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Last stand

Serviceman-lineman hangs up wreaths, hat

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POLSON — A bringer of light and full of energy, Jim Boyer hung the last wreath of his career on Nov. 29.

The Mission Valley Power serviceman lineman has faithfully hung 20 wreaths downtown each holiday season for nearly 16 years, taking over after Charlie Hart retired.

“It’s been fun, but I won’t miss the backaches,” said Boyer, who’s currently preparing for a big switch. Boyer is amped-up to retire Dec. 31 after almost three decades working as a serviceman-lineman with the company.

“I appreciate being able to serve the customers for Mission Valley Power for the 27 years I’ve been employed,” Boyer said.

When he’s not plugging in wreaths, Boyer is the one who takes service calls daily, “unless we have a storm and then everybody goes on call.”

Customers are often thankful, he said.

“A lot of the older people will come out and ask if you want cookies or coffee,” he said, but added there’s usually no time to visit as crews work to get the power turned back on.

Charlie Pluff, a foreman with MVP, will take over the wreath circuit after Boyer retires. Pluff spends his days trimming trees that are too close to power lines.

“We’re not as popular as the linemen,” Pluff said with a laugh.

Bob Schliep, a journeyman lineman, said Boyer is a “good guy. He’s got a lot of experience.”

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