by Mary Sweeten, Editor, Weavers Way Shuttle
Steve Hebden has been at the Co-op since dinosaurs roamed Mt. Airy. Norman hired him in 1979. His title and portfolio have morphed over the years like the globs in a lava lamp — currently, he’s the Weavers Way Facilities Manager, and with three stores, he actually has folks working for him these days.
But basically, Steve has been the Co-op’s handyman for a long time. He’s also one of the principal pillars of our sometimes maddening, occasionally counter-productive institutional commitment to REUSE & RECYCLE, dammit. When I started here, Steve rounded up a 25-square-foot bulletin board for my wall and chamfered out an old countertop for my desk. (It smelled faintly of celery.)
I have also come to realize that he reads minds.
Last month, when I went to deliver the Shuttle to the Chestnut Hill store, I found the plexiglass window smashed out of the newspaper box. You can’t have a newspaper box without a window — the papers would get wet, and what a mess THAT is. It was Friday, so I threw it in the back of my car, planning to ask Steve about it after the weekend. Cut to several days later. I run into Steve. Before I can open my mouth to say, “I left a newspaper box in the warehouse, can you take a look at it?” he says, “Where’s the lock?” Because he had already set one of his accomplices, the semi-retired Steve Perkiss, on the job of replacing the window, and the windows in the other boxes, which did look pretty dilapidated, and just wanted to know why the lock and chain were missing. (Happily for my standing with the Facilities Department, I did know where the lock was.)
Steve P. and Jeff Schmidt, Steve Hebden’s other accomplice, don’t just fix old stuff. “He and Jeff really got things running when we were fitting out Ambler,” Steve commented.
Jeff now works in Ambler full-time. The Steves take care of business, old, new and recycled, in the Philadelphia stores. Say hi — they probably already know what you’re thinking.