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Frank Gurrera, 94, is a machinist at the MTA's Coney Island Overhaul and Repair Shop. He has worked there for 49 years and is the oldest active member of the Transport Workers Union, TWU Local 100. "Sometimes they come up with the big parts, sometimes the small parts. Make this, fix that," he says. "It's all part of the job. Keeps your mind going, keeps your hands active, keeps your body going. Let's see, I have to fix that. I have to make a new one. How am I gonna go about it? This thing looks like a pretzel..."
Frank still lives in the house in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn which was built by his father and where he was born. From an early age, he was interested in mechanics and recalls mailing penny postcards for free brochures on the subject. He talks about joining the Navy at 18 and being deployed during World War 2 as a Seabee in Africa, Italy and the South of France. Frank describes his sense of accomplishment as a machinist with the MTA as well as his work in the aerospace industry building parts for B-52 missiles and gyroscopes for the moonshot, and why he will not work in a non-union shop.
Frank Gurrera passed away on September 16, 2020 at the age of 95.