In “Clean Streets“, the most recent short animated film by StoryCorps, two New York City sanitation workers named Angelo Bruno and Nieves fondly recall the wonderful time they had working together for 10 years on the same West Village route where they became an accepted and appreciated part of the neighborhood.
Everybody would just come out just to talk to you. People would say, ‘Oh, good morning Angelo. Good morning Eddie. You want a cup of coffee? You want lunch?’ And the nuns kissing us, too. We had nuns on our route. You know, I never had that before. (Laughs) The younger guys would ask me, ‘How did you get that?’ It’s just a little good morning, have a nice weekend. Hey, you look great today. I could do 14 tons of garbage. I can’t lift a baby carriage off a step and carry it down? Or hold someone’s baby when they went to get their car? The garbage ain’t going nowhere.
Nieves retired after 31 years on the job, but admitted that he misses it very much.
I miss it terribly, I’m like the little kid looking out the window now when I hear the truck. I think I could have done another 31 years.