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Trent Street -- Life of a Dam Engineer

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S: Trent Street -- Life of a State Design "Dam" Engineer

BC: The Rest of the Story... To be continued.... Happily Ever After!!!

FC: Life of a State Design "Dam" Engineer

1: Life of a State Design "Dam" Engineer From Cotton Fields to NRCS State Design Engineer

2: Published: December 31, 2013 Published by: NRCS Texas State Office Engineering and Design Section Staff, Temple, Texas Edited by: numerous friends and family

3: Trent, In recognition for over 35 years of dedication to the engineering profession with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (and Soil Conservation Service). We have enjoyed working with you throughout the years. Thank you for your service and friendship! You will be dearly missed! Texas NRCS State Office Engineering & Design Section

4: Career Stops at a Glance 1978 - Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 1979 - Agricultural Engineer, Hillsboro Field Office 1980 - Agricultural Engineer, Temple Area Office 1992 - Design Engineer, Temple State Office 1997 to Present - State Design Engineer, Temple State Office

5: Trent was raised on a cotton farm outside of Kress. He attended Kress High School and graduated in 1974. He was a die-hard Longhorn fan his entire life, but he did not have the opportunity to go to Austin, so he attended Texas Tech. Since he was close to home, he was able to help out with farming at home during holidays. He graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1978, and even with that degree from Tech, he still bled Burnt Orange. In July 1979, he began his engineering career with the Soil Conservation Service as an agricultural engineer in the Hillsboro Field Office. While stationed at Hillsboro, he convinced his high school sweetheart, Vicki to marry him during the summer of 1980. Later that year, he was transferred to the Temple Area Office and was placed under the guidance of Hugh Smith. With the assistance of Jerry Holligan (Austin Field Office), Jerry Ince (Temple Field Office), the Temple Area Office provided engineering assistance to 17 field offices. On October 19, 1984, the Street family welcomed the addition of their baby daughter, Tara, who still has her daddy wrapped around her finger. A couple of years later, they welcomed their baby boy, Cody, on September 7, 1986. After approximately 12 years in the Area Office, Trent was promoted to work as an Engineer in the State Office Design Section, where he remained from 1992-1997. After four years of having an “acting” supervisor, Trent stepped up to the plate and applied for the position. After all, he needed someone to fill out his performance appraisals. Instead of anxiously waiting for a new supervisor, he decided to take action and he became the State Design Engineer in 1997. Serving as the State Design Engineer for the past 16 years, he has withstood several reorganizations, budget cuts, turnovers in staff, hiring freezes, working with very limited staff and budgets and also daily banter of which team is best UT or A&M. Unfortunately, for those of us left behind, the last furlough had a lasting effect on Trent. He enjoyed his time off a little too much. Additionally, another opportunity arose. Those two events proved to be irresistible to Trent. Now he is hanging up his State Design Engineer hat with Natural Resources Conservation Service and entering a well-deserved retirement. All his staff and other co-workers have left to say is Gig ‘em, Go Red Raiders, Hook ‘Em Horns, and Happy Trails! And now Scott will give one last rendition of Texas Fight with “BOOM” at the end and follow up with “Turn out the Lights”.

7: You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. - Desmond Tutu

10: Good times with Family!

11: Families fill our lives with happiness and laughter leaving us memories to treasure today and forever after.

16: There is a saying, "A family that eats together stays together." This NRCS family should stay together for a LONG time looking at the groceries consumed!

18: Some stories being told here! Along with some bright ideas.

22: King of the Hill (or dirt mound)?

23: That’s A Pretty Good Bag! I will always remember a story that Trent had told us about his earlier days in the Design Section. Before he was State Design Engineer, he had a corner cubicle in front of the windows. It is a choice spot to be sure. You have plenty of light. You can do your work and also be able to see what the world is up to outside your window. You don’t even have to wonder what the weather is doing. Yes, indeed, a choice spot. Well, as we all do, he put his personal touch on his cubicle by decorating it with things he cared aboutfamily photos, UT memorabilia, and a pheasant that he had bagged during a hunting trip and had stuffed. The perfect spot to place the beautiful ring-necked pheasant was in the corner, next to the windows. There, next to the windows, it proudly stood in plain sight of everyone in the office that came to his cubicle as well as everyone that happened to look up into the windows from the street. One day, the pheasant attracted an onlooker that Trent never imagined. He was concentrating on his designs when, all of a sudden, a large bang resonated from the windows. He about fell out of his seat! Something big had hit the windows. After he recovered from the initial shock from the noise, he got up and looked outside the window. He looked around until he finally looked down at the pavement. There, on the pavement below his window, was a hawk, knocked-out and laying wings spread and chest-up towards the sky. Upon seeing this, Trent realized what had happened. Apparently, the hawk was sitting on a power pole in the alley across the street and saw the delicious-looking pheasant in the window. The hawk decided he was too good to pass up and went into a dive to catch the pheasant. Hawks have excellent eyesight, but apparently not good enough to see there was a window in front of the pheasant. So the hawk wasn’t prepared for pheasant under glass. The hawk hit the window, knocked himself out and fell to the pavement. Trent watched out the window to see the hawk wake up, (probably wondering what the heck hit him in mid-catch), get up and slowly fly away. Thankfully, only his pride and his body were bruised!

26: Engineering Workshop Photos

27: Do you recognize anyone? | Answers on the next page.... | 1991

29: 1987

33: Construction Specification 1 – Mobilization and Demobilization 1.This item of work shall consist of the mobilization and demobilization required for taking canoe trips, fishing trips, tailgate trips, Panhandle trips, and all other trips necessary and incidental in which you need to mobilize or demobilize for retirement activities. Construction Specification 2 – Clearing 1.This item of work shall consist of removal of all trees in the vicinity of residential structures and dwellings, occupied or other, to prevent and or mitigate damage to such structures caused by the falling of said trees by wind, drought, or other biblical event that would damage, harm, or otherwise create an inconvenience to the occupant and prevent the normal enjoyment of retirement activities. Construction Specification 3 – Structure Removal 1.This item of work shall consist of the removal of all sand and concrete used to fill in the existing cement pond located within the work limits. All sand and cement placed in the existing cement pond shall be removed to the concrete bottom of the said cement pond to the greatest extent practicable. Upon removal of all sand and concrete, and upon approval of the Engineer, the cement pond shall be backfilled with clean, swimmable water to provide for extracurricular enjoyment during retirement. Additional payment will not be made for backfilling the cement pond with swimmable water. Construction Specification 63 – Treatment of Rock Surfaces 1.This item of work shall consist of cutting and shaping of rock to construct flower beds, borders, and walkways throughout the subject site. At no time shall cutting and shaping of rock by Harbor Freight or other cheaply made tools that can be purchased with coupons be allowed. Construction Specification 83 – Timber Fabrication and Installation 1.This item of work shall consist of all necessary carpentry and materials necessary to complete, improve, and otherwise enjoy the back deck located on the subject property during retirement. Construction Specification 444 – Retirement Enjoyment 1.This item of work shall consist of all aspects of everyday life that result in the full enjoyment of retirement. Retirement enjoyment shall consist of canoe trips, fishing expeditions, plowing straight rows, UT tailgates, a cold brew, watching sports, relaxing on the back deck, supper club, listening to KOKE FM, and watching the sun come up. All other items not resulting in retirement bliss shall not be allowed. | Engineering Retirement

34: Trent, It has been such a pleasure working with you for so many years. I just realized that you were hired as the State Design Engineer the same year I started working for NRCS; I can honestly say you are one of the main reasons I have enjoyed working for NRCS. Over the years you have become a dear friend to me. I have always enjoyed visiting with you, especially regarding my boys. You always had such good advice for me when I needed it. I will truly miss seeing you around the office. I can honestly say the office will never be the same without you. I wish you and Vicki many years of happiness and enjoyment together. Please don't be a stranger, come and visit us .. ... VERY OFTEN ..... and bring Vicki when you can!!! Sincerely, Stacie Rumfield | Trent, Congratulations on your retirement - I wish you all the best! You've done such an outstanding job for so many years that you've definitely earned it. Along the way, you've made my job so much easier because I always knew things coming out of design were going to be done correctly. Thank you once more for all that you have done. One thing that I will always remember is your ability to work with such a wide range of people. You've consistently earned the respect of everyone you dealt with - whether it was the field, the design staff, or engineers working for an A&E firm. You've even had opportunities to help with major projects in other states. In a recent discussion with Mat Lyons (Virginia SCE), he asked me to extend congratulations on his behalf and once again thank you for your help on the White Oak Run 1 rec repair. The Oak Run project, along with so many others associated with 03, 07, or 08 throughout Texas, will serve important roles for years to come. Talk about a footprint in the sands of time! You will be greatly missed, but again I wish you and Vicki all the best. Hopefully, you will find some time to continue taking fishing trips with Cody, and even add some "bucket" list items. Your friend, JOHN W. MUELLER

35: Big Creek Site Visit I remember the first time I went on a Site visit to Big Creek with Trent and others. He told me “Shon, you might not want to wear those nice shoes and dress khaki where were going.” Words of wisdom Trent tried to impart to me. The next morning I showed up in brand new tennis shoes and blue jeans. Long story short I ruined my new tennis shoes while trying to step over a stream and I ripped my brand new jeans twice crossing through barbed wire fences. My clothes were ripped and so was my pride. Trent tried to warn me and it didn’t really sink in. As we finish up our Site visit to Big Creek. Trent’s final advice was “Shon, the next time we come out here you might want to stay at the office”. Trent, I’ve given it some thought and I’ve come up with a plan. The next time we go out to Big Creek. I’ll bring along a UAV drone and you and I can sit in the truck and watch somebody else step in mud and rip their pants. Just a thought lol P.S. Trent thanks for being such an incredible boss! Kind Regards, Ripped Pants Shon | + | = | Muddy Shoes, Ripped Pants & Hurt Pride

36: Trent, I don’t really know where to start. You’re all I’ve really known as an engineering supervisor since I started work for NRCS in2001. You are an incredible role model for a junior engineer. Thanks for all of your patience, guidance, and common sense wisdom. You set one heck of an example for all of us in the Design Section to follow. Every problem and challenge that presented itself was water off a duck’s back.you never flinched, or let the little things get the better of you. I think I have worried more during my short tenure under your supervision than you have your entire career. I always knew your door was open and I am going to miss that immensely. Whether talking shop about designs or reminiscing about the Panhandle, cotton gins, or cattle I always knew you were there to hear me out. Thank you so much for all you have given me! Good luck in your retirement and all that you do. You’ve set the bar incredibly high..you will be incredibly missed. Shawn Higgins P.S. I’ll always remember. “Let it go Shawn, Let it go!”

37: Dear Trent, I first met you in 1980 when I was a technician in the Bartlett Field Office. Dalhart and I had to stake out a pond and you came from the area office to assist us. I had just started the service and was really green. I then worked with you and Hugh when I worked in the Marlin Field Office. I would see you when we had Area 15 meetings. Those were the good old days. As time went on we crossed paths again in the Design Section. I really appreciate all the support and patience being my supervisor when I was moved around during the reorganization of staffs in 1997. I was real glad that I did not have to transfer out of Temple. Thanks for giving me a position on the staff. Now here it is time for you to retire and I am one year behind you. The years have moved by quickly. I want to take this opportunity to wish you and Vicki all the best as you retire from government work and continue in the private sector. I know you will be successful and enjoy it. Enjoy life and take care of yourself! I will miss having you as my supervisor. A good supervisor is hard to come by. Best Regards and Hook’em, Larry Wachel

38: Going to UT football games with Trent, Scott and other NRCSers. Out of four years of NRCS employment with Trent Street my supervisor, I had the pleasure of attending a UT football game in three of four football seasons. Trent, Vickie and some of us fellow NRCSers would organize, always under Trent’s leadership, and caravan down to the game. One year Shon Owens came with us, Sherry Cosper for a couple of times, Simon Beutler every single time, Scott Hewgley always had to be convinced and talked in to it but he too, almost reluctantly, would join the caravan- come to think about it, every single time, and Catherine Nash too, an Aggie, – no wait a minute – that year the caravan only came by Catherine’s house to pick up her son Justin. Two years I took my wife Jessica and another year my son Sean. And Russell Castro – with that great piece of real estate all locked up, walking distance to the great Darrell Royal Stadium – always there for for food, fun, and friendship. Yes there were dancing girls, men with long beards, and even stranger personalities to contend with; especially after the game, among the swirling mass of the dissipating crowd - but for each of my trips, we drove home every time with a WIN. Even though I attended and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin it was Trent, hands down who was the NRCS expert on game day Longhorn tailgating. Given the power to award it or influence– I would petition the award of an Honorary University of Texas Degree to Trent Street for his faithful enthusiasm and support of the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Longhorn football Team. Hook em Horns Trent! -- Gary Geraci | Trent, It has been a great pleasure working with you. You were the best boss I have ever had. You and Vicki are a lot of fun going to the Longhorn games with. You are like family to me. I knew I could always count on you to help me when needed. And your advice was always appreciated. This place is not going to be the same without you. Hope you come and visit often. I would like to thank you so much for the dedication you have. Thanks for all you have done. Sincerely, Sherry Cosper Design Secretary

39: Dear Trent, I would like to say thank you for your dedication and devotion to service. As a field engineer, I would always know that if I had a question or issue, I could contact you and you would do whatever you could to help me Even if my concern didn’t directly relate to a watershed structure, you would always take the time to either work through my question, or direct me in the proper direction. That is a rare quality in today’s fast pace with sound bite answers, to have someone make the effort and spend the time, as if helping me was the only thing you had to do. (Of course that was far from the reality). Your personality has also been such that I never felt like I was being an imposition. Your background of hard work and common sense has served you well. Your dedication to getting it right has always been your standard procedure. Thanks for all you have done, and best wishes for the next phase of your life. Sincerely, Mark J. Northcut, CE Temple, TX | Trent, Thank you for always listening, providing advice, and being a terrific colleague and friend. I always enjoyed hearing about your Rio Grande rafting adventures! Wishing you and your family the best in your future endeavors. Keep in touch and look forward to seeing you at the annual parties.... food is always involved! Catherine

41: Trent and Vicki, Thank you for always being there to help us celebrate our special moments. The Hrebiks

42: December, 2013 Trent, I don’t really know where to start. I guess starting in the field would be a good place. I remember when we had a big push to do Dam Safety Inspections. All of us in the field were told we had to get the dams in our area inspected with, of course, a very short deadline. I was running all over the Pecos area doing inspections. I came across quite a few unique situations and also problems that I thought were fairly serious. It was always nice to know if I had a situation that I was unsure of that I could always call you for consultation and advice. I remembered earlier in my career when out on site visits with “older” engineers, they sometimes called you to get advice on problems with dams. When I called you, I always thought the problem was a lot more serious. Then I would discuss it with you and you were always so calm, cool and collected. Back then, I didn’t realize how much more that I would eventually learn from you later in my career. Fast forward a few yearsI applied for a Design Section job. I figured the opening was meant for Lee Ann since she was a GS-9 engineer in Design already, but I put in for it anyway. Well, I didn’t get it, but I do remember you thanking me for applying and to try again. A few years later, I was talking to Dennis Medlin, State Conservation Engineer. Throughout my career he had always encouraged me to apply for construction jobs, design jobs, etc. So, when Design jobs became open again I asked him about the job. He told me that you were real good to work with and then he told me about when he picked you to be the State Design Engineer that he wasn’t sure how you would handle the job. He told me that you were a good design engineer, but that you were so young that he wasn’t sure how you would handle the extra responsibility. He told me that he was very impressed how you handled your new responsibilities. So, after that conversation, I finished my application and sent it in. When you called me to tell me I was selected for the job, I was both happy and sad. Happy, because I was going to complete a goal of going to Design to work on larger structures and sad, because I had to leave the fieldwork. I told my friends in Pecos that my plan was to work in the Design Section for about 3 years, learn everything that I needed from the job, and then I was going to get back into the field. I had, at least a few, misguided conceptions about being in the State Office, so I didn’t think I wanted to be here very long. Now, here I am, happy for you on your retirement, but sad to see you go. You have been a very good supervisor, mentor, instructor, leader and friend. I have told you on several occasions that I really appreciate your help and understanding when I had to take care of both my parents through both of their lengthy illnesses and their passing. I will never forget that. When my older brother was being called repeatedly by his supervisor about work during the care and also the planning of our parents funerals, you were always telling me, “Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.” and “Don’t worry about your work, you just concentrate on what you need to do there to take care of your parents.” My brother tried to tell me that he really had a good supervisor. I told him, he just thought he had one. Then, I proceeded to tell him about the encouragement and understanding that you had shown me. I thank you very much for all you did including attending my father’s funeral and calling with condolences for both my parents. It took a great weight off of me to be able to help my parents without worrying about work.

43: Back to my leaving Design Section in 3 years to return to the field: It’s true that was my plan. After all, I enjoyed getting out and working in the field and the Design Section was all office work or so I thought. Well, you opened up and whole new world of design for me. I was somewhat overwhelmed to find out what work was done in the Design Section. It was and still is always different and challenging. I have learned so much from you and everyone else too. I have always admired how we could ask you a question about a structure or some work we did and you could always name the watershed and site name that had that work done on it. I appreciate how you always asked and listened for our input. You always downplayed your role in the work we were doing even though you are a leader who leads, but also does the work. I have enjoyed working with you (and the rest of the team) and nowa few years past the 3 years that I said I’d stay here...I find that there is always something new to learn and changes seem to be the norm so I am not so much in a hurry to return to field office work anymore. I have been blessed through most of my career with good supervisors like you. I hope we will get another good supervisor to fill your spot, but those are pretty large shoes to fill. It’s hard also to lose the vast amount of information and history that you know about this sites and the work that has been done on them. As far as the Design Section goes, you are our last link to that information. We had a lot of people who remembered the history of work from the Design Section when I started here, you, Cliff, Roland, Rick, and even Charles. It’s kind of nerve-racking to think Todd and I are the ones that have the “history” now. Well, life goes on and since you are not really retiring (all the way at least) maybe we will see you now and again and get to work some projects with you again. Thanks for everything! Congratulations and don’t work too much on your new job that you can’t enjoy your retirement!! Take Care, Karen

45: Trent, It has been fun all these years. Wish you and your family all the best and hope you have a great retirement. Sincerely, Tony G. Funderburk, P.E. Agricultural Engineer Natural Resources Conservation Service Central National Technology Support Center 501 W. Felix Street, Bldg. 23 Fort Worth, Texas 76115 OFFICE PHONE (817)509-3289 FAX (817)509-3337 tony.funderburk@ftw.usda.gov The Proudest Member of The Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of '75 | Trent, Always remember : GIG'EM Tony G. Funderburk'75

47: Reception - January 11, 2014

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  • Title: Trent Street -- Life of a Dam Engineer
  • Retirement Book
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  • Published: over 4 years ago