The tower industry abounds with colorful characters with quirky rituals…especially when you get “inside the fence” of a tower site. Although the rules of logic and safety and, most importantly, the law of gravity take precedence, on a Friday the 13th other ‘traditions’ may show themselves at the morning tailgate meeting. One of the more prominent superstitions among tower crews is ‘the rain turtle.’ According to David “Gunny” Harrison, owner of Telecom Resources Group, the turtle, who may have origins from Native American rituals, has several functions.
“Well sir,” said Harrison, “ya’ have
two versions of it depending on whom you ask, but it was the
superstition of tower hands that would be wishing for rain because of
being hungover, tired or what have you.” Crew members or the foreman
would draw a turtle, one with only three legs, in the dirt on the site
or place rocks in the shape of a turtle and it was said to bring rain.
“‘Course when one did this fortunately it was always overcast and
chances were it was going to rain,” said Harrison. “We used to make the
rain turtle out of clay,” said one tower tech. “Got chewed out for
drawing it once, but then it rained like hell.” Continue Reading