Black gold of yesteryear |

Black gold of yesteryear

Dear Editor:

When I was just 15 I lied about my age – to work at the Maryland Dry Docks Ship Yard. I was so skinny they put me in the boilers in the belly of the ship. My job was to break up burned oil with an air hammer drill. It had solidified into black glass small enough to toss out the hatch of the boiler just 2-feet wide.

The chucks were sharp enough to cut my hands. The noise made me deaf. Often as I poked my black face out the hole to catch a breath of fresh air. But the belly of a ship has no fresh air. It smelled of stagnate sludge. On the clock a buck thirty five an hour.

Now only a memory of youthful desire to buy an oil burning car. So how totally ironic … burning black oil back into my fresh air. Polluting our precious Gulf of Mexico.

Hinton Harrison


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