I am the son (*) of an iron worker, and I am really amazed at all the work that my father worked on during his lifetime. He was a very modest man and simply did his job with complete dedication and pride. He loved what he did, and did it with all his heart and soul. He always invested a hard working day in every job he was involved in, and when he came home he was exhausted. When my father was a young child raised in Brooklyn, New York, he was always looking forward to his father inviting his ironworker friends to his home. My dad was inspired by his father, who was a proud iron worker, and he loved to listen to how his father and his iron worker friends talk about their work and the buildings they work on. My grandfather was one of the workers in the construction of the Shi Stadium in the early 1960s, when my father worked on the Verrazano Bridge. My grandfather worked at the age of 60, while he worked as an iron worker, until in 1972 he was in an accident related to work, but survived, but he was badly wounded, and this was the end of his working days. He will die a few years after the accident, and it was very difficult for my father and his family, but my father managed to fake himself and devote himself to his family and his ironworking career.
My dad was never afraid of high iron, and he was nicknamed the "rabbit" because he ran around the beams and he was very fast. He always managed to do his job and cope with the work day, because he had a family that depended on him, and he always realized what was needed to do his job. He always made sure that he was safe and would never take stupid risks. He did everything with precision and thought before acting. He had nerves of steel, and he was proud of what he had done.
My dad shared with us his stories about his experience, and one of the stories he talked about was in 1957, when he was young, when he was 22 years old, when he worked as a student, he was responsible for ensuring that give senior iron workers coffee and snacks. and soda in the morning and afternoon. He went to a local store with money raised from metallurgists, and he would place an order and make sure he had everything before he left. Carrying containers with hot coffee, cakes and carbonated drinks, he carefully climbed the steps leading to the working area, and, approaching the top, lost his balance and slipped, falling to the canvas on the lower level, he was lucky. to discover that he was fine, but there was a spray of hot coffee. When one of the senior iron workers saw what happened, he shouted to my father, asking if he was okay, and he replied that he was, but he dropped the coffee. Then the iron worker shouted back to him: "I am glad that you are fine, but you better go and get some more coffee." My dad, falling to his feet, ran down the steps and bought another round of coffee and snacks for his money, and this time he got to the crew, making sure everyone got their coffee, snacks and soda. My dad was always sure that he did the right thing, and this earned him an excellent reputation. After several years of training with senior iron workers, he became an experienced iron worker with the following.
One of my father's most proud achievements was working on the Verrazano Bridge, where he spent almost 4 years and experienced many happy and sad events there. It was on the bridge that my father saw how one of his friends fell to death, which really had a great influence on him for many years. This was what he lived and dealt with, but he was very upset by this event. He was a small man aged 5-7 inches, weighed 135 pounds, and his colleague was 6 # 2, weighing more than 200 pounds. It was a day that he would never forget, since he had just finished talking to him, and a few minutes later he heard him shouting his name. When my father turned in the direction of screaming, he looked at him in horror, realizing that his friend was holding on to liveliness for the sake of a dear life, and my dad tried his best to pull him out, but my father’s weight and damaged arm were from an accident at work there was too much to save him. When he slipped through my father’s arms, my father was also about to tip over, but another iron worker quickly rushed at my father and, holding him in place, saved his life.
We were indebted to a comrade in the iron industry who saved the life of my father. Another sad day that my father remembered while working on the bridge was that fateful day in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was killed. It was another surreal experience, and my father was deeply saddened and shocked when he found out about it. As rumors spread, the iron workers were ordered to knock down and go home out of respect for our murdered president.
During my lifetime, my father worked on Verrazano Bridge, the World Trade Center, the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan, the WR Grace building in Manhattan, the Citibank Building in Long Island City, the Brooklyn Courtyard Buildings, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, New York where my sister and her son graduated from school and many hospitals, schools and buildings.
A touching story that I will share, which explains how many of my loving husband, father and devoted iron worker, my father based on the subsequent interview that my father had with a very famous author several years later. Gay Thales has written many great books in his career and took the time to talk about the experiences of the iron workers who worked on the Verrazano Bridge in the early 1960s in his book The Bridge. He had several interviews with my father. The first was carried out during the construction of the Verrazano bridge after the tragic death of one of the iron workers, whom my father was desperately trying to save, but could not.
After the death of my mother in 1990, my father was lost and alone, and the only thing he had besides us in his corner was his skills in working with iron, which he still relied on in his early until the mid-50s. He returned to work on the Verrazano Bridge in 1991-1992 to complete the restoration work, and he was pleased to return to where he started in his youth when he was about 20 years old. While working on the restoration and using red lead paint, he went to the very top of the towers and in deference to his wife, my mother wrote her name, Katherine in the paint with his work glove and looked to see the view of Staten Island from Brooklyn, clearly remembering him, as if it were 1963, and he wiped his forehead, shed a tear, said a prayer and returned to work. Gay Talese was very moved by this, and he added it in the reprint of the original book and added that my dad perceives the tragic incident of the World Trade Center that my father helped build in the early 1970s. s. I also had tears in my eyes when I read this, and how I found out how much my father loved my mother and my two sisters and me. He was a great man, and I am so proud that Mr. Gay Thales has found time to meet my father and tell us a little about him in his work and his experience, as well as write about all the great men and women who participated in the construction of the Verrazano Bridge .
I am always amazed when I see everything my father was a part of, and I feel such pride and respect for him and for all the workers who build cities and risk their lives every day. These are iron workers who hardly receive the respect or pay they deserve. In an era when baseball players are paid exorbitant salaries for a game that I like, I feel that this is unfair. I will express my feelings about this in a simple but informative quote as follows: “The next time you cheer up a baseball player for jogging in the ball park and admit that he is a hero, remember the iron workers, who sacrificed their lives to create this stadium for adult men to play the game. "" These are iron workers who build stadiums and skyscrapers that are real heroes, and they should receive compensation for all their hard work, which seems to be itself with fight for granted. "
I am very proud of my father, who always gave all his work to the iron worker, and he leaves part of himself in everything that he did, and I am glad to say that I am his son.
(*) – son (I am proud of my father, I was born a boy and got the name of my father, but I am a transgender who identifies herself as a girl, and this has been my struggle throughout my life since 4 years). Out of respect for my father, I am a son.