Fri June 7, 2013
Book Nook: Scrappers - Dayton, Ohio and America Turn to Scrap, by Steve Bennish
Steve Bennish is a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. Bennish has written extensively about the deterioration of the manufacturing base in Dayton and Montgomery County. Hundreds of manufacturers have closed or moved away. Thousands of jobs have been lost. That's why they call this region the Rust Belt.
Bennish observed another symptom of our industrial malaise; scrappers, people who are surviving by salvaging scrap metal and selling it for a few cents on the pound. Many of these scrappers once had decent jobs. Now they are struggling just to get by.
He has written a book about these scrappers. Bennish took many stark black and white photos that depict these hardy souls mining for discarded metals in landscapes that can be described as industrial wastelands. This is heavy, rusty stuff that they are digging up. These people are literally mining the decaying remains of our manufacturing base. "Scrappers" provides some weighty and sobering documentation of our onerous societal decline.