TRANSFORMATION OF STEEL
I TURNED EIGHTEEN IN 19 AND 64.
MY HIGH SCHOOL GAVE ME A PIECE OF PAPER,
AND BOOTED ME OUT THE DOOR.
I WAS TOLD -- GO AND TAKE ON THE WORLD!

TO A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE IN GARY,
THE WORLD REVOLVED AROUND STEEL.

SO, JOIN THE WORLD I DID.
I WENT TO THE FOOT OF BROADWAY,
AND THERE GOT A JOB IN THE MILL.
AS DID MY FATHER BEFORE ME,
AND HIS FATHER BEFORE HE,
NEITHER OF WHOM LIVED TO RETIRE.
ONCE I WENT IN, WOULD I SIMILARLY EXPIRE?

BEYOND THE GUARDED GATES LAY A FOREIGN COUNTRY.
THE SIGHTS, SOUNDS AND SMELLS WERE EXHILARATING.
BUT THE WORKERS ALL LOOKED THE SAME --
FACELESS AND DIRTY!

NOT UNLIKE THE MILITARY, I WAS ISSUED A NUMBER.
43-176 WAS GIVEN TO ME.
THAT PAYROLL NUMBER BECAME A KEY.
IT UNLOCKED THE DOOR TO STEADY PAY,
AND IN THE WORLD PERMITTED ME TO MAKE MY WAY.

WHAT WEEKS BEFORE WERE MERE CONCEPTS,
NOW BECAME STARK REALITY --
THINGS LIKE INTEGRATION AND DIVERSITY.

DOORS ON NEW HORIZONS WERE OPENED,
WHERE MACHINES WERE TREATED BETTER THAN MEN.
BE INJURED, OR GOD FORBID, KILLED;
NO MATTER, YOUR POSITION WAS QUICKLY FILLED!
IN SUCH A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT,
ONE CAME TO APPRECIATE THE IMPORTANCE OF RESPECT.

ONE LEARNED WHAT THE WORK ETHIC WAS ALL ABOUT --
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE, AND WHO WAS NOT,
WHO WAS ON THE SAUCE, OFF HIDING OR SLEEPING,
OR WOULD USE YOU TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK GOOD.

BY NECESSITY, ONE BECAME A STUDENT OF HUMAN NATURE.

LET IT NOT BE SAID ALL WAS BAD,
FOR THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.
THIS STEELWORKER ACQUIRED VALUABLE SKILLS --
HE EARNED PRIDE FROM "A JOB WELL-DONE."
THE VALUE OF A DOLLAR BECAME REAL,
THANKS TO THE LESSONS TAUGHT BY MEN OF STEEL.

HE LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF A COLLEGE DEGREE,
AND BECAME DETERMINED TO SWIM ACROSS THAT SEA.
HE ALSO GOT A HANDLE ON WHAT LIFE WAS ABOUT.
IN THE PROCESS HE WAS TRANSFORMED,
FROM AN ADOLESCENT INTO AN ADULT.

PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON LEARNED WAS --
IN THE EXERCISE OF DIVINE WILL,
THERE HAS TO BE MORE TO LIFE THAN U.S. STEEL!

USS Logo 
G. David Yaros,
Motor Inspector Helper
U.S. Steel - Gary Works
210" Plate Mill
Payroll #43-176
11 Dec 1998


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Created by G. David Yaros  Friday, 11 Dec 1998 - 23:02:28 Hrs.

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