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National Works Remembered: Ed Brush's Poem

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
November 02, 2017
Posted in: History

In 1997, while working at the McKeesport Daily News, I realized that it had been exactly 10 years since U.S. Steel's National Works had closed --- actually, I think I noticed an item under "This Day in History."

Business editor Sue Simkovic, photographer John Barna and I decided to do something we called "The National Works Project," and we asked readers to send us their memories of working in the mill.

For a variety of reasons, none of which I remember (probably lack of space), we didn't use everything we collected. One item I particularly regretted not using was a poem that came to us from a retiree named Ed Brush.

Mr. Brush had retired in 1981 --- just as the mill was entering its final decline --- after 41 years, most recently as an electrician in the Pipe Mill, and had written the poem for his former co-workers before a retirement party.

I saved it, and I'm happy to finally publish it at Tube City Online, 20 years later.

Sadly, Mr. Brush won't get to see it. According to an obituary I found, he died Jan. 8, 2007, at 87, leaving his wife, Mary, who passed away about three years later.

If any of his children or grandchildren should happen to read this, I would appreciate hearing from them, and I hope they don't mind me printing his poem, finally, 20 years too late.

You can read Ed Brush's poem here.

Yesterday, we published a timeline of the history of National Works from 1865 to 1987.

Originally published November 02, 2017.

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