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


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


State issues Vail Resorts a notice of violation for 2021 fish kill

Vail Resorts has received notice of violation and a cease and desist order in the wake of a spill, which qualifies as a “discharge of pollutants,” last year from part of the Vail Mountain snowmaking system that ultimately resulted in a fish kill in Gore Creek.

See more