Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Retro-San Francisco Journal - H&H Ship Servixces. 1983-1992

They had called me 'The Yard Boss' and my job title was Yard Superintendent and i was hired by William Harris Senior for the job. The Facility was located at 220, China Basin, which today is being turned into the San Francisco Giants, Baseball Park..The China basin area sat on the water front. We were located next to the 3rd. St, bridge a major landmark of SF bay Area.

he Lefty O'Doul Bridge (also known as the Third Street Bridge or China Basin Bridge) is a drawbridge which connects the China Basinand Mission Bay neighborhoods of San Francisco, carrying Third Street across the Mission Creek Channel. It is located directly adjacent to AT&T Park.
It opened in 1933, and was renamed in 1969 in honor of the famous baseball player Lefty O'Doul.
The bridge carries five lanes of traffic. During normal conditions, the two easternmost lanes carry northbound traffic, the two westernmost lanes carry southbound traffic, and the center lane is reversible. Before, during, and after events at neighboring AT&T Park, the two easternmost lanes are closed to vehicles, and used exclusively by pedestrians, while the remaining two easternmost lanes are reversible.[1]
The bridge was seen in a chase sequence in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill.[2]
The bridge was also a key story point in the 1976 Clint Eastwood movie The Enforcer.

While i was being employed at the company it grew in the number of employees from bare fifteen guys to over forty fully trained employees in one year. I made to request that for Safety purposes each employee be provided with a change of coveralls for each working day. I also initiated the Safety training procedures for all those employed a the facility and were provided with training certificates upon completion of training classes. 

I was instrumental in the design and upgrading of the General Yard facility area where the Underground Fuel tanks disposal operation was carried out. Special procedures for the purpose of Safety as required by the EPA,  OSHA, DOT, the Fire Dept. and the Police Department, were researched by the Univ. of Berkeley, California with my assistance; I helped wrote these procedures. 

H&H Environmental Services became the only company on the Western Seaboard that was able to carry out UST disposal  and it became a million dollar enterpirse overnight when the USA Department of Environment issued the UST Disposal law in the country.

However the bulk of the credit was earned by the 'Yard Boys', the tank Muckers 

Individuals who slaved day in day out cleaning the insides of the Underground fuel tanks and repacking the waste materials for final disposal.

It was an inglorious task, most hazardous and detrimental to the health, however as the yard boss i tried my utmost to make it safe for my guys . They were mostly Blacks and Latinos, Vietnamese and Filipinos; the White boys were mostly truck drivers., the job was too dirty for them.

Oddel Edwards, a gentle man who I held with high esteem and who looked after my  well being especially whenever i was threatened with physical harm by any of the other African American employees.

As i mentioned earlier the'Whit Boys were mostly truck drivers. Robert Guitarez was one of the more reliable ones who had his heart in the job he was assigned to do.

Most of the truckers were 'Red necks' who felt it beneath them to take orders from a non white and often will not cooperate unless the order comes from'upstairs'.

I spent six years of my life in the 'Tank cutting ' business at the downtown San Francisco Waterfront within the sight of the Bay Bridge and right next to the Lefty Odoul Bridge on Third Street. I was a part of the Historical land mark that is today no more in existence after the construction of the Baseball Park. H&H Ship Services and Environmental Services is history.

No comments: