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.