Thursday, June 28, 2007

Leavin' home for good pay

As long as I can remember, the older folks in rural areas have lamented the fact that the young folks all move away from their hometown to find work in places far away. More often than not those destinations where the work is are less than ideal settings. I don’t know when this migration of young folks started; my guess would be with the development of the railroads, perhaps even earlier.

In the South it probably started with the construction of the large textile mills after the Civil War. Young folks left the familiarity of the homestead for the money and company towns of the mills. The Second World War saw a mass migration of people from the Appalachians to the factories of the Northern cities. Today the residents of small, rural farming communities are watching their young leave the farm for the promise of big money and adventure in the city.

I am one of those that left home for a job in places I never would consider living had it not been for the pay. I have traveled across America in pursuit of my chosen career, and while I have enjoyed the people and cultures I have encountered, I've often longed for a cabin on a mountain stream, far from the sound of a gas flare. As my wife puts it, “They don’t build chemical plants and refineries in nice places.”

I chose these two songs about leaving home for two reasons: First, of course, they suit the theme of today’s topic. Secondly, both songs are from outstanding Canadian artists, and this is the start of the long Canada Day Weekend. Happy Canada Day to all of those folks north of the border that stop in for a ride on the Bus.

Stan Rogers – The Idiot.mp3
Stan Roger’s ”The Idiot” is as close to an anthem for folks in my line of work as you’ll likely find.

Prairie Oyster – One Way Track.mp3

Y’all have a good weekend, eh?


Anonymous Dan said...

So thanks,eh? From a loyal rider on the Bus, and a Canuck, merci beaucoup! (Thanks a lot!) Canada must be a very small country in terms of population. My fishing buddy knows the Rogers family very well, and I know Russell D. from Prairie Oyster. It's truly a small world in this country. "One Way Track" is a song that every small-town kid can relate to. They can't wait to leave the whistle-stop, and make a mark in the big city. They usually end up feeling very disappointed with what they find. Great posts!

June 30, 2007 6:32 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Anne Murray, Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell all had Canadian stamps issued in their honour last week. I would have dropped Anka in favour of Stan Rogers.

July 02, 2007 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Great post, Ed. I feel "White Collar Holler" describes the rut I fall into too often, only this week while my husband's out of town, I get to add feeding the cows & chickens before heading off to "haulin' out the" drawings.

MBH, how could you let that happen?!? How could they over-look Stan Rogers; seems to me you've not written enough letters ;)

Almost forgot, happy anniversary tomorrow Ed.

July 03, 2007 12:08 PM  

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