Old Faithful

Published 12:04 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

HUNTERDALE — Billy Piersa knows the meaning of the term “keep on truckin’.”

The International Paper Co. retiree has been doing just that for 27 years.

Piersa, who has done shift work at the mill since May 1, 1978, has been truckin’ it to work in a 1955 bright yellow Chevy for more than 27 of his years there.

“It’s been mighty faithful to me,” Piersa said with a laugh. “It has only had mechanical problems five times since I bought it in 1981.”

The Hunterdale resident knows a thing or two about consistency on the job, too.

He only missed two days of work in his long career at IP and only took three weeks of vacation in three decades there.

He also never had a recordable OSHA accident or first-aid case at the mill, he proudly reported.

As for his trusty truck, neighbors got to know the familiar sounds of it starting up as Piersa would get ready for work.

“His old truck goes vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroom in the morning,” his wife of 40 years, Sharon Piersa, said. “He’s a car nut.”


Piersa also owns ’55, ’56 and ‘57 Chevrolet convertibles, two 1955 two-door hard tops, a 1956 Chevy Nomad wagon and a 1988 Monte Carlo SS.

Piersa and his wife have two daughters, Sherry Lee and Holy Dole and five grandchildren — Miranda, Morgan, James, Trevor and Alayna.

As for the truck, “It’s not for sale,” Piersa said.

“I’m saving it for my grandsons.”