December 30, 2005

Oh, and yours don't?

Abe, our neighbor in Nebraska's second city, tries to get a rise out of the old feeder with a post about feedlot odors. Lincoln, of course, smells good all the time because it has no big feedlots right in town.

For 3 years I was commuting to Lincoln almost every day. This was almost 30 years ago, and Gretna still had a giant working feedlot along the East edge of town. My NU East Campus car pool met in Gretna. We called the feedlot Kauschwitz with its imaginary wrought iron gate reading Fressen Macht Frei. Some days it was pretty smelly. I never worried about the stink making me sick or anything.

Once in Lincoln, getting stuck at the light just South of Highway 6 on 48th Street , day after day, made me worry about my health. There was (and may still be) a plastic blow-molding factory at that stop light that gave off what I would call fumes, something stronger than mere odor. I choked and my eyes watered. I tried holding my breath, but the light was too long. Those burning plastic fumes had to be toxic.

The factory made those big poly tanks you see on farm trucks. They must have been selling tanks, as they worked long hours. I suppose the folks that had steady work there told each other it was "the smell of money."

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