The year is closing with news of a strong job market, so the timing may be just right to share what I learned from meeting people at work in 2014.
At Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle, dockmaster Bill Corey showed me that old isn’t always bad when it comes to technology. He uses well-greased levers to pull boats into dry dock for repairs. He said the clunky mechanism, originally from an old streetcar, may be as old as the 100-year-old terminal.
Will Flannery, a vacuum repairman I met in Bothell, inspired me with his creativity. He recycles parts, from the machines he can’t fix, into fantastic sculptures like a 9-foot robot that welcomes customers to his little shop.
Working fast matters. That’s what I learned from Tarik Faouzi at Dick’s Drive-In. He may look calm and relaxed in my sketch, but you should have seen him scooping ice cream into milkshake cups. He can empty a 3-gallon can in less than five minutes.
Certain jobs define entire families. Seattle crane operator Genevieve Herrera said her father was also a longshore worker and she knew she wanted to follow on in his footsteps since she was a little girl. In Seattle’s South Park neighborhood, Josephine Porco passed on her entrepreneurial spirit to her daughter Maria, who runs Via Vaddi Caffé next door to Porco’s Napoli Pizzeria.
These portraits are a small slice in the life of a hardworking region, but perhaps enough to be reminded that many skills are needed for any human enterprise to function and for any community to thrive. I hope to be making many more portraits in the year to come.