Park Avenue Tunnel, Ironton, OH

When I was about 22 I spent a week here working at a former coal tar plant that had been classified as a Superfund site. As usual on these trips, there was not a lot for me to do (I was the “quality assurance officer”, little more than a glorified security guard) and I began seeing how many different Ohio and Kentucky town names I could find stamped on the many loose bricks scattered about. The site foreman thought this was neat and he kept it up after I left. A few months later, he sent one of my colleagues back to my office with a large box of bricks, which he delivered to my desk with great effort, swearing the whole time. A nice story, but that foreman was also the most racist person I’ve ever had to work with.

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