Summer Jobs: 'Big Iron' We've been hearing listeners' summer job stories all season long, and as the summer winds down, Melissa Block and Michele Norris hear John Hyduk of Cleveland tell his story, "Big Iron." Hyduk's avocation is writing, which he's supported over the years by working a number of blue-collar jobs in Cleveland. This story is about one of the first -- a carman's helper with the Norfolk and Western railroad.
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Summer Jobs: 'Big Iron'

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Summer Jobs: 'Big Iron'

Summer Jobs: 'Big Iron'

Summer Jobs: 'Big Iron'

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We've been hearing listeners' summer job stories all season long, and as the summer winds down, Melissa Block and Michele Norris hear John Hyduk of Cleveland tell his story, "Big Iron." Hyduk's avocation is writing, which he's supported over the years by working a number of blue-collar jobs in Cleveland. This story is about one of the first — a carman's helper with the Norfolk and Western railroad.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Here's listener John Hyduk of Cleveland with a story he calls "Big Iron."

JOHN HYDUK: If they had last names, I do not recall. I know they work like demons and cuss like Baptists - apologetically, but expertly. I admired them. These railroad men were not going meekly deaf in a machine shop or rusting away in an assembly line. They moved fearless, meeting each day head-on like a boxer striding into the ring, but mostly I remember their music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T TAKE YOUR GUNS TO TOWN")

JOHNNY CASH: (Singing) A young cowboy named Billy Joe grew restless on the farm. A boy filled with wanderlust...

HYDUK: I have never heard a gun fighter ballad before, but my co- workers listen to nothing else. As a guitar laid the rhythm down, a weary voice sang of cowpokes doomed the moment they strapped on the big iron of a pistol.

CASH: (Singing) Don't take your guns to town...

HYDUK: I recall Johnny Cash warning don't take your guns to town and Billy Walker crossing the Brazos.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CROSS THE BRAZOS AT WACO")

BILLY WALKER: (Singing) On the Chisholm Trail it was midnight. Carmela was strong on his mind.

HYDUK: It does not matter if you towed a shooting iron or a hammer. Life is an adventure story and you are its author.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG IRON")

MARTY ROBBINS: (Singing) ...the stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip. Big iron on his hip.

BLOCK: That story from listener John Hyduk of Cleveland. We'll have more of your summer job stories next week. Thanks for sending them in. We're having a great time going through them.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG IRON")

ROBBINS: (Singing) He came riding from the south side slowly looking all around. He's an outlaw loose and running came the whisper from each lip. And he's here to do some business with the big iron on his hip.

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