I mentioned a plant Brighton owned in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. There have been several other ventures. There was a plant in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I’m not sure what they did, but Brighton eventually closed it. Also, there was a plant in Hamilton, Ohio, just a few miles from our plant in Sharonville, called Hamilton Kettles. They produced heads for the food processing industry. This business had originally been done here in Sharonville, then expanded into this plant in Hamilton when business picked up. After several years the Hamilton Kettles work was brought back to Sharonville, and the plant in Hamilton was closed. Also, Brighton has recently opened a small head shop in Mississippi. It is still open, but not very successful. We’ve reworked some heads they tried to make there, and they were in bad shape.
The most successful plant Brighton opened was a head shop in Chicago. It stayed open for years. When it eventually closed the foreman and a flanger operator moved from Chicago to work here in Sharonville. The foreman was originally from this area, so he was glad to move back home. He worked as a foreman for a short while here, then retired. The flanger operator was Higinio C. It took him a while to get used to Brighton. Apparently the standards at the plant in Chicago weren’t up to our standards. He kept insisting his heads were good enough, while the inspectors kept rejecting them and making him do them over. Eventually, he stopped arguing and began forming heads to our specs. He was fast. I’d say he was the second fastest most productive flanger operator we’ve ever had, second only to Badeye. He retired about ten years ago. I heard he is driving a school bus.
Higinio C. came from Puerto Rico. We’ve had other immigrants work here. Although I’m not sure is someone from Puerto Rico is actually an immigrant, since Puerto Rico is a possession of the United States. Anyway, Johnny S., a press operator, was from the Philippines, so I guess that makes him an immigrant, since the Philippines once was a possession but no longer is. His father was an American sailor stationed at the large naval base there. He used to get kidded about his name, since he took after his mother much more than he did his father. “Johnny S., really? What’s your real name?” He insisted his real name was Johnny S. But he could dish it out, too. There was this huge black press operator, Chip M., who Johnny kidded with. Johnny was a short scrawny guy, and Chip was huge, three or four times his size. But Johnny would raise one arm up and dance around Chip, pretending he was holding a spear, and call Chip a spear-chucker. Chip could have squashed Johnny like a bug, but he just laughed. They were good friends.
Johnny had some good stories about the Philippines. Such as how there were hardly any stray dogs there, and the few there were would never come when you called them. Johnny said that was because the dogs knew if they came they would be bashed on the head and cooked on a grill. So stray dogs weren’t a problem in the Philippines.
People are all the time bringing in foods for other people to try. One popular item is hot sauce. Someone once brought in a sauce called “Ass In Space”, with a logo of a man with a very painful expression on his face sitting bare-assed on an outhouse flying through outer space. Everyone was warned how potent this stuff was. Everyone else only put a drop or two on their food. But Johnny claimed he grew up on spicy food in the Philippines and could eat anything. So he doused his sandwich with the stuff, then bit into it. I thought we’d have to call an ambulance. He gagged, could hardly catch his breath, got violently red in the face. But he survived.
Johnny S. quit sometime after Enerfab bought Brighton from Trinity. He hasn’t done very well since. Once he was established in this country, he had brought his wife and children over from the Philippines. Then she divorced him. I don’t know what kind of problems they had, but some of us believe she might have married him just to get a ticket into America. Some women have married men for less.