Glenn Holley retires after 50 years with Greenfield DPW
GREENFIELD — Sixty-eight-year-old Glenn Holley started working for the town’s Department of Public Works on Aug. 5, 1963.
He retired last week after 50 years on the job.
Born and raised in Greenfield, Holley graduated from Greenfield High School and just a couple of months later started working as a “common laborer” for the DPW, he said.
Holley had been working for the DPW during the summer while he was in high school.
“It was that or tobacco,” he said. “My dad had died and my mom was working full-time for the DPW.”
An only child, Holley said it was probably a little nepotism that got him through the door.
Holley ended his career with the town as an equipment operator.
“I loved it, so I never even tried to get a management position,” he said. “I loved playing with steel dump truck toys as a little kid and never got over it.”
Up until a few days ago, Holley was still running the town’s backhoe.
“I spent my 50 years digging up the streets of Greenfield,” said Holley. “People still stop me and say, ‘I know you. You’re the guy who dug up my yard 10 years ago.’”
Holley said the biggest change over the years, besides watching people come and go in the department, is technology.
“These machines are computerized now,” he said. “Today we get a lot of training, but back in the ’60s and ’70s, when they started computerizing them, we had to teach ourselves.”
He said there were also about 100 DPW employees back then.
“There’s about half of that, now,” he said.
He said a lot of his work was laying sewer lines.
He said he’s glad that Greenfield has used its DPW to do most of the work over the years.
“It has saved the town’s taxpayers quite a bit,” he said. “I think the quality of work has been better than it would have been hiring outside contractors, because we live here and we care.”
Holley said he would now like to stop and enjoy life with his wife.
“I have a house here and a house on the Cape,” he said. “I think I have enough to keep me busy.”
Holley has two grown sons — one, Mark Holley, works for the DPW in its wastewater treatment plant.