THE CHAIN BROKE LOOSE ... AND I PRAYED

During my last year of college, I took a job at an iron foundry, where I worked the second shift. Within a few weeks I became part of a small crew responsible for pulling newly poured iron castings from their sand molds. Using overhead cranes and chains, we pulled perhaps ten large castings every night, the heaviest weighing about twenty-five tons.

Because the castings were usually less than twenty-four hours old, they were still red hot as we worked with them. We had to cool the chains with water frequently to protect them. Our work left piles of smoldering sand everywhere, so we had to be careful where we stepped. On several occasions my pant cuffs actually caught fire.

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