I’ve met a lot of people through the years who are really passionate about fluid power technology — and, especially, hydraulics. I share this passion, but I don’t get to practice it. So I often feel like a sportswriter who gets to report on all the goings-on and talk to the stars, but I don’t get to play the game.
Lots of people are drawn to sports, but only the elite get to play it professionally. Likewise, some people are drawn to the arts, some to medicine, and others to technology — whether it’s fluid power or otherwise. Many of these professions — careers in the military and medicine come to mind — seem to have long bloodlines. Not so with hydraulics, primarily because the technology as we know it didn’t gain widespread use until World War II. Still, many of today’s fluid power businesses are in their second and third generation of ownership. That sounds like a great start for a bloodline.
This all came to mind when I received an email from a reader from Tyson Fresh Meats in Dakota Dunes, S.D. Cory Cvrk (he pronounces it “Swerk”) mentioned that joking and laughing seem to be part of his Czech heritage. I think they’re in his bloodline. Cory mentioned how his uncles once put together a float for a parade commemorating Czech Day in Tabor, S.D. His uncles jumped up and down on a trailer as it was towed through the parade route, and he tossed candy with canceled checks attached to them to the crowd. This probably sounds odd until you hear the name of the float: The Bouncing Czechs.
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I’m sure those outside the fluid power industry wonder how anyone can be passionate about something as obscure as hydraulics. But, then again, I wonder how people can be passionate about accounting. I imagine it’s pretty exhilarating when all your debits equal are your credits. It doesn’t float my boat, but I guess it’s in their blood.