WASHINGTON, Beaufort County - A Chocowinity man and other members from went to Florida to help with Hurricane Irma relief. He came back a mini-celebrity.
The video of Victor Robert Wright singing while helping the hurricane recovery efforts in Bartow, Fla. last week is making the rounds on social media. The video has racked up over 65,000 views so far on Facebook. During his short time in Bartow, Fla., he quickly became the talk of the town.
"I just started walking around town and people recognized me," Wright said. "They'd say "hey you're the tree man that sings!" and I'd say 'yeah I'm the singing tree man.' I guess that's the name they've come up with for me."
Wright is a tree cutter with Lucas Tree Experts. He and utility workers from the City of Washington left on Sept. 12 to help those in Bartow, Fla. It all started when locals noticed his deep voice as he and other tree cutters worked to restore power to the town after Hurricane Irma. Wright, who sang with his a choir at his Carteret County high school, said he's normally shy to sing but hsi cousin blew his cover.
"He just sort of volunteered me," Wright said. "He said 'hey he can sing Long Black Train.' And then the ladies wouldn't take no for an answer. They pretty much forced me to sing."
After working 10 16-hour days in a row, Wright said he's exhausted. However, he's happy to be home and appreciates the kind words about his work ... and obviously his singing.
"It's been pretty cool but the most important thing to me was that we help those people out down there and get their lights back on," Wright said. "Because they were suffering and they were struggling, and we were happy to help."
So what's next? First, a well-deserved break from work for a few days. After that, he and a fellow lineman may take the show onthe road.
"With all the encouragement I received, we're gonna try to put something together and we're kind of toying with the band name "Victor Wright and the Hurricane Relief Band," Wright said with a smile.
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