He chafes at accepting government help and wonders why politicians courting Ohio voters don't make departing employers such as Amweld rather than taxpayers pay for the human wreckage they leave behind. "Make them pay for my needs, my health care, my training. Make them find a job for me," he says, growing animated.
There's a thick carpet of snow lying across what used to be Amweld's employee parking lot. It's 16 degrees out, cold even for late February, when the men return to their former workplace. The massive brick structure, which began life as a boiler factory in the 1890s, is silent. As they wait for a news photographer to memorialize their troubles with a photo, they peer through the windows, listen to the trucks rumbling along Plant Street and thrust their hands into their pockets to keep warm.
They talk of the weddings and funerals, the bowling and the drinking, that they shared along with work. They trade good-natured insults and swap tales of former co-workers. And they arrive at a verdict on their situation that's difficult to dispute. "It's just sad," Bob Ulrich says.