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Derowski, Ed

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Mary S Taylor

Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 28018
Location: Fresno, CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:44 am    Post subject: Derowski, Ed Reply with quote

Pacific Grove Beacon, CA Sept. 26, 1997
P.G. Fountain of Youth
By Joe Strang
Counting his time with the old treatment plant on Ocean View Boulevard, Ed Derowski has been employed by the City of Pacific Grove for 42 years. If there is a plug in a sewer, he is the man to ask which street has the problem. As Sewer maintenance Lead Man for the City, Derowski is the resident expert. Nowadays, sewers are cleared dydraulically by forcing water through tem, but in his early days, Derowski used a hand auger to blear a clog. Before the City hired private companies to pave the streets he did the work. He was also the man to call in the middle of the night to unload a backed up sewer or wait beside a storm-fallen tree until it could be removed. Although he has lately become the one who removes graffiti from the walls of our town and picks up the parts neede to repair the City’s vehicles, Derowski will always be known as the town’s sewer expert. He was born in Bayonne, New jersey, on the last day of September 1921. This September 30th will be not only Ed’s 76th birthday (a record bor a City employee) but his final day of working for Pacific Grove. Ironically, the person who taught Derowski both the location and the maintenance of sewers held the previous record for the oldest City retiree. Jim Kidd started with the City in 1908, left for a while, and returned in 1922, and was 75 when he retired in 1957 as the City’s Head of Sewer maintenance. Drowski, unlike his predecessor, has not, until now, ever taken a hiatus from the City. Together the two men span almost the whle 20th Century of sewer maintenance in P.G. Derowski was stationed at Fort Ord in the early forties, relished the P.G. fog and decided to settle here after his discharge. As fate would have it, he won more than enough money shooting dice at Fort Ord to buy three adjoining lots on Crocker Avenue. When the Presidio decided to dispose of two shower house/latrines, he set them up on the property, where they stand today as his garage. Before constructing the present house on the property, Deroswki stayed on a friend’s old cabin cruiser at the wharf in Monterey and earned a living as a fisherman. He went from fisherman to cannery worker, did a brief stint at Spreckles Sugar and worked as a bus washer for Bay Rapid (the forerunner of Monterey Salinas Transit), where he learned on the job mechanics. While working on the buses, he met Lita, his wife-to-be, who rode the bus to and from her jobas an operator for the Telephone Company off Franklin Street. The Derowski’s have been married for thirty years and have a son named Bill, who is co-owner of P.G. hardware. When Ed Derowski first went to work for the City of Pacific Grove, he split his time between the P.G. yard and the ocean View treatment plant, where he was relief man for Les Howder. Because Ed wanted to spend more time with his young son, he gave up the relief-man position and ended up working full time at the yard under supervisors Pop Smith and Romy Compton. Generations of Pagrovians wil recall the ’54 Chevy pickup that Deroski drove. In the days of Jim Kidd, the city only had that one truck, and, with the head of sewer job, Derowski inherited the truck. When he had to have back surgery, the City decided to retire the truck and buy it for him. George Vermilyer, one of the City’s mechanics, painted “Duflunkyh” on the side of the truck as that was the epithet that Derowski had so often used to label anyone who goofed. Another nickname Derowski has is “The Penny Tipper.” When he was a child growing up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, during the Depression, he earned his movie money by recycling, a practice that begat a life-long hobby. Today, he collects bottles, cans and scrap metal, sells the materials to a company in Salinas, and uses the profit to add to his collection of first-issue coin banks in the form of model cars and trucks. When the Derowski’s dine at one of their favorite local restaurants, Ed leaves three-dollar tips in penny wrappers. And to the City of Pacific Grove, Ed Derowski leaves a legacy of service to our community and a sewer system that flows vigorously beneath its streets.
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