I never met Mr. Gagliotto, but from what sanitation workers that knew him have said, is that he was a good man, always happy. What he did was extraordinary, and I would know, I have a file in the clinic 2-3 inches thick, and that’s only the times I went down. From what I can gather Gags, what Mr. Gagliotto was affectionately called by his friends in the garage, did get sick, he wasn’t Superman in that sense, but he was happy in what he was doing, and he must have thought what he was doing was important and that gave him the drive to go on, even in sickness.
Now I know there are plenty of occupations that you can go on working until your late 70’s and even 80’s like Doctors and Lawyers, but a Sanitation Worker and in the field, doing collection, I don’t think so, considering what you have to go thru, the bending, the bags and cans hitting you(can’t avoid it every time), weather, and of cause the weight of the material 5-7+ tons each Sanitation Worker picks up daily, you have to give Gags his props, I don’t think that streak will ever be broken. Now I know people have gone 20 years and over without going sick, but not 50 years.
“He is just an incredible man. A quiet, gentle soul who has been doing the same thing day in and day out,” said Gagliotto’s boss, Sanitation supervisor Frank Costanzo. “If his shift starts at 6 a.m., he’s here at 4:30. He makes sure the coffee is ready for everyone when they come in,” Costanzo added. “Here’s a guy who is older than my father, and I’m 49 years old. He’s unbelievable.”
Gags began his career in DSNY on Sept. 23, 1957 and retired May 2007. He came out everyday from BKS-11.
Gags served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received the Korean Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal.
I didn’t ever want to do any other job. I like being active,” he said. “I like doing this. I enjoy it,” he said.
Except when it rains
“Give me cold, give me snow, give me anything, but don’t give me rain. Oh, how I hate the rain,” Gagliotto said.
Gags passed away in February 2008, GBLG