Song of the Heater Man(to be accompanied by steam puffs, clanking steel and the sultry whine of the straining extruder)
Heater man,where does he stand?watching the graphswatching the heat
Behind the ovens,watching, waiting,no pacing spacefor the heater man.
When he pushes the buttonthe hot block rollsbut nobody seesthe heater man.
Nobody seesthe heater man,meter man,watching the heat.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: The heater man is the first of five. It takes five men to run the extruder. Nobody sees the heater man. He's back, behind ovens and conveyors, behind the yellow rail, watching graphs and temperatures, maintaining his equipment, waiting in a narrow passage against the back wall where there's barely pacing space. His equipment is noticeably newer than elsewhere in the factory, but he's all alone. When a block is hot, from somewhere behind the ovens, the heater man pushes a button, and 300 lbs of hot copper moves down the track, appears and stops, a glowing, orange beacon in front of the system operator.
I have not yet captured a good photo of Miguel, the heater man, but his title has provoked the following bit of nonsense, perhaps inspiration for a future portrait.