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——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Your Website
Date: Thu, July 15, 2010 5:31 pm
My name is Kristy. I am the wife of a SanMan from Q9. One of the “brothers” mentioned your site on their Facebook so I decided to look it up as I wait for an 8:30pm conference call with one of my clients who is angry. I briefly scanned over some things, a little bitter that my husband’s gorgeous face is not part of your web stream when I came across “The City’s Strength; What you don’t know by looking at them”. It brought me to tears.
I remember 8 years ago when I moved from Chicago to NY and I told my Mom my boyfriend worked for sanitation, she said (as we walked through China town)….”thank god the department of garbage is different from the department of sanitation because this city is mess”. Little did she know, my husband to be was one of those guys. My husband had a 3 year old daughter when I met him and he would do anything to support her….including being a garbage man, as belittling as that job title came across. I knew I would marry him. He stands for all those things written on what you don’t know by looking at them.
I have never met a more loyal group of guys. Guys who kiss and hug me every time I see them. Guys who give up a good shift so they can help out a brother. Guys who “run up a route” so they can pay respects at a funeral or “keep work out” to make a silent statement for their brotherhood. Guys who call each other on the night of that first overnight snow storm shift to make sure you’re not falling asleep behind the wheel. Yea, the rain sucks…but for a SanMan’s wife and baby…the winter is the worst. It’s lonely beds and no goodnight, it’s laying awake at night hoping he can stay awake for 24 or 36 hours, it’s praying everyone stays home so he can just get his job done safely. I hate the winter, the safety of those men is not worth the “snow money”.
I plan to read your site word for word….this is a long overdue story. I wish you would have met the guys of Q9.
With many thanks,
From: Peter Sobieski
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 3:10 AM
Subject: Chasing Sanitation
I’m a San Man from Queens West 1 in L.I.C. and came across your site at this ungodly hour because I had woken up before my alarm. I have work today and was checking emails and such and remembered hearing at work about your site.
First off I would like to say, its a great site. I’m enjoying the behind the scene look that no one in NYC probably even thinks about when they see us coming down the block. If you would like any info, interviews or stories, do not hesitate to write back. You should come to the garage when they dedicate it to Frank Justich. He was killed in January after a freak accident on his route. I will keep you posted on when they are doing the ceremony.
Keep up the great work.
Peter “Petey AWOL” Sobieski
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Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 10:22 PM
Subject: Fwd: LETTERS
In reply to KRISTY’s letter on the website:
I’d like to tell her that her story also touched a special place in my heart.
I’ve been married to One for twelve years now. We have two boys, ages eleven and eight. Yes, I remember those long winter nights laying in bed with the baby not being able to sleep. Closing my eyes, but staying up, not because of the sounds of the drifting snow or howling wind, but because I was sick with worry about ‘my man’ being out there behind a snow plow for hours in the cold, working a twelve hour shift with no sleep. No, it’s not about the ‘snow money” – as any sanitation family can attest to – we never get compensated enough for the sacrifices we make – but as Kristy said, it’s about the Loyalty that comes with the job. It’s about the true ‘CHARACTER’ of the man you love – the discipline of ‘hard work’ that the father of your children is modeling for them . Kristy, it’s not about the “snow money” but after twelve years, I can tell you , you’ve hit the LOTTERY.
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Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:14 PM
i must let you know that this website is awesome. for the first time in a while i was proud to be a sanman. thank you. after checking out the site, there is so much info that regular people don’t know about us and maybe now we will get a little respect instead of being looked at as guys who just pick up garbage. if there is anything that i could do to help with this project, please let me know i would love to be a part of it somehow.
hope to hear from you girls and thank you again.
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Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2:19 PM
Subject: Retired San Man
My name is James Verdi and i’m a retired sanitation worker from BK1 in Brooklyn.
I have been retired since 1994 and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your website.
Just wanted to let you know even as a retiree, we guys feel once a Sanman always a Sanman. I stay in touch with many fellow DS men I worked with over the years, and we get together with the wives and families at times for dinners, block parties, picnics etc. as all our families have grown together over the years we worked together for the city.
I had the privilage of being the Chief Shop Steward for my district for many years and a better bunch of men you couldn’t find anywhere. Good times and bad times, we seem to always pull together when needed. I also had the honor of knowing the President of our union, Harry Nespoli, a man who is always looking out for his members and I also consider him a friend.
Well, just wanted to share this with you and again say thank you. It’s nice to have someone see us they way you do and share this with the public.
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Anthony Amore September 1 at 1:10pm
hi Lisa..thanks for adding me..
i was all ready to go to sleep last night and somehow found your website Chasing Sanitation randomly websurfing..
im 23 and entering my 4th year at DSNY over at the BX9 garage by the whitestone bridge..
i must have spent 2 or 3 hours just admiring your site and then reading about you elsewhere too..its not often we get any kind of recognition at all but this project goes above and beyond anything else ive ever seen and i love it!
are you turning it into a book? how is coming along and how does it work? before i dropped out of college to take this job i was exploring journalism and communication, i’ve always loved to write and was an asst. editor at my college paper..
im hearing impaired and last month i underwent surgery to correct it and now have an implant, so i’m on sick leave and slowly recovering..people always say im crazy when i say i miss working but for whatever reason i love what i do, i wouldnt trade it for anything.
theres so many reasons why we call it hitting the lottery when we get hired and we find that out once we are on the job..
anyways sorry about all that..got a little excited lol..i’d love to help you as you make this a reality..
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