‘I Love Meeting New People’
Drew Gill has worked at monster truck rallies, a Taylor Swift concert, and Hulk Hogan’s house. So no—nothing phases him in Georgetown.
The Hannibal, Missouri native—also home to Mark Twain—has been a member of the Georgetown BID Clean Team for six years, but his prior resume reads like a modern version of the unusual Americana in which Twain reveled.
Drew spent years as a member of the maintenance and grounds crew for some of the country’s biggest stadiums—from Tropicana Field to Busch Stadium in St. Louis and the former Houston Astrodome. Pop music concerts, baseball playoffs, monster truck rallies—he worked it all, and observed it all.
‘The assignment I remember most was when the Tampa Bay Rays were playing the New York Yankees and Roger Clemens was pitching. The Rays were way down in the game, and we got to come out and watch. It was the 8th or 9th inning and Bubba Trammell blasted a home run, and it landed in the seats right next to me. That was a lot of fun.’
After more than a decade in St. Louis, as well as six-month stadium stints around the country, Drew got a job at P&K Landscaping in St. Petersburg, Florida. His team served residents in the exclusive Bayway Isles neighborhood, including Hulk Hogan, Richard Fabrizi and shock jock Bubba The Love Sponge.
‘A lot of crazy houses, and a lot of crazy people,’ says Drew, who mowed their lawns, landscaped and fixed sprinkler systems. ‘Richard Fabrizi was a famous local nightclub owner but also a fisherman, and he would clean the fish and throw them out in the water, all into Tampa Bay. When you went behind his house, there were nothing but sharks swarming back there, around the fish.’
Today, Drew’s days are less sharks, more street services. He moved to DC nearly a decade ago, and was in Georgetown three years later to get a new ID when he ran into a friend from church.
‘He’d worked with me before and knew I was a good worker, and when I told him I was in between jobs, he said, ‘Go talk to my man, Bill—I’ve got a job for you.’ I talked to Bill and within a week, I was starting.’
As one of the Clean Team ambassadors, Drew’s day began at 4:30 a.m.—rain or shine, snow or sleet—cleaning the streets and answering questions. Recently, he was promoted to special projects, and serves as the lead for brick repairs, graffiti removal and landscaping. Each morning he preps his crew, explains the game plan for the day, and ‘attacks’ whatever it is he’s doing.
‘My favorite is the bricks; that’s a lot of fun. And I love snow removal. It’s a challenge and it’s cold, but it’s like a football game—you move around and get riled up, and you get ready to do it. But the graffiti removal along the canal walls—I can’t stand it. The set up and take down is just exhausting.’
Drew has also worked nearly every Georgetown event at least once—from the Marine Corps Marathon to the Taste of Georgetown and French Market. Whether it’s an annual festival or an average Tuesday, visitors stop him frequently to ask for directions, ask what he’s doing, or ask about the BID.
‘The most common question we get is---‘Where’s the DMV?’’ says Drew, who loves meeting new people. ‘That, or if someone’s on K Street, they’re asking if they’re going the wrong way, and where’s the Key Bridge. They’re trying to drive down the bicycle path!’
Drew misses the excitement of stadium work, the people in St. Louis and the weather in Florida (though he loves the snow), but he says there’s something special about Georgetown that he can’t explain.
‘It’s beautiful and it isn’t like the rest of DC. As soon as I started walking around Georgetown, I was like man, I really love this place. It’s just such a cool area.’
Even without Hulk Hogan.