Commonplace (and Happy Labor Day)

“Somebody built the pyramids. Somebody’s going to build something. Pyramids, Empire State Building—these things just don’t happen. There’s hard work behind it. I would like to see a building, say, the Empire State, I would like to see on one side of it a foot-wide strip from top to bottom with the name of every bricklayer, the name of every electrician, with all the names. So when a guy walked by, he could take his son and say, ‘See, that’s me over there on the forty-fifth floor. I put the steel beam in.’ Picasso can point to a painting. What can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.”

—Mike LeFevre, steelworker, in Studs Terkel’s Working (1974)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation, RogerEbert.com, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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