Patience Faulkner was interviewed on February 7, 2014 by Alicia Zorzetto at the offices of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council in Anchorage, Alaska. Amanda Johnson operated the video camera. In this first part of a three part interview, Patience talks about getting involved with the response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Cordova, Alaska, working for VECO Corporation, helping to get Cordovans hired as cleanup workers, and VECO's relationship with the impacted Native communities.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Feb 7, 2014
Narrator(s): Patience Faulkner
Interviewer(s): Alicia Zorzetto
Videographer: Amanda Johnson
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
Hearing about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and getting involved with response in Cordova
Working for VECO and hiring locals to work on cleanup
Exxon and VECO's relationship with community of Cordova
Difficulty of being a local working for VECO and perception as a security risk
Isolation at VECO office
Helping Cordovans get hired and ensuring fair treatment
VECO's relationship with Native communities and impact of the spill on Native communities
Arming of Exxon security guards
Struggle to assign limited spots to a long list of local people interested in work and housing
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay. Today is February 7th, 2014. We are here in Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council office here in Anchorage.
I'm interviewing Patience Anderson-Faulkner. She happens to also be a board member. She represents Cordova District Fishermen United.
And she's been representing them on our board since 1998, if I --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Fifteen years.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, a long time. PATIENCE FAULKNER: It’s a long time. ALICIA ZORZETTO: It is a long time. PATIENCE FAULKNER: It is a long time.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So, Patience to get started, do you want to tell me where you were and what you were doing on March 24, 1989?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well, I think the most important thing is I was trying to get money together and work towards getting a Master’s Degree so that I could go on to law school.
Never happened, either one. I was sitting in McGrath and I called my sister-in-law in Cordova to find out what they were going to do for Easter and whatever else. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And she was frantic on the phone. I had a very hard time understanding her.
She said this is terrible. We got the biggest thing going. We’re crazy. We’re crazy down here.
And I finally got her calmed down a little. And she told me that a tanker had hit the rocks at Bligh Reef.
And so I said, okay, maybe when I finish my work here in McGrath, I can come down and help. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And so I -- I was done a week later. And then two days after that I farmed my dog out again and came to Cordova.
Before I had my first cup of coffee, I had brothers that were providing me with legal contracts cause the lawyers had already hit the town. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Really.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And so they were in a panic as to what they could do.
And since my background is in the law and they thought I was as close to a lawyer as they were going to see, they wanted me to help them.
And I didn’t even have my first cup of coffee, and they were showing me all these papers that came out from the lawyers.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: And the lawyers were -- oil --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: All over. They were direct action lawyers.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Industry. Okay.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah. Nobody was organized. No, it was direct action client lawyers.
So anyway I said well let me read these, you know, let me figure out where I’m staying here.
Let me get a lay of the land. And I had four brothers that were impacted right away. So I talked to each of them to find out what the heck they were doing and where I could help.
And so I finally after about a week I was able to -- I was put in a position at VECO, which was the response -- cleanup response company. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Checking out who was Cordova -- who were I should say Cordova residents and who were kind of like carpetbaggers.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Cause we had tons of carpetbaggers.
People could get into Cordova very easy. They could not get into Valdez easy.
And because you -- you could fly by jet to Cordova people came and they were everywhere.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum. And a lot of them were looking for contracts?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Work, work. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, yeah. They were looking for beach cleanup. They knew the oil company was going to pay big bucks, and they wanted to be there. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And the -- at the time -- from the time I got to Cordova and until I got into the job thing, Exxon was hiring boats to go out there and then the -- the Sound [Prince William Sound] was closed.
Exxon had bought up all the little airplanes, so that the media couldn’t rent 'em.
There were a couple of independent fliers that no, they weren’t going to be bought by the oil industry. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: So they -- you could fly out with them if you needed to, and they were, you know, good, kindhearted citizens.
Had not a clue as to where their fee was coming from, but they all worked together anyway in environmental response.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: It sounds like Exxon and VECO really took over the town --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, gosh, yes. They took over the -- any apartments, any office spaces.
They were constantly -- hotel rooms. And the fun thing was unfortunately they were afraid of Cordova and what Cordova would do.
They always walked around in pairs.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Really?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. If they had to go out to the bank, two of them went carrying one piece of paper.
If they had to go to lunch, two of them went. They went in groups, cause they were afraid of what Cordova would do.
But Cordovans were -- I only saw twice where someone lost their cool, and they later came back and apologized.
And said they were so frustrated they didn’t really mean to be so obnoxious, so please accept my, you know, my apology.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Interesting.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah, it was. ALICIA ZORZETTO: So when you say they were afraid of Cordova and what Cordova would do, was -- how did this --
I'm assuming that -- I’m making an assumption right now that the people working for VECO and Exxon weren’t living in Alaska before the spill or were they?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: The first ones were from Alaska. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: But as time went on -- because being a social butterfly that I am, I would ask, cause we’d get a manager from a local office. We had an Exxon office and we had a VECO office. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Okay.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And I’d get an -- and in the positions of hire -- hiring positions of a higher up positions that were non-local,
I’d say well where are you from and kind of get a friendly -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: See if I could help them cause we were in this together. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And at a certain point they had brought in retired oil managers -- oil company managers --
ALICIA ZORZETTO: From outside of the state?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: From outside. They were retired. They'd been retired. They were desperate.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Wow.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: To get someone there that was company.
And I always talk to them. You know, I was -- I was courteous -- as courteous to them as I was to our local citizens.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So how did these -- was it just word of mouth that gave Cordova this, you know,
that gave the companies this fearful image of Cordova or --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well, Cordova is independent. We are part of Alaska and we're very independent.
We're very vocal. We're very political. We have connections wherever it is and --
and we just scream and holler. And we are the biggest fishing fleet in the Sound. So they knew they had --
ALICIA ZORZETTO: They knew that?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: -- a mass to reckon with.
And we worked very hard to be polite. To work with them.
And I think it -- it -- the working with them worked out. There were a lot of restrictions.
As I said they closed the Sound down. You barely -- you couldn’t even think of taking your little boat out of our harbor, cause they were shutting it down.
I mean there was -- it was a little like a prison.
We were, you know, you did things. You knew that there was restrictions.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: But we wanted to get that oil out of the water, so whatever it took to do it we did.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Now your -- you've -- you've given a perspective that’s kind of much more friendly with regards to, you know, this kind of team effort.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Right.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Going on, but there are a lot of other citizens that spoke more controversial with regards to their feelings with VECO and with Exxon.
Did you -- you said you only saw one time where someone lost --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Their cool. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Lost their cool.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And then I saw them come back and apologize. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum. PATIENCE FAULKNER: But --
ALICIA ZORZETTO: And you never yourself experienced any animosity for working for VECO?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Oh, not, not me no one -- no. I don’t know people -- people -- Cordova citizens knew that I was their conduit. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I did have -- go round and round a few times with VECO.
One time -- and I just received my first paycheck -- very nice one I want you to know.
It was like I needed that after being in college, you know, so it was very nice.
And we were in this big Masonic Hall, and so from the front area where I had my little work area to the back area which was a lot of cubicles and the manager, etc.,
I was reminded twice that -- well they asked me about things implying that I was a security risk. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And I very politely, because it was a hard pill to swallow to work for an oil industry. I mean it was just real hard.
So I very politely and sincerely said I know exactly where my paycheck came from and I do thank you for it and I understand your policies,
but bingo they were worried about me because they had no control over who hired me.
I worked for them. They paid me. They kind of managed me, but they really -- Chugach Alaska Corporation had said you’re hiring Patience.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And that was it. They didn’t like it.
And the way it -- the fun thing was I mean I had more fun than anyone in the four months I worked with them.
I had a big office in the front of the Masonic. You could seat 25 people in there very easily and I had benches from -- cause they had chairs and desks in the other area. I could serve coffee like crazy.
People could come and go as they wanted, you know, it was like a -- your mother’s house or grandma’s house. Here you come and go and people did and I --
my position philosophy was, because there were a lot of questions -- not a lot of answers. I’d try and get the answers.
Didn’t always get them, but I would tell the people -- the reason Cordovans would come talk to me they were wanting to get on the beach crews.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And get some answers to all sorts of confusing questions. So anyway, they would come and I'd -- I would tell them no.
If you have any -- they put in an application, and I’d say if you have any more questions, even if you walk a block away and you go, "Oh, I should have asked her." I said come back.
You’re not going to bug me. You can come check in with me three, four times a day if you want. I don’t care.
I wanted people to work. I wanted them to be comfortable. I wanted them to feel they had a place to go.
Six months later I found out when I had a breather, talking to another Cordovan that was in a leadership position, she said we were so happy to know that you were at the Masonic, because when we called up there you had answers. Nobody else had answers for us.
And I didn’t know that. I didn’t have time. All I did was try and figure it out.
But I had done Department of Labor things. I had done -- working in the legal field I'd done a lot of little things.
In fact, one job I'd had I wasn’t allowed to study for my Bachelor’s Degree on my midnight shift.
So the only thing I could do was read the Personnel Policy. So I knew Personnel Policies like crazy.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: So that worked out. It was a great tool for me to do it.
And then as I said VECO because they isolated me and I -- I said that’s okay. You know, people can come and go.
Well, there were two doorways to get into the main hall. One was from my room, which you go through a kitchen where we -- I could go get coffee and do whatever I needed.
The other was through a double door entry thing and they had a receptionist -- local girl -- scared shitless of everything,
but anyway she was sitting there and one day I -- I walked through the kitchen area not through the main area and I never saw a person jump up from their desk so fast. And she said you can’t come in here Patience.
I said, "Oh, I was just checking to see how everyone was doing." You know, I was just looky-looing. And so I went, "Hm, this is interesting."
So since I'd already been accused of being a security risk, I said um -- so I waited a while and I go in the other door and she would not let me go any further than her desk.
But -- and then there was a copier outside the kitchen door and I would copy people’s driver’s licenses down or any personal information that we needed copies of.
And then they moved the copier to the far end of the room.
But I knew I was a real security risk when they moved the electric pencil sharpener. She had to sharpen my pencils.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Really.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Really and I said, oh, the games have begun now.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I have been accused of it. I have tried to assure them that I -- that I knew my place in the Department of Labor process.
And where I got my paycheck. And what our total mission was. And yet you’re going to treat me like that.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: And you think it was primarily based on the fact that you were -- weren’t hired by them specifically.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Right. They didn’t have control over me.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hm.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And then the security guards that they put on, they were just nice people, you know, friendly guys.
I talked to all of them. Treated them like I treat everyone else. How you doing? What can I do for you? Do you need something? They weren’t from Cordova.
Well, they treated the security guards badly, too. So my nice demeanor -- normal, guaranteed that I had a friend.
So when VECO started throwing away old copies of who was on the boat charters and lists and whatever else, they asked me -- do you want copies -- do you want these copies? We’re just throwing them away.
And I went I might need them. So I got a lot of things -- paperwork that was going in the garbage. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hm.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: That I knew that for us later -- for Cordovans later, might be very helpful.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Have you used it or has it --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I haven’t had to.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, okay.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: But I’ve had to figure out from all of this stuff how the boats were hired.
You know, how you got on the list, because there were, you know, the large oiled areas as the oil kept moving they were putting up VECO offices at different places.
And sometimes a guy from Seward would get hired ahead of our Cordova guy in the Cordova fleet area and couldn’t figure out why.
And so it took me a while to figure out. I’m a puzzle person. Figure out why -- how did the guy jump ahead of our Cordova guy?
One time I had a telephone call that this receptionist who was scared as I said of everything. Nobody would take the phone call, but she knew that I would take any phone call there was. I mean I was --
I’m a security risk and it happened to be from Worker’s Comp. VECO had not been adhering to the Worker’s Comp guidelines.
Meaning if someone got hurt and they were shipped into Cordova or had to be shipped to Anchorage, either by regular air carrier or whatever for an injury,
VECO had to make sure they were taken care of. Meaning they had to make sure that they were taken care of from the airport to wherever they had to go -- a hotel and then brought back.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. PATIENCE FAULKNER: But VECO wasn’t doing that. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: They had said no, so -- but I had connected with the right people. I knew the right people.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So you knew a lot of the things that were -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: And I knew -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- that should have been happening that were -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: That -- right -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- had to be job related.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. Yeah.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Now, do you have your own opinions as to how some fishermen might have jumped ahead versus others? You mentioned --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: In Cordova there was no jumping ahead. I mean there wasn’t.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So it's happening from fishermen outside of Cordova?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: It was happening, yeah. And I don’t know what they were doing, you know, what VECO was doing.
I know that at one time we had -- we had a manager or an expeditor or something in our office, and as I said always friendly. I wasn’t trying to dig for information. They just needed someone to talk to. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And found out -- one of the guys told me he said, "What would Cordova think if one of our VECO employees got a landing craft, put it on contract, and continued to work in Cordova?" And making the money that he was making as a manager type.
I said, "Oh, they would be delighted to see someone out there so entrepreneurial."
I said, "But then I wouldn’t be walking alone at night." Two days later that guy was gone from Cordova. I had put the word out that was not kosher.
So -- but the other thing -- and talking about security which is very important. Somehow -- well, I'd already been crosshairs with the VECO people on cultural stuff.
And they were not treating people well, you know, Alaska Natives well.
And I could pick it up. And so I talked to them about how important it was that they looked at the desperate actions or activities going on in Tatitlek and Chenega and Cordova Native Village of Eyak.
And that they needed to be a little more culturally sensitive. And I got in Exxon’s ear at that point and they actually came to my brother’s house and had a two hour conversation with me on the cultural sensitivity.
So I don’t know if they became more culturally sensitive, but they at least were warned.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: And what did -- can I ask you were you -- did you ever visit those areas during the first few months after the spill? Any of those areas?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Of, oh, Tatitlek?
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah, I mean the Native communities.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah, any of the communities, no.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: No. PATIENCE FAULKNER: I didn’t, no. ALICIA ZORZETTO: You were working.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I was working, and they were working. I mean each of those communities were desperate. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: They were -- sometimes -- In Cordova, what happened -- and it also happened in the two -- in the villages.
In the morning, a person would find out that they could go out on their boat. The only crew available would be the wife. To be sexist.
So the wife would go out. She’d send the kids to school.
She'd desperate by ten o’clock she was looking auntie, grandma, neighbor, someone to pick her kids up at school. She didn’t even have time to brief her kids in school that she was going to be gone.
And she didn’t -- couldn’t tell how long they would be gone. So many a kid was kind of abandoned.
Now they were taken care of, but, you know, emotional abandonment is very difficult.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah. ALICIA ZORZETTO: And these women what were they doing? Were they part of the cleanup?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: They were part of the cleanup, yeah. Their boats were out there, but needed crew.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Wow. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah, so you mentioned Cordova had some similarities with -- with the Native communities.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Right. ALICIA ZORZETTO: It's primarily based on their subsistence -- the need for -- to live off the land?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Right.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So a lot of the other communities in the Prince William Sound didn’t have that reliance the same way Cordova or any of the Native communities?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well, we have Chenega -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Other industries, right?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yeah, yeah, we have Chenega and Tatitlek. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And they depend on the winter, you know, the -- well, it was herring time. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hm.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: That’s when we get our herring roe on kelp. To eat.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. PATIENCE FAULKNER: And, you know, we’re -- and we’re getting ready to go fishing for salmon.
So it was at a peak time and they do other fisheries -- little fisheries in between there.
So it was, you know, they were looking for the right nutrition that annually comes around.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. And when they fish, they fish for the whole -- they fish to have enough for the whole year so there must have -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- been a sense of urgency for them -- PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: -- if they weren’t -- cause they know what they should be --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well, they need it.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah, it’s what they need.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And Exxon was generous. In place of herring they brought sardines in the can. They would bring chicken nuggets. That wasn’t something that we were used to eating.
I mean there was all sorts of, you know, substitutes. Exxon was trying to do their best. They just didn’t have anyone that was culturally attuned. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: It was very difficult. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And the one thing I will go back to the security thing. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Yeah.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: As I said I went crosshairs and did a little cultural training very quickly with the Exxon officials.
And I don’t know who they were really. Too many people.
But anyway I talked to them, and somehow in the conversation with my security guards, you know, for the offices,
picked up that Exxon was wanting to put -- arm their security guards at our -- my office area.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Oh, wow. PATIENCE FAULKNER: And I said, "No you don’t."
And they looked at me very puzzled like who do you think you really are? I said, "No you don’t."
I said already let me tell you what’s going on. Already over the cleanup crew stuff and not getting things squared away there, two brothers went at each other with knives.
I said all you need to do is escalate the frustration and the violence here. You arm your security guards at this building and I'm going to tell you, you're going to have pot shots.
And if they can’t take them out on this building, they'll shoot the bank. They'll go up main street. I said people will go crazy.
We're already keeping the lid on, so, you know, we need to think about this.
And the security guards at the VECO office they weren’t armed. They did have a gun in the drawer, because the night guy showed me that.
But they never showed any weapons.
Exxon office they had armed -- ex-police chiefs from Cordova. They were armed.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Really. PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes. And in Valdez. They were armed.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: And how did that -- how did the citizens handle that?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Well, people weren’t getting contracts with Exxon.
They were getting contracts through VECO. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: They did the shiift -- so it was all shipped from the Exxon office down to the VECO office.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: I see. PATIENCE FAULKNER: And then as I said I --
I did my best to make sure I could keep the lid on things and find out what was going on. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Hum.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And one cute thing, well, two cute stories I always tell.
One was -- it was almost the end of April before beach cleanup people came out of Cordova.
And -- because they had -- what are they going to -- where are they going to sleep at night on the Sound, because there are no hotels out there.
So -- and they had on ferry that they were using, and that had to go back into service so there were no floatels out there.
So they were getting up a ferry from southeast to come up and it was a do -- 50 fifty people could be on there -- housed on there. That’s all they were taking.
My list of people that I was keeping track of were about 125 and -- and to me it was they had no standards by which you had to pass a test to be on the list, you know.
We took them a warm body that could work, okay.
So I had 125. So out of that 125 they were only going to take 50.
And people knew who signed up when for everything.
And I had kept a list. So when the inner office told me we were -- we were hiring 50 beach workers, I said, "How are we doing the hiring? First come first serve or are we selecting for skill or, you know, how are we doing this?" Knowing my Department of Labor laws.
And -- but I didn’t tell them. And they said we will select and you will be given a preliminary list the night before -- confidential and you are to verify if it was Cordova residents.
So I said okay, no problem. So I got my list of 50 from them.
I went through there and I went well, shit. First of all I happen to know, yes, they were all Cordova residents. I had no problem. It was the right balance of Native, non-Native. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Year round people, part-time people, whatever, that type of demographic was okay.
But it was first come first serve hiring. And how they selected them that I was concerned.
And I knew, and everyone in Cordova knew, that one person on this list was like 110 for signing up, and there were others that,
you know -- so I knew that the list was not properly done or justified.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Right. PATIENCE FAULKNER: So the morning that it was to be released people --
people knew that it was to be released and the VECO people came to me and they said can you verify that these are Cordova residents?
I said I can verify that they are Cordova residents. I cannot verify that they are how we took the applications.
Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. Not your problem. I said okay, I will tell you people that are in -- that come to my office area regularly know who signed up.
They know, so be prepared for some problems.
So the morning it was to be released and I said I will read the list. And so I went down there and I knew when we’d get to the trouble person -- not first come first serve person.
And people -- I mean it was standing room only scrunched together, and as soon as I hit that person’s name -- wasn’t that the person was a bad person they just weren’t in the proper line. People came unglued.
And I named a couple more, and I could see that we were going to have a riot.
I was the only person, and I said, "Okay, folks." And they all trusted me. I said, "Okay I’m sorry people I cannot release this list. This is not going to be the official list."
ALICIA ZORZETTO: You said this to the VECO person?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I said -- no, they already -- they had already -- I'd already made my protest to them. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: But I knew -- they didn’t pay attention to -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: You said to the citizens?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: I said it to the citizens.
I said no I will go in there and we are going to get this straightened out. But I had to show power --
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: That -- We were paying attention. ALICIA ZORZETTO: That the citizens?
PATIENCE FAULKNER: Yes, the citizens.
ALICIA ZORZETTO: So it wasn’t just you trying to defend them. They could see that there was --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: That there was a reason to be -- ALICIA ZORZETTO: Not --
PATIENCE FAULKNER: So anyway it was -- it was -- I mean I wasn’t afraid at all because I knew what was going to happen. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And I knew what the positions were.
So once I got this -- Cordovans to understand that I would be advocating strongly --
ALICIA ZORZETTO: Uh-huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: -- on their behalf, they were happy --- they were pleased. I said I’ll know by four o’clock this afternoon what is going on. I said it may take me that long.
So while the people were kind of trying to protest in my office, VECO people were coming through the kitchen door and I said this won’t work. This person here. She signed up 110.
Oh really, you know. So anyway they took the list back there and that --that's when Exxon stepped in and --
And then they said okay we’re going to bring -- we’re going to see if we can get some more floatels out there that they could work from.
And so it -- it took about five more days. And the boat that was coming up had to come from southeast or somewhere else and it got to Yakutat and had a mechanical. ALICIA ZORZETTO: Huh.
PATIENCE FAULKNER: And so every morning VECO in their office would give me the information.
Got a mechanical. We're going to get the part flown into Yakutat.
Okay and -- and so we -- everyone in Cordova knows when the planes fly. They know how to get freight. They know where the mechanics are in the state. They know everything.
They would all check in and I’d say the word from the inner office is boat’s not here -- parts not here.
So it was like two days that there was a -- the parts not here. We don’t know beans.
And someone came in from Cordova and said well --