Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

November 30, 2013

Traverse City repairman goes 'above and beyond' to save Thanksgiving Day

TRAVERSE CITY — On Thanksgiving, the Donohue family gave thanks for what they normally take for granted: running water.

And they gave special thanks to Doyle Berg, the man who was able to get their faucets flowing again.

“It was just a really awesome act of kindness for him to come out on Thanksgiving Day,” said Jennifer Donohue, who lives southeast of Traverse City. “Otherwise, we’d have to, I don’t know what we would have done. We wouldn’t have been able to have Thanksgiving dinner at the house.”

On Thanksgiving eve, Donohue’s college-age daughter went to give her a dog a bath and discovered a dry faucet.

Donohue tried the kitchen faucet. Nothing. She eyed the turkey sitting on the counter, wondering how she would rinse it. Then she thought of her six horses and went to the barn. No water there, either. She pondered the prospect of hauling in gallons and gallons of water on Thanksgiving Day.

“We took out the phone book and started calling down the list of all the well people,” she said. “It was after five already. No one called us back. I kept thinking, ‘We have a huge crowd coming for Thanksgiving. Oh my God, what are we going to do without water?’”

Jennifer called in her brother and a jack-of-all-trades friend to give her husband a hand at identifying the problem. Together they looked at the control panel of the well and identified a “fried” electrical part, but realized it was highly unlikely they’d find it that night.

Donohue began joking that Thanksgiving would be just like a camping trip.

“We’d use melted snow, and boil the water to wash the dishes. My daughters said, ‘Mom, really?’” Jennifer said.

Jennifer resorted to the phone book again, but this time called Berg Well Drilling and hit a real person. The needed part was in stock at his Traverse City shop, Berg told her, and she could pick it up that night.

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