The Dirtiest Man I Ever Knew

23 06 2019

Without a doubt anyone who ever has worked in the foundry industry will attest to how Rock _ndirty you get working in the that environment; some are much worse than others. I can tell my own horror stories, but thankfully I spent the majority of my career in the lab. But many years back I remember an individual who left work every day filthier than anyone there. You would have thought he just came out of a coalmine he was so black.  Cory worked on a molding machine crew. This is where molten metal would be poured into molds made of sand and bit a clay to hold them together from the extreme heat from the liquid iron. The molds would move down a conveyor line where they would cool, dump off onto a shaker system that would break away the formed casting from the mold. The vibration would then push them to an area where men would take the casting off and the black sand would dump back onto a conveyor belt that would return it to the molding machine for reuse. This conveyor was in a basement that ran the length of the machine and it leaked sand terribly on the floor. This is where Cory came in. It was his job to go down into the basement and with a shovel scoop up the excess sand from the floor and toss it back on the belt. This area was filthy as well as the air you had to breath. Also, because the sand is hot from having the iron in it, makes the basement almost unbearable as well as highly humid. So good old Cory wearing a paper face respirator would spend the majority of his day stuck in this hell hole. Sadly, a few of his co-workers would make fun of him getting so dirty, but Cory took it all in stride. He told me it wasn’t that bad after he got used to it. “They make fun of me no matter what. This way I work all by myself and I don’t have to listen to them.”

A number of years passed and Cory hurt his back so he was no longer able to do the basement job; as time passed he had to quit work entirely. So, a new man would have to take over his job. The guys who used to make fun of him weren’t laughing anymore when they had to do the work. No one did as good a job as Cory and none could stay down in the basement as long as he did. Over the course of time the basement got worse, so bad it would clog up the conveyor belt and production would have to halted until a crew could dig it out. One guy put it this way, “Cory wasn’t management or engineer material. He wouldn’t have been good as a mechanic or electrician and he never did a thing in producing a casting. But once he was gone, they found out he was one of the most important assets the company had.”

“If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life,” Rick Warren,

There was a time I knew God was going to use me in a great way to spread His love. When that didn’t happen, I became disillusioned and even walked away for a while. What was the use? After all, since none of my plans came to fruition, I decided God didn’t need my help. I mean I’m working in a foundry for Pete sake! It was years before I realized I was exactly where God wanted me to be. I wasn’t performing before large crowds and bringing the Word of God to thousands. But I was in a place to see individuals on a more personal level. Listen to their hurts, tell them what Christ had done for me, and quite often pray with them. This is called planting seeds. I might have a small chance to tell of my Lord to someone, but another may reach them with their need for a Savior. Like Cory, Christians need to realize everything you do for God is important no matter how small it may seem to others. Who knows, you just might be the one to keep the process moving.

They shut down that old molding line and put a new one in its place, better engineered so it wouldn’t leak sand as bad. As for Cory, well I lost contact with this “Traveler of the Rock Road” after he quit. But often I think of the man who would have more dirt on his body than in a flower garden. And once in a while I mentally say, “Thanks Cory, for being such an example to me. I only hope I’m half the worker you were. Both physically, and spiritually.

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

See ya next time.




2 responses

24 06 2019
DeWayne Busz

I shoveled a whole lot of that dirty, hot sand in those nasty, airless shaker tunnels. I think I found, as Cory did, that is was a peaceful place and an absolutely necessary task. Even when I became a supervisor, I’d go down a hole and shovel…and I still found it peaceful. Maybe somewhat like Charley Brown’s sanctum sanctorum.

25 06 2019

great story john love reading your stories

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