On Saturday, Feb. 8th, Angels Gate Cultural Center held a special pre-opening dinner for the members of Pile Drivers Local 2375. Pile drivers, some as far away as San Diego, made the drive to see the hard work of artist, Fausto Fernandez, and their brethren who spent two long weekends bringing the exhibit together. Besides getting a sneak-peek of the show before it officially opened, pile drivers were asked to contribute stories from their time on the job and write messages on chalk boards in the gallery.
In appreciation for their vision, support and hard work, the Pile Drivers presented special hard hats to artist Fausto Fernandez and AGCC Director of Visual Arts, Isabelle Lutterodt.
I was able to speak with two very well respected Pile-Butts (the nickname for pile drivers), Kelly Zaradnik and Don Wright, who shared some of their personal experiences with us.
Kelly is a mighty mite who, the men were quick to tell me, put a man flat on his back for grabbing a machine out of her hand.
Don Wright is a retired diver. He only worked in the Port of Los Angeles for 10 years, but he happened to be one of the lucky divers to clean-up the mess of the Sansinena explosion.
Photos of the exhibit do not do it justice, but here they are. You can see it in person at Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 S. Gaffey St., San Pedro, Monday thru Friday 10-5 and Saturdays from 12-4.