T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Incidents at the nearby plant
Brenda Cole Jones by Stephanie Dragoon, 2016.
STEPHANIE DRAGOON: What do you remember about the refineries around where you were growing up?

BRENDA COLE JONES: I remember, like, oh, sometimes we would have real bad odors we would smell. Especially if we were getting ready to get on the I[nterstate]-10 bridge because where Olin was and it would smell just like Clorox from there because they made ammonia. Then we lived two blocks from the VCM plant, which is now, I think, a part of Axial due to the merger. And sometimes there would be explosions and we would feel our homes shake even from as far away as the Cities Service Refinery. I remember panes rattling in our homes because they were older homes, so of course you could feel the vibrations of the homes.

A lot of people would complain about the plant having exploded the night before and windows being broken out, but it was a time back then you didn't hear of the lawsuits. Nobody . . . I don't ever remember anybody calling . . . saying they called one of the plants and told them about having lost windows and needing to have somebody come out to inspect their homes or anything like that. I remember being at Westlake High and they closed the school because there had been something that had happened at the VCM plant and they were trying to get all the students back home. So the buses were there, picked us up, and took us all back home and school was closed. I think for the . . . I know for the rest of that day, and maybe the following day. But those were just some of the things that I can remember going on.
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