In the late sixties when I started in the shotcrete industry, swim-ming pool construction was the main use for dry-mix shotcrete. Ah, yes, the good old œgunite days. Those were the days when safety was strictly a result of good luck. There were no complaints
if you got hurt”you just got over it.
The day would start at 5:30 a.m. in the yard. I drove the gunite rig, which was old, had no trailer brakes, no tail lights, and was held together with tie wire. Shooting the first pool usually would start around 7:00 a.m. The homeowner would always stay home and serve us coffee and donuts no later than 10:00 a.m. We would finish the first pool by 10:30 a.m. or so. After stopping to buy cold beer, our crew headed for our second pool of the day. Again, the homeowner would always stay home on gunite day, waiting for our arrival. Around noon, the home owner would ask if we would like something cool to drink and we would say beer would be fine, thank you. Believing they were being gracious hosts, homeowners served us beer on the job, which was the American way to work in the sixties. We would finish the second pool around 3:00 p.m.
Now it was time to head for the yard. That is when we started drinking beer on our own time. Back at the yard, we had a complete room devoted to beer drinking. A full supply of cold beer was always on hand. When it got dark we wanted a change of scenery and would head to a bar to let off a little steam. And so it was in the œgunite industry in the sixties when I entered this industry.
Then came along the words œworkers™ compensation. It changed the way we œworked. Some of the changes seemed so silly and childish.