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 Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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