Digging Through the Archives: Vance Grubb III
According to Vance Grubb III, nothing tops a great job in construction except going into business for yourself. A superintendent for Sunland Asphalt, Grubb is leaving a promising career with the company to return to his home state of Wyoming this summer.
“I have hit a good stride in the construction world in Arizona and could make an excellent and lasting career down here,” Vance says. “But, instead, I'm moving with my family back to Wyoming to follow more in line with what my dad and grandpa did. It's scary to leave a good career, but it's way more exciting to be taking the chance on myself.”
Vance Grubb Sr. running a Barber Greene paver in Afton, WY, 1956.
Vance and I connected through social media. However, when we met in person in the West Valley, we discovered we were both field operators sharing multiple generations of family involved in construction. While I was raised in the Valley, Vance grew up on the banks of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwestern Wyoming. "My grandparents owned Grubb's Café and Motel, which sat just south of the Wyoming state line on the southwest corner of the intersection of State Highways 43 and 44 in Manila, Utah,” he says. “My dad spent his time running the family construction business, Grubb Construction Co.”
Vance recalls constantly being out with his dad and grandpa in the trucks and equipment as a kid. “Far back as I can remember, I would ride in the truck out to the job, jump on the dozer with grandpa, sitting on the armrest over the tracks, and watch as he worked. For better or worse, the love of equipment hasn't been shaken out of me yet, and I don't know that it will.”
His grandfather, Vance Louis Grubb Sr., was born in Roundup, Montana, to Frank and Mabel Grubb in 1925. Frank died when he was young, and Vance Sr. quit school after the 8th grade to work on the family farm. Aside from serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a submarine mechanic, he spent most of his young life cowboying in Wyoming and Montana. “My grandfather helped round up and haul the first wild horses out of Wyoming for adoption,” Vance says. “He did the same for the first 500 antelope shipped out of the state.”
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This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Sep/Oct 2021 issue, Vol. 10, No. 5.