CO-OP PEOPLE
The Cooperative Spirit, At Its Finest
I do: Bluebonnet EC lineman and his bride put fire-stricken community before ceremony

All in a day’s work: Lineman Jeffrey Bolding sweeps his bride, Brittany, off her feet before returning to work to help restore power in a fire-stricken zone.
IMAGE: Sarah Beal, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative

Clad in jeans, a work shirt and scuffed, dirty boots, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative (BEC) Apprentice I Lineman Jeffrey Bolding walked his bride, Brittany, outside the Bastrop County courthouse on September 10. As Brittany’s wedding gown billowed around her, the lineman dipped her for one last kiss, for now, before heading back to work in his crew truck.

This is not the story of a workaholic. This is the story of newlyweds—and a lineman’s dedication.

On this Saturday, Jeffrey was helping restore power to those affected by the nearby Union Chapel fire. The previous weekend, when the Bastrop County Complex fire broke out, the couple had postponed their wedding, scheduled for September 10.

“The wedding didn’t mean much after the fires happened. It wasn’t about us; it was about Bastrop,” Jeffrey, 25, said. “That’s a decision we made as a couple; Brittany knows the job and what comes with it. And I’m grateful for that.”

But then, about 24 hours before what would have been their wedding day, the couple made a decision: It was back on. The 22-year-old Brittany (whose maiden name is Bojczuk) liked the numbers—9-10-11—as an anniversary date, and many of their family members were in town as fire-recovery volunteers. “I sent out emails, I made phone calls, and they all showed up,” she said.

Family and BEC employees involved in the ceremony—including Jeffrey’s brother Danny, also a BEC lineman—were “gung ho,” as Jeffrey put it, about the change in plans. “That day, I told the guy in charge, ‘Hey, I gotta break loose for about 30 minutes to get married,’ ” said Jeffrey, who used his lunch break for the 15-minute ceremony.

Bastrop County Court at Law Judge Benton Eskew (also a family friend) left his volunteer work to wed the couple in front of about 50 friends and family members, including their 16-month-old son, Brody. After “I do,” it was back to work.

“It’s not really what I had expected, but it all fell into place,” said Brittany. “We had a home to come home to, so we didn’t want the focus to be on us. We wanted it to be on Bastrop and the community.”

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Ashley Clary-Carpenter, field editor
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