The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Signs of the Times?

This picture jumped out at me yesterday, during my morning news reading


The image and the story behind it rang a bell for me. (And not just because it’s a story from my home state.)


Late last week when builder Richard Tritt shelled out $40 for an “I Need Work” sign and stood waving it at a busy corner on Watson Boulevard, he said it wasn’t a publicity stunt.

Of course, it pretty much was. (He wound up on the local TV news that evening and in the newspaper now.)

Tritt, in his mid-60s, has been in business going on 40 years. He isn’t broke – or headed there. He owns a real estate company and investment properties.

The bogged-down local housing market, though, has him worried. Tritt said a lot of laborers and subcontractors are feeling the pinch.

That, he said, is what led him and his sign – complete with his company’s name and phone number – to the roadside near Centerville to catch the morning commute.

“I don’t need a handout. … I’m not desperate,” Tritt said. “All I’m doing is asking for work. I’m a builder. I want to build houses. I have some houses for sale. I want people to know that.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one. Though I’m too young to remember the Great Depression, my parents lived through it, so I heard about it. A lot. Thus, during my entire youth, no matter what my body told me, I was never hungry or never tired. If I said I was, the answer was usually “You don’t know what hungry/tired is.”

Anyone with parents or grandparents who lived through that period know what a generational “trump card” it is. It’s one I hope I don’t have over my sons, and that they don’t have over their children. Still, a guy on the road with a sign like that brings to mind signs like this.


Tritt’s a building in Georgia.

Well, this video I posted at the end of a bit of meandering musing about my interest in abandoned buildings doesn’t bode well for his prospects.

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