When Dale Turner volunteered to help victims of the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana last August, he had no idea it would hit so close to home.
As Port Engineer with Crescent Towing/Mobile, Dale’s always been the “go to” guy for getting things done. “When we got on the bus there were shipyard workers, managers, senior executives, waitresses, folks from accounting.” he recalled about the Service Day last August when C/TS employees departed from Mobile, Ala. to help their friends and coworkers in the Darrow, La. area. “People you wouldn’t normally imagine doing this type of work. But we were going to help our family.”
Dale’s service group, one of ten that day, was assigned to Jim Denny’s home. “I’ve known Jim for close to 30 years,’ Dale remembered, ‘We worked together and seeing all their hard work and memories ruined was pretty humbling. They built this house and you could even see where Jim’s Dad had written measurements on the studs once we got to tearing out the damage”
They worked all day cutting out sheetrock and insulation, stripping out the bottom floor, hauling out, as Dale put it “bags full of crap.” But that wasn’t enough for Dale. When they returned to Mobile, he was already planning a return trip to the Denny’s. Several, in fact.
“We were able to get some things donated from a hardware guy I know. Shovels, wheelbarrows, hammers, tools and Perry Gagliano picked up a car trailer. The second trip over we had insulation, electrical receptacles and plywood flooring, as well.”
That second trip also included Dale’s 14-year old daughter, Dena. “She really wanted to help so we put her to work pulling nails and washing dirty furniture that had floated off. She and Jim’s wife, Candy, really hit it off.”
Before the next trip to hang insulation and sheet rock, Dale made a couple of phone calls. “I called Bobby Turner at Cooper-Wilkins and A.J. Tritt at Crescent. A.J. had lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. Bobby and his wife, Angie, came and A.J. and Brian Karl from Crescent/NOLA came to help. Four hard workers with two phone calls. We have a lot of great people in this company. They’re the ones who deserve the credit.”
Jim and Candy Denny agree. "My family and I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and hard work put forth in the clean up of our flooded home.’ said Jim. ‘They did not hesitate to jump into that muddy mess. The Cooper Family and their Team have touched our lives. "We are Cooper" has put us on the road to recovery."
"If I ever wondered why my husband has worked for the same company for 25 years,’ added Candy, ‘that question was answered in August of 2016. One thing that becomes crystal clear when you are faced with this kind of devastation is who you can count on. The crew from Cooper came rolling in like a breath of fresh air. A million thanks to everyone on the Cooper team- especially Dale, his crew, and his precious daughter Dena”.
What’s next for Dale? “You know, you work hard to have something so you can, hopefully, relax in your later years and then suddenly it’s gone. But with good people we can make things happen. That’s the way we are. I wish I could be there every day until it’s made right. For now, I’m just waiting on a phone call. Call me and I’ll be there.”
We Are Cooper/T. Smith!