Paul Coachys

“I was born in South Bethlehem, about a block from Bethlehem Steel in 1929, July 26th to be exact. My Dad worked in Bethlehem Steel when I was born. Funny, there was something about the place, I guess it had a magnetism to it because at first when I was a kid growing up I swore to God I would never work there. When I got my job down there, I loved it. Some people used to say you got to be crazy liking this place. There was something about it, I guess. Well, first of all, it was interesting. When you walked through some of those shops where they made those big shafts, it would mesmerize you. You see a piece that big being pressed into shape. What I thought was the most impressive part when I walked in there was the danger. And yet with all the danger, I must say they had a terrific safety program.

That I must say, even though guys did get injured, they did press safety. When I first came out of the service, we didn’t have that. We didn’t have to wear hard hats; we didn’t have to wear safety glasses, safety shoes, and all that. I often wondered just what’s the purpose of this until when you get on the job and things happen, you can understand why they press safety so hard. To actually save your life! That was both union and management. They were both out to help us and save our lives. The one thing I remember was the 48" steam engine. I talked to the operator one day and he says you know Paul, If I opened this engine up I could send this engine to Hellertown! I said you're kidding! No, 100,000 Horses behind this thing. I believed it!”