Tough inside toughIt was cold winter day in 1996 that started out like any other for Pete Lindbeck: He pulled on his Carhartt jacket and headed to work in Duluth.
By: Christine Holm, Lake County News Chronicle
It was cold winter day in 1996 that started out like any other for Pete Lindbeck: He pulled on his Carhartt jacket and headed to work in Duluth. As a heavy equipment operator, the Knife River resident needed to wear clothing that would keep him warm and stand a lot of heavy wear.
But he didn’t know that this day, it would actually save his life.
“The equipment he was working on that day stalled out, so he got down to check the engine,” explained his wife, SherylAnne. “His coat got caught in the engine and took his arm with it, flipping his body around twice. But the jacket was strong enough – the material dense enough – that it caused the engine to stop.”
A co-worker finally discovered him, and he was rushed to the hospital and had surgery. “The doctors there said two things were in his favor. One was that it was so cold it slowed down the flow of blood. The other was the jacket. They said it saved his life,” SherylAnne said. And his arm.
Last year, as SherylAnne was browsing through Facebook, she noticed a Carhartt blurb on the side of her screen and decided to click on it. It explained a contest asking for story submissions about the clothing company’s products.
“I sat down and wrote a little story about it,” she said. “Pete was sitting in the living room while I did it, and he just said, ‘Oh, that’s years ago, now.’ But he liked the idea of the grand prize offered…and he deserves a little vacation.” That prize includes a weekend duck hunt trip designed by Ducks Unlimited or a trip for two to the Stihl Timbersports Series.
And the Lindbeck’s story made the cut into the “grand prize” round, where it was up to online voters to pick the best stories. The voting ended last month and the winner was supposed to be announced this week.
The Lindbecks met through mutual friends, after the accident, while Pete was on a construction job in California. Pete now works for Michels Directional Crossings and is a member of the Operating Engineers Local 49 union.
The contest, which began last February, generated hundreds of nominations. Shortly after Sheryl-Anne submitted the story, the company notified her that Pete’s story was one of 12 finalists. She enlisted the aid of friends and family to vote.
She’s grateful for all the votes that came their way. “It’s just so wonderful for this to turn into a positive experience for Pete,” SherylAnne said.
“It really is a morale booster for Pete,” she said. “He’s a hard worker, and I’m proud of him. And there’s no doubt about it: I’ll make sure he keeps wearing those Carhartt clothes.”