for me to see.

When we drained one of the penstocks to work inside the intake tower, I painted my name there with black tar.  The only people who will ever see it are the ones like us who are working down in the intake towers. I will be part of this place forever, and it will always be a part of me.

Shawn Lynch, Hydroelectric Mechanic Supervisor, Hoover Dam, Boulder City