My first day on the job and already I had had three different people explain the project to me. There was a big, daunting map on the wall in every office. Our tasks centered on the reclamation of a former nuclear diffusion plant in Pike County. The project was called PORTSFuture and involved a website, community survey, and environmental testing.
Even that first day in the office, everyone knew why I was there. They seemed excited to have me aboard and hopeful that I would feel as passionately about reviving the area as they were. It was easy to share their enthusiasm and passion.
For the first project, I roamed through archives of photos only recently released to the public. My job was to organize all the pictures into folders according to theme. Everything from aerial land views to staff Christmas parties was documented in the 1,000 or so photos. I was intrigued by what the candid shots said about the work environment but most amused by the pictures of the old billboards. Some were from as far back as the 1950s! Most of them were about maintaining security within the plant, a relatively serious subject, but their phrasing or stated reasoning for being safe was usually humorous or dated. PSA designers back in the day certainly knew what they were doing!
It may have been a very long project, but I can’t think of a better way I could have been introduced to the PORTS efforts.