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Valdi - 1976 (photo provided by Randy Garmon)

Our good friend, Valdi

I've been hearing from some of you concerning your memories of H3. We all seem to have our separate stories about Valdi and I thought I'd devote a link to those stories.

From: Joe Pyrdek, Oct 67 to Oct 68

The letter from Valdi did bring back some memories. I still recall one time when there were two or three of the Icelandics workers trying to free up a frozen steam pipe and then Valdi grabbed hold of the pipe wrench and, by himself, got the pipe free. He was one strong and friendly dude.

From: Don King 1979/1980

Valdi is someone special for us. I was not an operator there. I was the Chief of Maintenance. In that position I had occasion to work closely with Valdi. One of the things that stand out most about him was when he would bring a large Halibut to the site, cut it into chunks, dip it in his SPECIAL batter and deep fry it for us.

From: Frank Jiao 1987/1988

My recollection of my first encounter of the man is probably similar to many who met him. As a young A1C who had been on site less than a month I was tasked to bring a work order CE and take it directly to Valdi. I remember walking into the CE building and entering an office with a Texas flag hanging on the wall and a burley man sitting behind a desk who briefly looked up from some other paperwork and said, "I'll be with you in a sec, pardner." A short while later he looked up again and in a gruff voice he said, "G** D***ed Mojacks can't get anything right, f***ed something up again, what can I do for you buddy?" Not knowing what a Mojack was I asked him what it meant to which he replied "Icehead, local, whatever you want to call them." I was in a little bit of a shock thinking "If you don't like them, go back to Texas. You don't have to be here." I told him I was supposed to give the work order I had to some Icelandic guy named Valdi after which he took and placed on a stack and said "I'll take care of it." Being the young airman I was I said, "my boss said to make sure this Valdi guy got it personally." He looked at me, smiled, and offered his hand as he said, "Son, you're new here ain't ya? I am Valdi. Welcome to Hofn." I returned to Iceland in 1990 when I got stationed at Rockville and a few people I knew headed to Hofn to retreive the library books we had left behind. When they got back I asked if anyone had met Valdi while they were there. Of course they did, being the man that he is he had invited the group to his home for dinner.

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