"For many of us, it's the only place we ever worked. So it's been a good time. A lot of family, just a very tough day for us," Mahlon Russell said.
For 39 years, he has toiled away at Mattituck Services, a company world renowned for its work overhauling airplane engines.
Production sputtered to a stop on Friday.
"I don't think it's anybody's fault. It's just the way things are," Jay Wickman said.
Wickham's dad founded the company back in 1946. At its height, 70 people overhauled a thousand engines a year. Then they were bought by a company in California, merged into a company in Alabama, which was bought by a company in china.
Now, little Mattituck services has found itself on the scrap heap of a global economy. Just 22 workers left. By next week, they'll be gone.
"It's just a failure to integrate a small business an entrepreneurial business into a large public company. It's life right now. That's all. Just life," Wickham said.
Town supervisor Scott Russell says the recovery has yet to arrive on the quaint North Fork, known mostly for its rising wine industry, but lately the victim of corporate takeovers. The local bank was recently swallowed up by Capital One, which is cutting 200 more jobs.
"Companies that are trying to survive are downsizing, they're scaling back, and the satellites that are located in my town, those jobs are going elsewhere," Scott Russell said.
As local leaders struggle to attract new businesses, at Mattituck Services today was goodbye for this grizzled group of airplane mechanics, many of whom know how to do little else. Now they are wondering how they'll move on.
"It's pretty hard for me to say goodbye to these guys today. We're all from the same towns. We'll see each other around, but it's a hard day," Mahlon Russell said.
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