50 years of the DECC - DECC memories: Brian Matuszak
I worked on the overnight labor crew from 1980-85. We set up for events throughout the complex and we also tore down/cleaned up after events. Other than the physical labor aspect of it, it was one of my all-time favorite jobs. Mostly because we g...
I worked on the overnight labor crew from 1980-85. We set up for events throughout the complex and we also tore down/cleaned up after events. Other than the physical labor aspect of it, it was one of my all-time favorite jobs. Mostly because we got to see aspects of public events that many people don’t normally get to see. A few examples:
I worked an afternoon shift once and we saw Huey Lewis and the News do their sound check for a concert that evening. They sang an a capella version of the National Anthem. It was a private concert, in effect, and it was really cool.
After a ZZ Top concert, we were cleaning up their dressing room and noticed tables full of food (cold cut platters, cheese and crackers, fruit, etc.) that hadn’t been touched. Of course, we helped ourselves.
We would get into concerts for free by showing up early at a side door and telling the ushers we had to work that night. They usually never figured out that we were five hours early for our shift, or they just didn’t care, and we walked in and watched the show. ...
One time during an afternoon shift, we made it to work during a November storm. While at work, it turned into a raging blizzard and we were stranded overnight at the Arena. We were all able to go outside and pull our cars into the Arena and out of the snow. It was pretty neat to have the run of the entire place but have no work to do. We all staked out places in the complex to sleep. I chose the Auditorium mezzanine that overlooked the harbor. I pulled together some of the couches and slept as the snowstorm raged outside the huge windows. It was one of those blizzards that had thunder and lighting so it was really cool. I believe it was Thanksgiving 1983. I remember the next morning as I drove back home to Saginaw, Highway 2 was still snow-covered. I tried to keep my tiny car in the set of tire tracks from previous drivers.
It was one of my favorite jobs, especially the overnight aspect of it. Sometimes, if our shift ended early, we’d go over to Park Point and watch the sunrise over Lake Superior before heading home. Good times!
Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater, and a former employee at what’s now the DECC. He shared these memories with the News Tribune.