A night-and-day difference

Lifetime PEC member can remember when the lights came on

It was 1939 when Marshall Kuykendall and his family first got power at the ranch they had owned in the Kyle area since 1901. Kuykendall, now 91, was only a child at the time, but he can remember the joy on his mom’s face when she knew it would be the end of the wood-burning stove.

While he was little then, he remembers how difficult it would be for her to run that stove. His dad would have to get up early to cut wood and start the kindling. After a while warming it up, his mom could finally start cooking.

Kuykendall recalls his mother saying, “The moment that power line hit this house, that stove went out the window,” he said.

Kuykendall can also remember that before they got power, they had to use kerosene lamps for light.

“The lights had the glass shades, and you had to wash them almost every day,” he said.

He and his brother would go around the entire house to take the glass off the lamps, carefully so as not to break them, and clean the smoke off.

“We cleaned these in a line, so my mother would wash, my brother would dry, and I would put up,” he said.

It was a bit of a process to transition to having power since using these kerosene lamps and the wood stove for their whole lives became part of life. Just being able to turn on the lights with the flick of a switch took some getting used to.

Over the years, the Kuykendall ranch was sold off bit by bit and was completely out of the family’s name by 1997. And not only has the property changed, but the entire Kyle area. In fact, today, it is the third-fastest-growing city in the nation, according to a story published in June 2023 by The Houston Chronicle.

Kuykendall, a ranch real estate broker, has seen and been a part of that growth. He believes it has been beneficial for the area from an economic standpoint.

He’s also been proud to be a PEC member over his lifetime and has always enjoyed his own service or getting service run to different ranches he’s sold.

“It’s always been that we’ve had good service from PEC and to get help us,” he said. “Out of all these years, I’ve always found PEC to be easy to work with.”

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