Rigger: A Memoir from High School to High Steel

Rigger: A Memoir from High School to High Steel

by Larry James Neff


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This world doesn't exist anymore. It was a time when jobs were plentiful and workers were scarce. The Vietnam War divided the country. The sexual revolution was embraced with open arms. The selective service collected reluctant soldiers. Women sought equality. Music was changing into protest songs to help stop a war. It was a time when, with only a high school diploma, you could follow your father into a high-paying but very dangerous industry. This is a story of a young man's quest, raised on traditional morals and values, finding his way through this tumultuous era.

It is also a story of survival in the very dangerous occupation of "hanging iron". Mr. Neff, the son of a steelworker, joined the ranks of Bethlehem Steel employees in 1972, and became a rigger in 1975. The rigger crews in the Steel Company did the jobs that were deemed too high, too hard, or too dangerous for other departments to handle. They also had an earned reputation for being the bad boys of Bethlehem Steel.

Rigger is both riotously funny and chilling. It is a look into a world that few have known and that will never exist again.

"This is literally heavy metal literature-a pounding story of the suspense, the danger, and the sublime sense of accomplishment that was the everyday fare of the adventurous, rule-breaking riggers. With this vivid account, Larry Neff and Blue Heron Book Works have made a more important memorial of American industrial history than any museum could hope to achieve."
Mary Lawlor, author of Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War.
"Neff's book is a gift to his union "brothers and sisters," and to all of us who've stared at those long-quiet stacks and wondered what it must have been like to work, day to day, in the midst of them."
Joyce Hinnefeld, author of Stranger Here Below
"...people wouldn't believe some of the stories we could tell."

Charlie "Snapper" Walp, Rigger/Welder

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692287033
Publisher: Blue Heron Book Works
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Pages: 158
Sales rank: 1,258,002
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Larry James Neff was born and raised in Bethlehem, PA, and worked at Bethlehem Steel from 1972 until the plant closed in 1999. Larry has two sons, Jared and Adam, and lives in Bethlehem where he is working on his next book.

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