This page has been set up to share some of the comments received from former employees of Southeastern Shipyard who have contacted me after reading On The Swing Shift.
CORRESPONDENCE AND COMMENTS
“When a friend told me about [On The Swing Shift] I had no idea that it would be such an entertaining, well-documented book – an excellent work!”
“How we travelled to work: We got a ride with a neighbor. He drove an old Ford convertible with a top that leaked on my sister and I. One morning it was leaking so bad we opened our umbrella, then giggled all the way to work, and were hoping Mr _ wouldn’t see the open umbrella!”
“Joining a union: as your book states, we had no choice. It did not sit well with me.. my memory of the strike was that it was for a pay raise, which upset me no end knowing that the Troops needed their supplies.”
– Jane Tucker, former welder, SEC. (Rome, GA.)
“Reading your book (which my son gave me as a gift) was almost like reading an autobiography. I was 18 years old when working as an acetyline burner in the ‘Fab’ shop, probably in 1944. I ran a ‘burning machine’ on top of a large metal sheet which was laid out & marked by someone in Layout. Thank God I did not have to use the burning ‘torch’ for very long – when I was being trained for this job I had suffered many very painful burns from molten metal (called ‘slag’.)
Both my mother and father worked there too. Daddy was a foreman on the wetdock, and Mama was in Layout, also in the ‘Fab’ shop. I had an aunt and uncle working there too, and they lived in Deptford Homes. Another aunt & uncle lived across town near Garden City.
Me, my parents, & little sister lived in Tatnall Homes. We later moved to ‘Pine Gardens’ on Liberty St. (Tatnall Homes was on Pennsylvania Ave., and I recall so was a big store – maybe a drug store.)
I enjoyed your book very much, and I was laughing and crying all the way through as it brought back many memories to me, both happy and sad. Your book was the best, and most loving gift I ever received.. ever, ever! Very truly yours, Audrey Osterbrink.”
– Audrey Osterbrink, “Sparky”, former employee, Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation