Letters to the Editor

The Journey of a PLS


I just finished Ashley Rose-Nalin’s article in the November issue and wanted to congratulate her on passing her test and receiving her license. Whether it’s Tennessee or New York, our profession needs people with Ashley’s resolve to move us forward.

I have a little over six months left before my retirement, and I can honestly say that working as a surveyor has been rewarding. There have been people I’ve worked with that wouldn’t make my “best friend” list, there have been jobs that I’ve gone to that were not “nice places,” but the job kept me going. Being able to put that PLS after my name is a great feeling.

I’ve been asked why I’m retiring if I like my job so well. I tell those that ask, “the job is not the reason I’m retiring. I’d just like to do something different for a change.” If the truth was known, I’ll bet a lot of those out there who put that PLS after their name feel the same.

Best of luck to Ashley and all the new PLSs wherever they might set up a tripod.

Frank L. Milks, PLS
Allegany, NY

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It Happened at Survey Camp

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

I enjoyed reading your article, “The Survey Camp of Yore,” and I have some additional information for you. My grandfather, William H. Helbig, owned and operated the Pines Hotel in Canadensis, Pennsylvania, and during the 1940s he hosted a summer camp for students from Lehigh University in the month of June. A Mr. Ginini (not sure of the spelling) was in charge of the summer camp. My father, who is 77 years old and still lives in the area, remembers the surveying camp extremely well, and even had a map made by the students of the hotel’s property. Unfortunately, the map was destroyed when a flood over took the box the map was stored in.

I received a four-year degree in surveying from the Penn State Surveying program in Wilkes Barre (lehman) in 2001. I currently work for the Cobb County Department of Transportation in Marietta, Georgia. I happened to be doing some metal detecting on the property in 2005 and found an old plumb bob with a number stamped into it, and I am sure it was from the summer camp during the 1940s.


William H. Helbig
Marietta, GA

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True History?

Mr. Clusky,

Lincoln did not do the surveying of Paducah. He did assist in laying out some of the towns in southern Illinois but appears not to have surveyed in Kentucky. I went through Randall’s biography, Ida Tarbell’s work (from Scribner’s Magazine), and three other “standard works” on Honest Abe, and no one mentions Paducah at all. I did check the other facts noted in the article and they are correct, but I … trusted my memory too much [on Lincoln]. I apologize for the error and thank you for pointing it out.

—Joe Knetch

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