Just The Working Life

Sod Farmer, Allentown, New Jersey

Sod Farmer, Allentown, New Jersey

Today here in the United States, is Labor Day. The commemorative day began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man.” It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894.

“It’s the working, the working, just the working life.”
~ Factory, Bruce Springsteen

This day is not for me. I don’t work.

Pressman, Florence, Kentucky

Pressman, Florence, Kentucky

I mean, of course I do. I put on a shirt every day and have a place of work to go to, an office to go into, a computer to sit in front of all day and “get things done.” At the end of the day I shut out the light and go home, and I get a paycheck every two weeks.

Cobbler, Hightstown, New Jersey

Cobbler, Hightstown, New Jersey

But I don’t work. My hands aren’t tired at the end of the day, not like farmer or the cobbler. This post is a collection of images that I feel Labor Day is meant for. Maybe they aren’t Captains of Industry or Masters of The Universe. Maybe they don’t affect stock prices or gas prices or develop technologies.

This isn’t to negate or take away from those working in the sciences or education or those areas. They work too, no doubt. But when I think of Labor Day, I think of those doing more the manual labor that we all often take for granted or don’t really think about.

This post is a collection of the “workers” that I’ve shot over the past few years. Everyone has a place in this world…this is theirs.

Carney Worker, East Brunswick, New Jersey

Carney Worker, New Jersey

Waitress, New Jersey

Waitress, New Jersey

Cigar Hand Roller, New York City

Cigar Hand Roller, New York City

Barber, Chicago

Barber, Chicago

Hairdresser, New Jersey

Hairdresser, New Jersey

Photojournalist, New Jersey

Photojournalist, New Jersey

Souvenir Salesman, New York City

Souvenir Salesman, New York City

Migrant Workers, New Jersey

Migrant Workers, New Jersey

Highway Workers, New Jersey

Highway Workers, New Jersey

This is dedicated to my father. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard after high school and when he got out, he became a Pennsylvania Corrections Officer. Did that job for 36 years. He worked on cell blocks, pulled guard duty in the tower and generally spent his days around some pretty bad people.

That’s working.

Dad's Uniform

Dad’s Uniform

I often think about what he did for a living, and what I do. I still have one of his last uniform shirts, and it still hangs in my closet. A bit of reminder what did for his family so that we had what we needed when I was growing up. Frankly, I don’t know how he did it for so long, never bringing it home with him. I don’t know that I could do it it. I’m pretty fortunate to do what I do. Sure, I have stress…but it’s nothing compared to walking the line with guys doing life behind bars on either side of you.

So this is for my Dad – and my mom who raised two kids, then went back to work for a long career with a local hospital – and for the farmers and the construction people, the engineers and the mechanics, the law enforcement departments and the fire departments, the truckers, teachers and the builders, the mothers and the fathers that are raising their families anyway they can, especially in times like these.

It’s for these people that “Labor Day” is meant. It’s just the working life.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013

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6 thoughts on “Just The Working Life

  1. hello all,
    really a wonderful job. I like your this fantastic story. I would be appreciate to you for this awesome sharing. great job. nice collection of pictures. I want to say thank you for providing this awesome information.
    thanks
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  2. Reblogged this on JerseyStyle Photography and commented:

    It’s Labor Day here in the U.S. Working on a few projects so I thought I’d repost this blog from last year.

    Enjoy the last few hours of summer!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  3. Pingback: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words | Raquel Sacal

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