“Very Good Men”

That’s what Paul Gaskins called the five men who lost their lives Sunday at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown. 

Paul Gaskins

Paul Gaskins is from Holly Ridge, NC.  He will go home today wondering why he wasn’t the sixth man to lose his life on Sunday.  He will probably wonder that for the rest of his life.  Because, as Gaskins told NBC Connecticut‘s Debra Bogstie on our 11pm news Monday night, he was just 50 feet away from the victims when the place blew up.

Very good men.  Indeed.

Chris Walters was a very good man.  We heard from his widow.  Walters had to go where the work is to support his family.  Three kids.  So he left their suburban St. Louis, MO home for a temporary job in Connecticut.  He was just 48.

Ray Dobratz and Ron Crabb were very good men.  Family men.  Dobratz served on the Old Saybrook Board of Police Commissioners because he was asked.  He coached all kinds of sports because he wanted to.  He was 58.  Crabb served on Colchester’s Finance Board.  He didn’t run again so he could spend more time with his family.  His time was up at the age of 42.

We don’t know much yet about Peter Chepulis of Thomaston and Roy Rushton of Hamilton, Ontario.  But Paul Gaskins called them very good men.

Very good men.  The United Association Local 777 Plumbers and Pipefitters union. 

Very good men, indeed.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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One Response to “Very Good Men”

  1. Sharon Wallace says:

    I was one of those people from Middletown who was glued to the TV and Websites to catch up with what was going on in my town. I didn’t feel the blast where I live, I didn’t hear any noise either. I found out by reading a ‘tickler’ across the T.V. Screen then turned to the Web as well as CNN.

    With all that was being sad and how many ambulances and fire engines that were there, I myself felt very scared. Was anybody there I know? Are they sure it wasn’t a terriost attack? I lived 45 minutes from the Twin Towers and I guess I wasn’t ready for anything like that again.

    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out not to only the families who have lost the men in their lives, but also to the ones that had gotten hurt.

    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the rescue crews that were there as well. I recognized two men from Hunters Ambulance that were interviewed today since they had brought me to the hospital twice after two falls.

    Believe me, I’m not comparing myself to any of the five men who perished or any of the 12 that are still in the hospitals. I would like to shake their hands for doing work that others would shudder at.

    As you say Gerry, “Very Good Men” indeed.

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