Dennis Williams walks down 10 1/2 Street while working at Fred's Pallet Service. Owner Fred Herald hires mostly ex-convicts, people whom, as Herald once did, need a second chance in life.
"When I think about these pallets, I think about my life," says Williams, an employee for two years. "Many things are wrong with the pallets, but I have to salvage them. I have to break down the used pallets, the broken ones, and make new ones. I made a mess out of my life. I never meant to do manual labor. I was in college, studying computers, but I got too heavy into drugs. Now there are a lot of bridges I can't cross, a lot of doors I cannot open. I lost opportunities because of what I did. But you have to start somewhere and climb again. Whatever's in front of you, you have to salvage. I'm learning to salvage what I can out of my life. Fred taught me this, and I thank God for him. Fred has helped me stay [on the] straight and narrow. He has given me an opportunity to grow in life and gain new perspectives. Because of him, and because of God, I know there is still some use in me."