Century Building Downtown

Scrappin’ on Locust

by Michael R. Allen

Several days a week, pedestrians on Locust Street will see a battered red GMC pick-up truck of a late 1960s or early 1970s vintage with its bed overfilled with scrap metal. The truck is parked outside of the Old Post Office, and its driver is a scrapper with great tenacity. He will go through the considerable debris created by various projects at the Old Post Office, which have gotten few and far between since the formal opening on the Ides of March. There is some metal coming from the ongoing construction of the Century Building’s tombstone, though, and with the mishaps and delays plaguing that project, the metal will be coming for awhile.

The scrappy scrapper is friendly and energetic — and motivated, since this work is the only job he holds at the moment. Thankfully, the construction workers and guards at the Old Post Office never interfere with his pursuit of enough money to buy a few meals. In fact, the workers frequently separate metal and give it directly to him.