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MILFORD, Del. - Today Verizon splicing technician Robert Glasco of Milford is doing something that few of his fellow employees have ever done, and fewer still are likely to do in the future. Bob is celebrating 50 years of service with Verizon.
To put this milestone in perspective, Glasco joined Diamond State Telephone Co., now called Verizon, when Harry Truman was president of the United States, the Korean War had just started, and gasoline was 20 cents a gallon.
Milford Mayor Ronnie Rogers and other elected officials joined Verizon executives this morning in a celebration of Glasco's 50th service anniversary held at Milford's Carlisle Fire Co. Verizon co-CEO and president Ivan Seidenberg telephoned to express his appreciation for Glasco's dedicated service to the company. Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed a proclamation honoring Glasco's many contributions to his employer and his hometown.
''The strength of Verizon is its people, and Bob Glasco exemplifies their spirit of service,'' said Joshua W. Martin III, president of Verizon Delaware. ''In his 50 years with the company Bob has mastered wave after wave of changes in technology. This required a remarkable ability to learn and adapt as our business evolved from a plain old telephone company to a national telecommunications leader in an increasingly competitive market. Bob has done all of this and most important, he has always put our customers first.''
Glasco began his telephone company career with a summer job in 1950. He helped Delaware become the first state in the nation in which customers could dial all their local calls without operator assistance. In those days all phone calls were carried over copper wires. He began working fulltime in 1951 fresh out of Milford High School. Half a century later, Glasco works with the latest fiber-optic technologies and uses testing equipment that would have amazed technicians 50 years ago.
During his Verizon career, he has served tens of thousands of customers and installed enough wire and cable to circle the globe many times. Along the way, Glasco played a key role in such telecommunications advances as the introduction of coaxial cable and fiber-optics in the Verizon network, construction of self-healing fiber rings statewide, the use of air pressure to protect telephone cables and the launching of the nation's first statewide E-911 service in Delaware.
With this resume, it's not surprising that Glasco seldom thought about leaving the company he started with in 1951. ''The pace of change in our business is frantic, but I've always enjoyed challenges,'' Glasco said. ''I've seen plenty of them in my time. And I have always loved helping people, I guess you could say I've had some success at it. ''
Helping people meant restoring phone service for customers hit by the terrible ice storms of a decade ago and the legendary 1962 nor'easter than devastated the Delaware beach communities. ''I remember hanging cable when I had ice on the end of my nose,'' Bob said. ''I also recall going into customers homes in Rehoboth after the '62 storm; there was silt everywhere and we worked day and night to get phone service back to normal.''
Now Glasco works mainly days. But he keeps busy at night helping neighborhood children whose bicycles need repairs, mentoring prospective Eagle Scouts and serving as treasurer of the Elks Lodge in Milford.
Given Glasco's remarkable career with Verizon lifetime of community service, one might wonder if retirement beckons, but Glasco parries such questions by recalling the words of Yogi Berra: '' 'It's difficult to make predictions - especially about the future'. ''
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com