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The Carthage Press
  • Cantwell retires after 36 years with street department

  • Wednesday was Dan Cantwell's last day with the Carthage Street Department.
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  • Wednesday was Dan Cantwell's last day with the Carthage Street Department.
    After 36 years and 21 days of hard labor service to Carthage, he said it was time to move on.
    Originally from Glendale, Calif., Cantwell moved a lot, and was in the National Guard for eight years. When he found work in Carthage at the age of 20, he called it home.
    “Friends came and gone all my life until I came here,” he said. “I got a job, made a living, and stuck with it. There've been a lot of ups and downs, but that's the way life goes. I've had a lot of fun over the years. These are good guys down here.”
    Cantwell, 56, said he'll have to come back to visit once in a while – especially for morning coffee. But now his days will be filled with helping family, and lots of fishing.
    When Cantwell started his career, Carthage had less than stellar equipment for street maintenance.
    “They had no plows, no cinder trucks – just the graders,” he said. “I've put in a lot of hard days, some 12-hour days of clearing snow. But those hot summer days were miserable.”
    As co-workers gathered for Cantwell's celebration lunch, Public Works Director Zeb Carney presented him with two tokens of appreciation: a bunch of new fishing lures, and an old city handicapped sign – slightly modified.
    “These are exactly what I needed,” Cantwell said, happily going through the fishing lures.
    “We knew what you needed, you know how?” Carney said. “We called your brother.”
    “You called Brett?” Cantwell said, quite touched by the kind gesture.
    Carney then presented Cantwell with the sign; something more in line with the ornery atmosphere of the street crew. Cantwell proudly stood next to the sign that read “Dan Accessible.”
    “You hate to see someone with 36 years of experience and knowledge go,” Carney said. “He knows all the in's and out's of every street. I'll miss him.”
    “Gentlemen,” Cantwell announced, “it's been a pleasure.”

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