Safety Stash

I returned to my old stomping grounds last week, BP Texas City. I got to return to Houston and visit some old colleagues and good friends and photograph the old refinery I used to work at just 2 short years ago. This plant is amazing. It’s the 3rd largest in the US, BP’s largest in the world and produces 3-4% of the nations gasoline. Process’s 475,000 barrels of crude a day.

But back to what’s important. When you work in an intense environment like a refinery, safety is paramount. If there is an upset or any thing released into the air, you might need to put on fresh air packs, pretty much SCUBA gear for terrestrials. And, if you have a beard, it can interfere with the ‘air tight’ requirements needed to be safe. So pretty much, you can’t wear a beard when you work there. Which for me was a total bummer for the 3 1/2 years cause I prefer a beard. I used to shave when I was younger cause they said it would give you a thicker beard when it grows back in. So, I immediately stopped all shaving as soon as I left. People in Charleston, probably don’t know me without a beard.

Hang in there, here comes my point. So, when I do jobs at BP’s refinery’s now, I like to shave into a nice mustache. Not only is it safe, but also, at a refinery, I think you gain a little respect. People are like, “Dang!  That young guy has a sick stash and an even awesomer camera. Let’s listen to what he has to say.”

Case in point: Chicago this summer. Respect is dripping off this photo right now…

And here is last weeks. A little less awesome cause it was a stash pulled from a relatively tightly trimmed beard, so the Handle Bars are not as pronounced. But nonetheless, it sticks out from a distance.

Kara and I atop a unit. I told Kara she should wear a stash too… but she didn’t think it was a good idea for some reason.

Also get to see my new LowePro Trekker 400 AW pack in it’s debut use at the plant. Super comfortable pack.


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