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TCE & Me

by Terri Pace

Continued from Part I, entitled: Introducing a New Profile Series on TCE

Civilian Exposure - Contributing Journalist - Terri L. Pace

Our newest contributor to Civilian Exposure, Terri L. Pace continues sharing her personal experience with her own TCE exposure. Plus, Terri will share her ongoing work and research into the origins, uses and health impacts of TCE in upcoming research and reporting

by Terri L. Pace

I worked for GAF/Sawyer, Corp. for only one year. I was seventeen years old and I believe I was the youngest employee that worked there. There were different departments at GAF. I remember that one of them had ovens that were extraordinarily hot where some of the men worked each day. I remember talking to a boy who was just a little older than me when I was getting something from the lunch area. His face was red. He was sweaty and complaining to me about the working conditions in his department.

The employees in that department suffered greatly from the heat from the ovens. They consumed a great deal of water that came from the company well to keep themselves hydrated. I did not like water at the time. I preferred coffee and guzzled it down, ounce by ounce, while I gleefully exchanged stories with my coworkers and stamped more plastic parts into working pieces of View Master toys.

At one point I was selected to work with an engineer. Instead of stamping plastic pieces, I wrote down measurements, handed him papers and clipboards that he needed, and watched him busily designing what I thought might be upgrades to what we already produced. Back then I had endless energy, (probably from the gallons of coffee that I consumed) and I worked as a journeyman cake decorator for Albertsons on the weekends. I also sang in a nightclub in the evenings. For being just a teenager, I was making money hand over foot. I had my own apartment, was paying for my own car insurance, utilities and my first car, a VW bug. Life was great!

Pages in lives are turned each day and we find ourselves in various situations. Mine life had changed by the time I was 21. I was the mother of a beautiful baby boy. He was amazing! I am not exaggerating. This child pulled himself out of my lap by hanging onto a full clothes basket that had some heavy items in it, when I was sitting on the floor, folding clothes. He was only 3 months old. He rolled over at 1 month old, was talking by 9 months old, and low and behold, it turned out that he was gifted.

I was married to a City Manager of a small town. We had a sweet life and eventually moved on to a larger town where he was the Public Works Director. We agreed that I should stay home with this amazing child. Five years later I had another son. This child was blessed with a different set of gifts. I took on other people’s children and babysat in my home to help with the budget. I was not often sick and have enjoyed very good health. TCE exposure can destroy people in many ways. I would realize how…years later.

To be continued….

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