Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Library's Sept. 28 Hands-on History Expo explores "The Way We Worked"

"The Way We Worked" exhibit is up and running at the Laramie County Public Library. This Smithsonian-sponsored traveling exhibit features interactive displays on various aspects of working in the U.S. Technology plays a major role, as you might guess. Assembly lines, automated farm equipment, telephone switchboards, manual typewriters, and the dawn of the computer age.

On the library's third floor is a display board that addresses organized labor's struggle through the years. Under a photo of two little boys operating a dangerous looking machine is a selection of labor songs you can select for your listening enjoyment.  I chose one of my favorites, "De Colores," which I had to be reminded was an organizing song. So many great songs and poem came out of the labor struggles of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2018 America, we may need to sing some of the old songs and compose some new ones for Trump's Gilded Age.

For several weeks, I have written a series of posts about "The Way Mike Worked." The most-read one if about the bygone days of paperboys. I've barely scratched the surface of the many jobs I have had in my 67 years, 55 working years. I will keep writing to bring myself up to the present. If you are looking for poems, stories and essays about work, I suggest you check out the anthology "Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams," published by Coffee House Press and edited by Detroit's M.L. Liebler. One of my short stories is included. I wrote about the anthology here and here when it came out in 2010.

On Friday, Sept. 28, 6-7:30 p.m., the library hosts a Hands-on History Expo. Come out to take a look at an antique tractor and a well-digging machine. Watch a weaving demonstration. You might have a chance to type on a manual typewriter and explore an original library card catalog. Ponder those fast-food jobs of your teens and jobs you had as an adult, and maybe ones you wish you had.

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