Telling it


printTales of the Ties that Bind

Ralph Mercurio's Retirement Gift
Workplace Friendships

[see large picture]

Retirement parties were opportunities for communities of Turnpike employees to come together to honor their own. Ralph Mercurio, a maintenance supervisor who started on the Turnpike in 1952, was surrounded by loyal coworkers who celebrated his 1976 retirement with panache. A State Police friend who more typically sketched fugitives drew the portrait of Mercurio, and everyone at the party signed it. The framed portrait then became a treasured memento in the Mercurio home as a reminder of workplace friendship and camaraderie.

Framed drawing of Ralph Mercurio by “Hec,” signed by friends at his retirement dinner, 1976
Collections of The New Jersey Historical Society, gift of Ralph Mercurio
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