Scott Boeke, Material Hauling, NexGen Building Supply
Additional Protection on the Job
Former Marine and Active Teamster Guided By Strong Work Ethic

The oldest active post in the Marine Corp is Washington’s Marine Barracks 8th and I. President Thomas Jefferson founded it in 1801. It’s the official residence of the Commandant, the highest-ranking Marine in the U.S. military.

In the late 70s and early 80s, it was Scott Boeke’s home. He was a Marine, serving as Presidential security to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan at Camp David. Today, he looks back on his service—and his White House security clearance—as “a good gig.” He fondly remembers meeting Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat during the Camp David Accords and peace process between Israel and Egypt in 1978.

For more than 25 years since the end of his career in the Armed Forces, Scott’s been a Teamster. He’s worked with materials mostly, first in lumber and now with NexGen Building Supply in Schaumburg as a member of Teamsters Local 786. He says being in the Teamsters is essential for workers today, necessary protection for American men and women.

Kinda like the military.

What did you do after you first got out of the Marines?
I worked at Entemann’s for a bit. Then some odd jobs. I tried to get on with the State. That’s where my brother worked, who actually just retired from IDOT. Not long after that, though, I got on with Heinz Lumber. I was there for almost 11 years.

What’d you like about lumber?
It was nice, you know. I like being outside. On that job, when you drove to a site, you’d pull the truck up, take the straps off and let the load fall to the ground. Then you’d get back in your truck and drive off. Here at NexGen, the work is much more involved. You take all the drywall off by hand. I work with a six-story boom crane to move materials around. Some days are hard, some days aren’t. Today wasn’t bad. You’ve got to deal with elevators sometimes, maneuvering materials in many different environments.

When did you start with NexGen?
I’d say 14 years ago. But I’ve been a Teamster for about 26 years.

What’s a typical day like?
Well today, me and my partner punched in at a quarter to three in the morning. We had to be downtown at five. First we had to load the truck and then get it down there. It was a small job, so we were able to just take the materials off the side of the truck. Sometimes we don’t have to send the boom up when we’re on Michigan Avenue. It can help you avoid conflicts with the cops. Sometimes you can be a cop magnet down there. But, you know, we flipped the materials off on the job, brought it into the building and then we had to go out to Naperville on another job. From there we went out to Sycamore, where we unloaded all different kinds of materials. We were actually out there yesterday too.

What kind of materials are you hauling?
Mostly drywall and steel studs. Although we just started carrying stucco.

Do you like being a Teamster?
Oh yeah. If it wasn’t for the Teamsters, I’m sure I wouldn’t have anything. Not to say these guys have been bad to me at this company. I’ve never had any bad relationships with my employers. I’ve never had any problems, never been written up. The bosses here are good guys. I make a good living. I’ve got good insurance through the Teamsters. I’ve got no problems with anyone. But it’s just like at any place, I guess. It’s good to have additional protection when you’re working a job. It’s essential. I couldn’t imagine anyone working nowadays without the Teamsters.

So I heard you work with bonsai trees. Is this a hobby?
Yes. I have about 15 different trees right now.

How’d you get into that?
I did a long time ago, like 20 years ago. You don’t buy them all the time, but the oldest tree I’ve got is like 35 or 40 years old. I put some of them in a special show up at the Chicago Botanical Gardens last year. I didn’t win anything.

What’s involved in maintaining bonsai trees?
You’ve got to really be careful with the water. You can water them too much, you can water them not enough. It’s delicate.

Is it a relaxing hobby?
You know, yes. Sometimes. But then sometimes you’re trying to pull your hair out wondering why some things happen. Okay, so why did this tree die or why does this tree have bugs on it even though it’s been inside for six months? The trees typically only go outside during the summertime.

Any other hobbies?
I like to fish. I got into fly fishing recently. I’ve been doing it for a few years now. I went to Seattle once to a nice place where they have all these streams and stuff. We go out there in August. We’re on a beautiful lake, clear as can be and all that. I figure I’m gonna catch a lot of fish. I’m watching everyone else and I see they’re all fishing with normal rods. And I finally think, ‘Oh, it’s August. It’s hot. All the trout are down deep in the lake.’ So I’m standing there with my fly rod trying to catch fish on the surface of the water, going, ‘What the hell is going on? Nothing’s happening.’ So some girl next to me is catching a lot of them on the bottom and starts asking me if I want some of her fish. Great, you know. That makes me feel better.

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