Booker Long retires from Associated Electric Cooperative
Booker T. Long of Marston has retired as a yard equipment operator after 16 years at Associated Electric Cooperative's New Madrid Power Plant.
Long started at the plant in 1999 as a general utility first period. He worked in the bunker room for five years, then advanced to auxiliary operator, working in the basement as the eyes and ears of the control room operator in charge of an electric generating unit.
Long then bid into the coal yard and used bulldozers, front-end loaders and dump trucks to move coal to different areas of the plant to ensure reliable electricity for the six regional and 51 local electric cooperatives that receive power from Associated Electric.
“I have really loved working here, and it’s been the best paying job and to me the easiest job. They give you a job assignment, and you go out and do it and don’t have someone looking over your shoulder,” said Long, who found driving the heavy equipment to be just plain fun. “The work itself was what I loved best."
"There were no boring times,” he added. The only downside was weather. Whether that meant hot, dry, rain, wind, cold or blizzard, Long and his co-workers moved coal. An equipment upgrade during his tenure made that work easier and faster, with fewer breakdowns.
When not working nights at the plant, Long baked cobbler pies for sale, took care of rental property and ran a lawn service company. Now, in retirement, he plans to do more of the same, with more time for travels to visit family and to enjoy his two sons, daughter and eight grandchildren, ages 1 to 13.
After 44 years of working, Booker is ready for retirement. “I’m retiring to make way for someone else because it’s a good job to have,” he said.
Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma that serve more than 875,000 customers. Associated’s mission is to provide an economical and reliable power supply and support services to its members, including the “Take Control & Save” energy efficiency program, www.TakeControlAndSave.coop. Associated is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
An equal opportunity employer and provider/disability/veteran