It’s a feeling hard to put into words. I got it some 25 years ago, when I saw the trucks and linemen assembled at an MMUA Hotline School. Pride, but more than that—a palpable sense of something much stronger when joined together than when broken down into its individual parts.

Never sensed that more than when privileged to watch a graduation ceremony at Camp Pendleton. Individually, the new Marines were fairly unremarkable, just kids. Taken together, they became the beginnings of an irresistible, elite force. You could see it when they marched as one; you could hear it when they answered in unison.

The feeling came back last week, as the municipal utilities assembled to build the grounds for the 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo. Right around 25 percent of the 125 municipal electric utilities in Minnesota showed up, and worked together. They built something they couldn’t have done, or couldn’t have done quickly, by themselves.

MMUA’s Pete Wyffels put it best, even though he could only hint at it as well: “It was more than just building a linefield.”

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