Montgomery County has been home to Nucor Steel for 25 years. Wow! It doesn't seem like it.

You can read the news stories in today's Paper and see how Nucor has grown and you can read comments that indicate what it means to the county.

When you drive past Nucor, the size is so impressive. And now, we have an entire steel corridor, as the folks at Montgomery County Economic Development have called it. Double wow!

When we moved back here in 1994, I knew that Nucor was big. I knew it paid its employees well. In fact, I'm pretty sure I applied for a job out there. But it wasn't until my son-in-law gave me the book, "American Steel" by Richard Preston that I came to appreciate what a treasure Nucor is - a huge, mighty, amazing, treasured blessing in Montgomery County.

"American Steel" tells the story of how the steel process was first developed overseas and how it was brought to Crawfordsville.

The author tells of trying to follow Ken Iverson home as he roared down U.S. 136, through the town of "Motz" (he meant Mace-even the best writers make mistakes) as Iverson drove to his home in Marion County.

It tells of the steel workers hanging out at the bar on Green and Market.

It tells of one evening Preston spent with one of the young Nucor workers who lived out in the country with his wife and child.

Tragically, it also tells the story of a construction worker who fell to his death from one of the beams high above the concrete that would become part of the steel plant floor and, later, of an explosion that could be heard over much of the county when some of the molten steel came into contact with cold water.

Preston tells of the cars lining Nucor Road, as residents looked to see what was going on in this dangerous new factory in their midst.

We have to remember, when Nucor was built, most folks were familiar with R.R. Donnelley's printing plants and Raybestos' operation. Nothing of the magnitude of Nucor had been seen here -- or even imagined.

So, I add my congratulations to Nucor on 25 years. You mean so much to our county and, hopefully, we reciprocate.

Frank Phillips is the editor of The Paper of Montgomery County.