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Folklives #16: Tough Jobs
Monday, Jan 14, 2008

Today, Part II of our series exploring occupational poetry. This time, two poets describe jobs that on the surface, couldn't be more different.

Peter Trower worked as a whistle punk in the old growth forests of British Columbia, operating the steam whistle that served as means of communication between loggers, sending warnings and signals that make the difference between life and death in the woods. While whistle punks occupied the lowest rung in the logging camps, they held their co-workers lives in their hands.

Bart Baxter's poem relates an experience he had while piloting a commercial airliner in Alaska. In this case, his esteemed position as a captain requires the same commitment to protecting lives as the lowly whistle punk.

Length: 12:19
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Audio for this podcast was drawn from the Northwest Folklife Audio Archives.

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