April 28th, 2023
Have you ever wondered about the everyday life of linework? Maybe you’re an eager high school student ready to embark on the journey of becoming a lineman or perhaps you just want to be an informed citizen and show better appreciation to those who keep your power on. Either way, we’ve compiled a list of must-see movies, tv shows, and books all centered around linework for you to get your fix.
“Life on the Line” is a 2015 action/drama film starring award-winning actor John Travolta that follows the hardworking men who put their lives on the line to keep the electric grid running. In this film, Beau (John Travolta) is devoted to taking care of his late brother’s daughter Bailey (Kate Bosworth) while leading a legion of linemen against a deadly storm in order to protect their community.1
“Slim” is a 1937 film adapted from the classic novel written by William Wister Haines that features a veteran lineman, Red Blayd, who takes a young farmer, Farmboy Slim, under his wing as he gets the chance to become a high wire lineworker.2
“Crashing Through Danger” is a 1938 romantic comedy drama film featuring three linemen, Torchy, Slim, and Eddie who are constantly reprimanded for their ‘happy-go-lucky’ behavior by their supervisor, ‘Pop’. When ‘Pop’ is killed due to Torchy’s negligence on the job, the three move in Pop’s young daughter, Ann, and complications ensue.3
The “Storm Soldiers” films are tributes to the men and women that put their lives on the line to build and maintain the power grid that supplies the world with electricity daily. They cover real life linemen and their journeys through storm, danger, and everyday life on the line.4
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“The American Lineman”, written by Alan Drew, tells the history of linework from the first lines ever built to modern day. It is written to capture the importance and rich traditions of this important trade.5
“Slim”, as mentioned above, was written by William Wister Haines and is one of the most iconic books of the trade. The classic novel follows veteran lineman Red and his new apprentice Slim during their adventures as high wire lineworkers.
“High Tensions” is another novel written by Mr. Haines that follows Jig, Beckett and Shelly as they work on a big electric railroad job. The entire novel is written in hot wire jargon, so it is sure to entertain!6
“Short Stories about Power Linemen, a Dying Breed” is a memoir written by William H. Arnold Jr. and focuses on his love for his job as a lineman. He shares stories expressing the importance of power lineman and how vital the industry is.7
“Tramping with a Lineman” tells the memories of Billy Reese as a Tramp Lineman. This autobiography tells how Billy’s life as a lineman started and all the details thereafter.8
“Woodwalkers” showcases the unique world of Southeast Lineman Training Center and the students who attend there. Seasons one and two tells the story of eight determined students and their journey at SLTC – facing hardships and tough training all to earn the title of woodwalker. We might be biased, but we rate it a must-see!
“Power and Ice” is a reality tv series based in the harsh climate of Alaska as employees of three Alaskan power companies compete to build and maintain power lines.9
Whether you prefer the quietness of a good book, or the live action of a tv show or movie – these options give you a realistic look into the unsung heroes of our daily lives. Linemen put their lives in danger daily to provide the necessary electricity to power the world, without expectation of reward. We encourage you to read or watch one (or more) of these options to educate yourself and show true gratitude to those who run towards the storm!
Buy or watch here now:
“Woodwalkers”: Streaming on Amazon Prime
Southeast Lineman Training Center (SLTC) is the premier training school for lineworker training; consistently producing an elite group of highly trained and certified graduates.