Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I and I and Dieter

[posted by Callimachus]

Chrysler's Newark, Del., plant got the axe today.

The Delaware plant makes the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs. Gas-guzzling vehicles grew unpopular last year after gasoline prices shot up. The plant had been operating at only about half capacity, says consultants Harbour Associates.

I know business is complex and markets are fickle, but I can't help thinking a whole lot of lunchpail guys just lost their careers because of bad choices made by some suits who will keep theirs.

Reader can testify to this: It's hard to find any adult around Wilmington or Newark who hasn't worked at one time or another for Chrysler or DuPont. Or both.

Did you know that the list of people who have manned the assembly lines at Newark's Chrysler plant over the decades includes Bob Marley? Yup. His mom moved up to Delaware in the early 1960s, and periodically in the late 1960s, when Marley's music career in Jamaica hit a slow spot, he'd come up to Newark and lived with his mom and worked in the Chrysler plant for a while. I've read that he wrote many of his best-known songs while in Newark.

According to his son's reminiscence, he brought the family with him after he married.

During the 1970s stint, 8-year-old Ziggy and his elder sisters came along with Bob and wife Rita Marley to "live in my grandmother's house on Tatnall Street" and go to elementary school.

"I got teased a lot, but it was a real eye-opener," Ziggy recalled. "It was the first place I ever saw snow. And we still have a lot of relatives, cousins in the area."

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