When a friend put me in touch with Harry, who wanted a writer for this book project, I had only a mild idea of what Harry was trying to accomplish. Now, several conversations later, I think we’re embarking on a project with extraordinary potential. It is a timeless story of industry and humanity, metal and muscle, water and those who dared to stake their fortunes on it. It is a story that celebrates the trades and technology.
My first job was in an industrial supple shop. I started out as a broom-pusher and shelf-duster. Eventually the men in the shop taught me to build chain and cable lifts, nylon slings and hydraulic lines. They taught me the importance of smoke-breaks and jokes. I worked in a finishing mill and on construction sites through college, and have been a journalist and a teacher. Right now, I do both.
It is my hope, and Harry’s that together we can crack open a part of the world that is seldom seen. Every day, skilled people all over this planet are building marvelous machines from stacks of raw materials.