Pasquale Spensieri spends his days driving around Brooklyn looking for dull blades. When he rings the bell on his truck, the owners of upholstery shops, restaurants and pizza parlors come out with knives and scissors to sharpen. Pasquale’s father first started sharpening knives during the Depression, with a pedal-operated grinding machine strapped to his back. At that time, there were hundreds of door-to-door grinders in New York. Today, at the age of 71, Pasquale is one of the last. Produced by Joe Richman and Emily Botein (WNYC) for their series New York Works.
Since the 1880s, Mohawk Indian ironworkers have been known for their ability to work high steel. From the Empire State Building to the the World Trade Center, generations of Mohawks have helped shape New York City’s skyline. Each week, they commute to Manhattan from their reservation in Canada, framing the city’s skyscrapers and bridges. In September 2001, after the fall of the Trade Center Towers, the sons and nephews of these men returned to the site to dismantle what their elders had helped to build.
Joe Bageant is a Well Read Neck. Just finished his illuminating look at the typical towns of Billy Bob & Bobby Sue Sixpack, and why they don’t vote lib’rul, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class War:
With Micheal Savage and Ann Coulter openly calling for liberals to be put in concentration camps, with the CIA now licensed to secretly detain American citizens indefinitely, and with the current administration effectively legalizing torture, the proper question to ask an NRA member may be, “What kind of assault rifle do you think I can get for three hundred bucks, and how many rounds of ammo does it take to stop a two-hundred-pound born-again Homeland Security zombie from putting me in a camp?” Which would you prefer, 40 million gun-owning Americans on your side or theirs?
“‘Leaving the Mountains’ is one young man’s experience about having to deal with economic depression in rural Kentucky, and the reality of migration.” Produced for the Appalachian Media Institute and Youth Radio, and aired on NPR ATC, “Leaving the Mountains by Machlyn Blair (mp3 1:56):
Immigrants walk around the corner of a restaurant named Pollo Feliz (Happy Chicken) on Sasabe downtown. Charcoal roasted chicken is offered as main dish to people also known as “pollos”, on an area where deaths related to heat exposure are frequent among immigrants.
A boy drives a Ford Expedition on the streets of the border town of Sasabe, Sonora. Polleros in the town make as much as 6500 dollars per day smuggling people into the United States, resulting in a town where the tops of the houses are crowned with satellite TV dishes and kids are seen driving brand new Ford F-150s and SUVs.
Putting bars over the bed of an old pick-up in Las Ladrilleras, on Sasabe outskirts. The fee for the final ride from this place to the gates for crossing costs 20 dollars, and polleros (people smugglers) try to maximize the capacity of their vehicles.
From Las Ladrilleras to East Sasabe.
Three mothers and their children make a stop before crossing the desert. They are part of a group of 27 immigrants departing from East Sasabe on June 5th this year to Arizona.
With their destination at sight, a group of 27 people leave East Sasabe. The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refugee and Arivaca, AZ are on the American side.
A group of ten immigrants who succeeded on crossing the border illegally (one out of frame) use pay phones to call their relatives in the United States at the Greyhound bus station in Tucson before boarding their bus to Phoenix and Los Angeles. To avoid detection the pollero advise them: “Don’t make a big group. Spread.”
Reporter Scott Carrier recovers from the effects of hot weather on his body while doing a story on illegal immigration for NPR show Day to Day. Scott reported from Sasabe, Sonora and Arivaca AZ.
This week’s HV cast: A Labor Day Dialectic: A more realistic approach to spiritual awareness: how yoga might help relieve stress at the office, or not. Produced by Rebecca Flowers. A story by Rebecca Flowers, “Office Yoga” (2:16 mp3):