A Face In The Crowd 

It’s a nasty task, but someone’s gotta do it. And who knew that Robert Grady would do it so well? Grady, 30, has no specific job title. Co-workers call him the “dead animal guy,” though Roadkill King also seems apt. An employee in the waste management division of the city’s Public Works Department, Grady’s the guy who traverses the more than 500-square-mile county, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, picking up dead animal carcasses, which he then transports to the Metro Animal Control facility for incineration. “A lot of my friends don’t know how I can stand to do it, but it pays the bills,” says Grady, an affable guy who tired of interstate hauling as an over-the-road driver for Digby Truck Lines. “I had no life driving a truck, so my grandfather suggested I come to work for Metro.” Grady started working for Metro on a memorable date—Sept. 11, 2001—as a flagman and laborer with road resurfacing crews. Then late last year, he was tapped for his new, grim—but singularly important—duties. “I cover the whole of Davidson County,” he says. “I’m the only man who does this, from county line to county line. In a typical day, I pick up 20 to 25 carcasses. I pick up possums more than anything, I guess, but there’s also a variety of dogs, cats, raccoons and birds. Just today I picked up three deer. I’ve even picked up goats.” The tools of Grady’s trade are a pair of big leather gloves, two shovels and a Ford F-350 truck specially equipped with an electronic winch for those heavier loads. There’s a human element to this animal business for sure, though. “The kids seem to love me,” Grady says. “But some people get very emotional too. Anyway, I’m doing a really good job. My numbers are up.”

—By Martin Brady

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Recent Comments

Sign Up! For the Scene's email newsletters





* required

All contents © 1995-2014 City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation