Merry Christmas. Why You Should Choose Whitlow Smoke School Over Other Competitor Smoke Schools. Smoke

Don’t get fooled again. Hello my name is Uncle George. This is sincere from the bottom of my heart. I love smoke school and I love being with you. Sweet Angie, my bride and our business manager, and all of our employees also love smoke school and you. Without you, and the grace of God we would not be an extended family. Welcome to your Whitlow Smoke School Nation. This is your smoke school. We just operate it and strive to be fair and honest. We also strive to meet all of the stringent audit requirements of the EPA and state environmental agencies. We must meet their training requirements of 40 CFR 60 or your visible emissions certificates are invalid and you are out of compliance. The buck stops here Jack.

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What is smoke school? Smoke school is training and certification in EPA Method 9 and 22 for EPA certification to conduct visual evaluations of smokestacks, bag houses, and other potential sources using calibrated eyeballs to observe smoke, dust, and other particulates to determine compliance with specific requirements of environmental permits, laws, and standards. Our job is to calibrate your eyeballs and teach you how to document compliance. How can somebody actually attempt to teach compliance when they don’t know the laws and how to comply? I will explain this later.

I know smoke school and I know environmental compliance. I have paid my dues and I am still paying them. I started conducting environmental compliance inspections in September 1976, before many of you were born. In April 1983, I started inspecting for Louisiana DEQ. I started conducting smoke school in October 1984. I retired from DEQ in September 2001 and founded Whitlow Smoke School Nation, because a small voice woke me up at 4AM and said “Build it and they will come.”

“Build what- A baseball park or a corn field?”

“Smoke school. That is all that you have done very well since the day you were hatched.”

 That is what I call mustard seed faith. I quit a steady job, with expenses paid, insurance, benefits, vacation and a car. I did love smoke school and I still do. I loved it when I was a state employee earning less than $25,000 per year. It is not just the money. I love it and would still do it for free if I did not have to pay all of these taxes and support my friends, employees and their families. And that is the truth Jack. Thank you; you are coming and you are spreading the word to all of your friends. Thanks to the good Lord and you, we are in 21 states at 100 semi-annual locations. Although the economy could be better, we are slowly growing.

We are routinely audited and evaluated by EPA and several state environmental agencies. We train industry as well as state and federal officials. This is your smoke school and I do listen to your suggestions, I always have. When I conducted smoke school for Louisiana DEQ I had 500 people attending and they were all my brothers and sisters. We spent time together having fun and learning something every 6 months in April and October when the weather was mild.

Smoke school is all about compliance. Compliance is very important for your company and for their reputation. Otherwise, they would not be spending mega millions of hard earned money on pollution control equipment and hiring a great man or woman like you. I learned about compliance on the other end of the justice scale. I was the inspector and I knew ignorance of the law was not an excuse. I was one of three DEQ inspectors who conducted a surprise midnight inspection and observed a malfunctioning wet scrubber and documented a violation of 100 percent opacity. I felt absolutely horrible about the aftermath of that inspection, although I was simply doing my job and following orders.

I felt bad because the company lost a 9 million dollar class action lawsuit and had to pay 4 million dollars in penalties. What really hurt my heart was that the operator had been on the job for 20 years and he was fired. Five environmental officials at the plant were fired. The stock market value of the plant hit rock bottom after appearing on CNN and the Oprah Winfrey Show and 300 people lost their income. That was my final inspection. I quit, so I could conduct smoke school and teach compliance.

Don’t get fooled again. There are just a few other commercial smoke school providers out there and they see our fees and they try to be cheaper. Daddy always said, “You always get exactly what you pay for.” I felt sorry for my friends around New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast who could not afford flood insurance before Katrina hit. The found out the hard way that their home insurance would not cover flood damage. Read between the lines. Get the best and Whitlow Enterprises Smoke School Nation is the best. W. R. Smoke School.

These other smoke school providers cannot possibly teach you compliance. “I have never seen a dog catcher, but now, I “are” one.”  Go ahead make my day. Just ask them if they have ever been on an inspection. Don’t get fooled again. By the way, you state and federal enforcement people; send me your employees and I will train them the right way. Trust me. It will not cost you anything extra, because I love training and I am good at it.

I have become my daddy, George Wesley Whitlow. Daddy was a cop for 20 years at Monroe Louisiana PD. He was so good at it and had such a great love for people and training that LSU asked him to travel and teach law enforcement at their institute after he retired from policing. I have become my daddy, I am a traveling law enforcement teacher and I love it. Daddy always told jokes and stories during his lectures to keep the stress out of important training such as “Shoot, Don’t Shoot.”  Last year I got stopped for going 50 in a 45 in Georgetown. The deputy looked at my name on my license and asked if I were related to the George Whitlow at LSU Law Enforcement Training Institute. I said that is my daddy. The deputy said that he remembered after 15 years everything my daddy ever taught him. I try to take the stress out of training by stimulating you with jokes and stories. All of you know that smoke school like any other test can be very stressful. I was pretty hard on the test when I first started in 84. After all I was trained by Tom Rose of ETA. I remember many cuss words and flying clipboards when half of you failed. After listening to your advice, I have learned to conduct the test more fairly so you can pass in one day instead of 3. Usually most of you pass by the third run.

Some smoke school providers are so stuck on making the certification test so hard that you get sun stroke sitting in a yard chair 3 days taking the test over and over, over and over, over and over again. Sit- Read- Read. They include no teaching and no instructions. We spend time teaching and instructing before each training session. Some providers make the test so hard although they know your permit says you have an opacity limit of 20%. They jump around like a spinning top from 10 to 80, back to 15 and back up to 90. Your eyes just cash out; they can’t tolerate the changes. The brain quits working. I bet I have observed 10 million smokestacks and I have never seen one where opacity jumped around like that. Smoke is pretty constant according to the angle of the dangle and the flow. Know what I mean Jack.

Don’t get fooled again. Other providers give you clues and make the test so easy that Ray Charles could pass on the first run. Other providers can’t give you a classroom because they are blooming idiots. They don’t know the difference between a hole in the ground and their own elbow. I forgot more about smoke school and compliance than they will ever know- all of them put together. I got more time in the bathroom than they do in an industrial plant. I can do smoke school with half my brain tied behind my back. That is a fact Jack. Don’t get fooled again.

You are listening to the infinite wisdom of an old man, an antique. Just because there is snow on the chimney, don’t mean there ain’t no fire in the fireplace. I am an old hippie and Jesus freak preacher man. All we are saying is “Give Peace a Chance.” I am always seeking peace. I am an American Indian, a card toting member of the Choctaw Nation and the Who Dat Nation. I try to live peaceful and live and think like Jesus does. Be kind to people, be kind to your fine feathered friend, ‘cause a duck may be somebody’s mother. Sweet Angie will be the first to tell you, sometimes that ain’t so, Jack. See what I mean Jack. She is probably right. After all, Angie is my best wife ever. I guess I ain’t perfect, never will be, and that is a fact Jack. Actually I am perfect in every way. I must be a hell of a man. To know me is to love me. Gee it is hard to be humble, but I am doing the best that I can.

I like to sit in my boat and watch the sunset on the cypress trees as it all reflects on the still quiet waters of the lake. I like to sit in the oak and hickory trees in my deer stand out house. I like to cruise down the highway at 110 in my 1988 Cadillac Brougham. I like to watch my ducks on the pond. I like to sit in my yard chair in the front yard drinking coffee and watching my Christmas lights. I just love my Christmas lights. I like to sit in church with my woman and put my arm around her.

I like the peaceful life. I try to be like my Daddy who had such a great love for people. A million people came to his funeral and he is resting peacefully with momma at Gardens of Memory on a hill in Minden, Louisiana. I try hard to be like my hero, Will Rogers, who never met a man he did not like. I can’t tolerate disloyalty, cheating, stealing and such. Some people, including smoke school providers, will go out of their way and do all of the above just to get your hard earned money. To them, it is all about money. They could not care less about you or your compliance needs. I love you and I need you.

A former employee, who conveniently left with our confidential customer contact list, has decided to start his own business, thus, breaking the signed non-compete agreement we had with him. Employment is much like a marriage. During the marriage you try to make it work, go through counseling and make lots of concessions; however, regrettably, sometimes, it just does not work out. That is what happened with this employee I am a much happier person to work with since his departure. Just ask any of our current employees how they feel regarding this. The termination of employment for any employee is a serious decision to make and is never taken lightly by myself or Angie.

Before considering trying a new smoke school, do yourself a favor and ask for references and call them. Make sure that the instructors are experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of compliance, visible emissions training, and class room instruction. They should follow the EPA regulations and know each individual state’s requirements. Also, the smoke school instructors should be mechanically inclined so that they are able to repair the smoke machine on the spot in a timely manner. This formal employee really tested my patience with his lack of electrical and mechanical knowledge that was responsible for several delays causing you to spend an hour or two in a yard chair twittering your thumbs.  At one point I had to drive the smoke machine to Indiana so the other crew could fix it. I think you should be aware that in 30 years we have completed every smoke school on the day scheduled except for 4 times. Hurricanes were responsible for 2 delays in Florida and Louisiana. Once in Shreveport the main blower motor burned up. A electrical power surge at a city park in Montgomery caused a one day delay because it burned up our power supply that converts AC to DC power to operate our backup lamp on a Chevy truck. This lamp shoots a beam of light across the smokestack to the sensor and thus records the smoke opacity so you can take the test. We eventually had to hotwire the light with jumper cables to the truck battery.  Please reply to this email and let me know your opinion. As always, your opinion is very valuable to me.

We wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sending our love to you from the entire Whitlow Family,

Colleen, Wendy, Pete, Dave, Larry, Joe, Paul, Alex, Casey, Adair, Dave, Adam, Rhemy, Aaron, Angie and Uncle George “Butch”

Now I would like to entertain you with a few good songs:

Me and my daddy’s favorite Christmas Song- Johnny Cash Drummer Boy

An now the song that kept going through my head as I was typing this email- The Who Won’t Get Fooled Again.

Angie and I have been spending time with the Duck Dynasty. I guess I borrowed some of Si’s quotes Jack.  

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