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UER Forum > Canada: Ontario > A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link) (Viewed 3069 times)
Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
Gender: Male
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A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< on 8/22/2017 9:05 PM >
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What is being a factory security guard really like?

1.

And The Hallway Echoes Eternal
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


21 years ago was the last time (before this week) that I stepped foot in the above hallway. The last time I saw it, it was smooth, gleaming, sterile and freshly painted. I walked it nightly for 3 years of my life and I hope I can snag you for a bit to tell you about it... but it is going to be long. This is a different kind of post for me – this one is a memoire where I can give you a firsthand account of the ridiculous escapades of what it was like to work here as a security guard. It is word heavy; if there’s too much reading, please just skip through, check out pics and leave a photo comment if you see something interesting.


2.

Industrial Beam
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


I started working here during one of the most vicious strikes in the company’s history. It was winter time, and the workers would throw barbed-wire balls in the snow of the parking lot, hoping to deflate the car tires of security staff. Some of them must have worked for the same security company as us in the past, as they had stuffed security guard dummies, in proper uniform, strung up in the trees with ropes around their necks. The strikers used them as practice targets, shooting golf balls at them when they were bored on the picket line.


3.

Let's Go Dark
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


4.

Thick Oilly Air
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


When the strike ended, I was a bit surprised that the company kept the same guards on site. There were four of us. Nick was a turban-wearing Indian who read porn magazines all night. Jerry was retired and just looking to get out of the house and do something. Max was an aspiring lawyer who would rip the collective agreement apart line-by-line in his spare time. He even got a parking ticket at Brock University thrown out once because he argued their free parking lot was south of Townline Road, and therefore he received a ticket in Thorold written by a Saint Catharines employee. I was a university student who was really only working security so that I could get paid to do my homework all night. I was looking for a quiet site with little demands, and Alcan Automotive fit the bill perfectly. The job was for insurance purposes only: all I had to do was walk the production floor (shown below) during the shutdown hours and read the digital temperatures on five different furnaces. This was back in the day before Internet streaming, so they had to be checked manually. If a furnace was overheating, as was often the case, all I had to do was wake up the next maintenance guy on the list and have him come in to the plant for ten minutes to fix it. For that trip, they received 6 hours of regular pay.


5.

Symphony of Sunlight
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


My favorite furnace was the following absolute monstrosity – the dreaded MPH. Right out of Terminator 2, this sucker held a lake of fiery molten metal around the clock. Max and I used to dare each other what we could throw in here when we were bored. It started out with an old phone book and quickly escalated to an entire bike that we found abandoned in the field behind the plant.


6.

Liquid Metal Monster
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


7.

In the Mouth
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


It didn’t take long for fallout from the strike to cascade through the plant. The worst incident occurred in the men’s change room behind the giant red face in the next photo. One particular scab, N.G., crossed the picket line during the strike and got paid a few hours doing management a favor. He was attacked by several guys in the change room who stripped him naked and anally assaulted him with the wooden end of a broomstick. As often goes in such closed circles, nobody was ever reprimanded. N.G. walked by the security office in dead silence for weeks, never saying hello. Life in the plant went on as usual.


8.

Spewing Broken English
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


Head office never checked up on us, so we were free to design the work schedule however we wanted. Crazily enough, it occurred to us that we could have entire weeks off whenever we wanted if we were willing to work two 16-hour shifts in a row, with an 8-hour break in between. It was so insane that I didn’t even bother going home for the 8 hours; I would instead sleep in the room in the next photo. It was the infirmary, which was dark and quiet, and there was a comfortable medical bed on the far wall behind the bathtub. The other guard would knock on the door 8 hours later to wake me so that I could continue with another 16 hour shift, sucking the life right out of me.


9.

Accident Report
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


I would never have guessed that the infirmary would one day look like it does in the above photo. Even more so, I would never have guessed that the tub would become the site of a pseudo-domination lesbian porn shoot by Toronto explorer and UER member Rashomon. I included a link to his work at the end of this post.

The job got a bit more colourful after I worked there for a few months. I had already worked part-time security in enough factories to know that the Maintenance Department was always where one went to find hidden ‘treasures’ – and there was a giant cabinet hidden behind a workbench in the corner of the next photo.


10.

Maintenance Gratitude
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


None of the security staff had ever seen the inside of it. An old cardboard box in the security office was filled with over three hundred keys. I didn’t think we’d have the key to the cabinet, but I figured there was a slim chance that the tooth combination on one of the 300 keys would line up correctly enough to pop the lock. Besides, what else did I have to do but stand there on a midnight shift and try out 300 different keys? Sure enough, one of them worked. The cabinet opened to reveal ten years worth of Playboy magazines. From that point forward, after sharing the news with the rest of the security staff, it became a cat-and-mouse game of us taking magazines out and putting them back carefully enough for the maintenance guys not to realize and change the lock.

There was a giant blueprint of the factory hanging in the security office with little penciled-in X’s all over the place. One day I decided to ask Max what the X’s were marking. From that point forward I was invited into a game that the rest of the security staff had been playing for years: they were trying to sleep in every conceivable part of the plant and mark it with an X. Anxious to make my impressive mark, I decided to go for the gold and put an X right on the plant manager’s office, seen here:


11.
JW's Office by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


There was a brown leather couch along the left-hand wall, and I crashed there for the night. That was particularly daring, because the plant manager J.W. used to come in at all random hours to complete paperwork in his spare time.

Not to be outdone by my foolhardiness, Max decided to one-up me. I came in to relieve him at 8 am one morning and he was not in the security office. By 8:20 am, I was beginning to worry, wondering if he had fallen down somewhere in the plant. He finally strolled into the security office at 8:30 am shaking his head. Nobody had put an X on the plant cafeteria, and he decided that there had to be some way to do it. In the far corner of the next photo, there used to be two pop machines. He pulled three cafeteria chairs behind the machines, set them out in a row, stretched out and went to sleep on them. But this wasn’t during plant shutdown. A crew of workers came into the cafeteria at 7:45 am to eat their lunch. He was trapped behind the machines and had to wait them out before emerging and returning to the security office.


12.

Behind The Machines
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


13.

Misplaced
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


14.

Family Values
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The following room was the laboratory of the plant and was staffed by a team of three chemical engineers. I was always impressed by the apparently high level of research and development that was going on in there. The regular workers, of course, disliked and shunned the engineers because they made twice as much as them and did not participate in the strike line. I didn’t realize it until one night when the power in the plant went out. The workers were all sitting outside at picnic tables waiting for the lights to come back on again. When the head engineer, a Mr. Pospishen, walked out of the plant, the entire working crowd started jeering him, chanting “Popsicle!”


15.

Engineering Lab
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


16.

Popsicle's Office
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


17.

Burn Book
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


He it is!... the next shitty photo was in a pitch-black part of the plant and had to be taken with flash only. But I could not skip it, because this was the security office where I sat bored out of my mind hour after hour for years. The door on the back wall led to a closet where I had actually hooked up a TV and VCR to watch movies. One of the other guards even brought in a Super Nintendo and hooked it up so we could play Mario Kart for a while when we came in to relieve each other. Yes, we were that pathetic.


18.

Security Office (Looking In)
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


Most security guards... all they ever do is smoke! The walls here were so yellow with second-hand nicotine that a temporary guard one weekend decided to bring in a can of grey paint and roll the walls. It was so fresh and new smelling when I came in to relieve him! But then the head maintenance guy came in for his shift at the plant. He immediately grieved the job to the union and was paid 5 hours double-time-and-a-half. The guard was fired.


19.

Security Office (Looking Out)
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The above photo is the view looking out from behind the security desk. I sat here one night studying for calculus mid-terms and I heard the telltale clicking of nails on the concrete floor walking into the office. I grabbed my textbook and leaned around the corner of the desk, expecting to smash a rat. Instead I was face-to-face with a skunk. I froze in place and sat perfectly still for ten minutes while the skunk rooted through my lunch and poked around the closed confines of the security office. It finally walked out, much to my relief. I can’t believe I escaped unsprayed!


20.

Solo Patrol
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


21.

Eat My Cancer
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


At the back of the plant was the following unused set of upstairs offices that remained locked even to the security staff. Determined to figure out what the big secret was, I made it my mission one shift to ‘break in’ to the very plant that I was guarding. There was a push-button combination pad securing the door with 5 buttons. Lo’ and behold, my high-school Finite skills came in handy: 5X4X3X2X1 = 120 different combinations. I figured if I rattled off 10 combinations a minute, I should be able to break into the office in under 15 minutes. I grabbed paper and a clipboard to keep organized and began… 1234…. 1235…. 1245…. 1345 POP! The door opened. 120 combinations to try and I got it on the 4th try.


22.

Combination Access
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


23.

Upstairs Office
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The inside offices seen above are actually quite similar to how they looked 21 years ago, minus all of the graffiti. This area of the plant had already been abandoned. Strangely though, there were household belongings piled everywhere. No wonder we were never given access to this area of the plant: the manager was in the process of divorcing his wife and had started to store all of his personal belongings here for safe keeping. I was all excited to tell the other guards that I finaly got into the upstairs offices, only to discover that I was several months too late. Max had already had another guard boost him up so he could go through the ceiling tiles over top of the door.

On a side note, I rushed upstairs and stood at this very window in 1996 after hearing on the radio that there was a car on fire on the Garden City Skyway. For 45 minutes, I watched the car burning here on the upward slope of the Niagara-bound lanes.


24.

Skyway View
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


25.

Car Fire
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


26.

Towering Giant
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


27.

Particulate Matter
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


28.

Long Term Effects
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


29.

Central Stores
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


30.

Watching Overhead
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


In the end, I started to get way too stupid with this job. I was nearing the end of university and didn’t need a ‘homework job’ any longer, and I started to take risks that, in retrospect, were completely idiotic and reckless. I would come in for my shift, turn all the lights on and leave my vehicle parked out front. My friends would pick me up and we’d go to Gord’s Place nightclub downtown for the night. One time we even drove all the way to Burlington to visit The Kingdom, leaving the plant insecure for probably five hours. I’d use the pay phones to dial in my security code every hour, as this was before Call-Display. I often wonder what would have happened if there was a fire while I was gone, or if the plant was robbed. Truly, truly moronic.


31.

Anthology
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


I suppose the moral of the story is this: the next time you’re exploring an industrial location and you have an encounter with a security guard and assume you’re going to get charged, think about what you’ve read here. Think about the mentality of security guards and the stupid things they themselves do on the job out of sheer boredom. There are a thousand different ways you can successfully reason with them, because they really and utterly don’t care about the job.



Human Nature by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


As for Alcan Automotive, it became the typical cliché victim of operational scale-back. The plant has been abandoned for many years, becoming an icon of inner city decay. Two girls got robbed two weeks ago in the parking lot (http://www.stcatha...d-in-st-catharines) which made me finally decide to visit this place before the city of Saint Catharines makes it disappear for good.

Thanks for your time reading all this nonsense, and as promised earlier, check out this continued throwback to Alcan’s past, courtesy of UER member Rashomon.

Disclaimer: do not follow the link if you are bothered by nudity/porn/bondage/domination/etc.
http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post0






[last edit 8/22/2017 9:52 PM by Ground State - edited 6 times]

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Freaktography 


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Freaktography

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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 1 on 8/23/2017 11:47 AM >
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Great write up here Ground State, it must have been interesting to walk around in a place you once knew so well and see it in this state!

Unlike the other 71 lurkers who have so far read this post and chose to not comment, I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this post, and all of your posts. I also recognize and respect you as one of the hardest working and most active explorers out there.

I also worked security for a year or two after I got out of the army. I once brought beer bottles and a shotgun to a quarry I was working at overnight somewhere on Hwy 140, took it to the deepest part I could find and played target practice LOL.




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 2 on 8/23/2017 4:14 PM >
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Sweet pics and great story! It's definitely cool to have some insight from the other end of security. I have a friend who was doing security work for some money during college as well, he would set up and watch anime all night while he wasn't doing his rounds (which only had to be done a couple times anyways). It might be interesting to try and strike up a conversation with security staff if I ever have the misfortune of being found somewhere~




Grow old, but never grow up.
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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 3 on 8/23/2017 5:46 PM >
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Such a beautiful post man. This confirms what I've always thought about security guards: they are human too!

As Freak said, I absolutely love your posts. You post frequently from awesome locations with both well written stories and awesome photography. Thank you!




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 4 on 8/23/2017 7:47 PM >
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The neighbourhood across the street is so sketchy. Someone keeps moving that jeep!! Why?!

Great shots. Its a fun eery place, filmed there a few times.




doom vs 


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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 5 on 8/23/2017 7:51 PM >
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Cool post, GS. Must have been trippy revisiting all the spots you used to keep 'secure' in the plant. Lots of layering of present over past.




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ScarberianTiger 


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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 6 on 8/23/2017 9:40 PM >
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Great photos and write up! Interesting to hear the perspective of someone who's job it was to keep places like this secure.




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 7 on 8/23/2017 10:12 PM >
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Woah, that's such a cool perspective on a location!! Very nice write up, GS. I love the personal vulnerability you showed here. Very noble, and mature.




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fortress 

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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 8 on 8/27/2017 12:11 AM >
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Ahhh so this is the infamous security job plant! Great write-up, the photos really come to life with your stories. That's what life's all about, all the experiences that make us who we are. I bet that job is what whet your whistle to explore!




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 9 on 8/28/2017 2:58 AM >
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That Jeep body keeps moving around.

2012



2015






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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 10 on 8/29/2017 12:33 AM >
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Interesting post. You also have got to love how the address of the location was in the article you linked, when police are worried about vandalism,etc.




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 11 on 8/30/2017 2:41 PM >
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Amazing post. Your photography is never to be missed, but I started glazing over some of it to read your story. Had to go back to look through the pics again!




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 12 on 8/30/2017 3:14 PM >
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The title deterred me from visiting, but wow, what a fantastic read. It's sad I can only like a post once. Great work, and thank you for sharing. That final link doesn't work for me, though lol




leafloving4x4gal 


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Someday is NOT a day of the week !

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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 13 on 8/30/2017 3:56 PM >
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GS, I really enjoyed reading your memories of days of security guard, I had to laugh at the leaving site to go to bar...back many moons ago my best friend and I worked at a sub shop that was beside a favorite watering hole...we took turns going back and forth downing doubles and meet back for "rush hour" (when GM let loose for lunch) and make subs all hammered up...lol...funny how we would take risks then that we wouldn't now.

Great write up and pics...thanks




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Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 14 on 8/31/2017 2:57 AM >
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Posted by Freaktography
I once brought beer bottles and a shotgun to a quarry


That almost sounds like the way you go exploring now!
Haha


Posted by CanidCamera
I have a friend who was doing security work for some money during college


So pathetic though that it was all for minimum wage! We weren't even authorized to carry a weapon. I learned the merits of mag-lites.


Posted by MonkeyLunk
The neighbourhood across the street is so sketchy.


I logged 26 different vehicles in one midnight shift stop at a drug house across the street. We were going to make a chart of license plates to see who the biggest buyer was, but never got ambitious enough.


Posted by doom vs
Must have been trippy revisiting all the spots you used to keep 'secure' in the plant.


Glad you ticked that word off, because I'm not so sure how secure it was.


Posted by AcidPunk
Interesting to hear the perspective of someone who's job it was to keep places like this secure.


I wonder if it being my job for three years would have kept an officer from charging me a trespassing fee if I had been caught while taking these photos. That would have made for an interesting conundrum conversation!







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Ground State 


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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 15 on 8/31/2017 3:22 AM >
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Posted by Skye_Ann
I love the personal vulnerability you showed here.


Even your comments make me think of more memories... I didn't post about sleeping inside the drawer of a dresser like one of Kramer's Japanese guests on Seinfeld!


Posted by fortress
I bet that job is what whet your whistle to explore!


I don't know if it started it, but I think about all the places like this that I worked, plus house fires, foreclosed homes, etc and I think: "Where was my camera?!?!?" Shit, I could have been making the best UER posts back then.


Posted by z0th
That Jeep body keeps moving around.


Great shots! I didn't think about it moving until I saw it in one of Rashomon's old shots, so I'm glad you added these to further reinforce it. Reminds me of a certain red suitcase.


Posted by Air
You also have got to love how the address of the location was in the article you linked, when police are worried about vandalism,etc.


I once discovered an unknown abandonment around the corner from my house the very same way. An arsonist was living there and when they caught him they published the address and said it was an abandoned home.


Posted by Ricecracker
I started glazing over some of it to read your story.


And here I thought there'd be way too much reading and it would get missed for the photos. Thanks, that's so nice to hear!


Posted by RoseByAnotherName
That final link doesn't work for me, though lol


Agreed, I should not have linked back to it, especially in a public post. I haven't gotten many responses to threads in the last little while, and I mistakenly thought it would stimulate some conversation. Little did I know, it was entirely unnecessary, and, in retrospect, cheapens what seems to have turned out to be a nicely engaging post.


Posted by leafloving4x4gal
funny how we would take risks then that we wouldn't now.


For sure! I would never leave and go off-site like that now: I just keep the bottle in my lower drawer at work!!!





[last edit 8/31/2017 3:26 AM by Ground State - edited 1 times]

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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 16 on 9/4/2017 1:34 AM >
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I loved this post.

No clicking to a different off site link.

A detailed story.

A first hand account of your work at this place, and then your revisit.

Well done, thanks for the great story telling.

You seem like a stand up person.




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 17 on 10/18/2017 5:47 PM >
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Thank you very much for posting! Quite a story, and amazing pictures too.

The huge open floor areas remind me of the old PPG plant in Clarkson that I never got a chance to visit. I love the scale of these crazy old plants!




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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 18 on 10/21/2017 4:58 AM >
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Thanks for this!
A great write up and and inside look from someone who used to work there. I haven't checked it out in quite some time so it's interesting to see how things have changed (and how others haven't) That fence in pic #5 is new, or at least it wasn't there a few years ago.

I'm kicking myself now but on my first explore we found a ton of photos in one of the office desks with photos from when they had first opened, it was a bit surreal seeing photos of the place brand new with staff showing off all the equipment and then passing by the same place later in complete abandon.
(Of course I left all the photos there, I'll have to look back and see if I took any photos of them).

Thanks for taking the time to add some context to your photos. A very interesting read as always.



[last edit 10/21/2017 5:04 AM by GORE - edited 1 times]

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Re: A Broomstick in the Anus and other Alcan Tales: A Long Personal Memoire (with NSFW Link)
< Reply # 19 on 10/26/2017 11:35 PM >
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I enjoyed the pics and accompanying stories. Thank you




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