John Ryan interview conducted by Clark Douglas Halker, 2011-07-27
John Ryan discusses his background, his entrance into the ironworkers trade, important sites he has worked on in Chicago, unions, strikes, the labor-management situation in Chicago, jokes and ritual. The audio interview is in two parts: Part 1 (sr01) focuses on his life and his career in iron working; Part 2 (sr02) focuses on his passion for vintage outboard boat motors, musky fishing, and how he applies his iron working skills to these pursuits. Historic images (ph01-ph19) belong to Mr. Ryan and were copied and submitted with this interview courtesy of the interviewee.
The Local IWU 63 Headquarters can be a bit noisy and this can be heard in the background. It's an industrial building for the most part, so the cooling and heating system is a regular problem. Occasionally, the building even generates a line noise that is impossible to keep off the recording. Sometimes you can also hear people in the office section talking and laughing or somebody will walk into the room. NOTE: The interview for John Ryan is in two parts: PART 1, 28-minutes, focuses on his life in iron working; Part 2, 10-minutes, details his passion for vintage outboard boat motors and musky fishing and how the applies his iron working skills on these pursuits. NOTE: Photograph #20 of John Ryan was taken by Bucky Halker at IWU Local #63 headquarters in Broadview, IL. Photographs #1-19, however, belonged to Ryan. These were then scanned or photographed and submitted with this interview. For that reason, the quality of these photographs varies considerably.
Recorded at the Iron Workers Union Local #63 Headquarters, Broadview, Illinois, July 27, 2011.
Cultural Traditions of Ironworkers in America's Upper Midwest : Archie Green Fellows Project, 2011-2012 (AFC 2011/062: 00257) Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
To honor the memory of Archie Green (1917-2009), a fellowship program was established at the American Folklife Center in 2010. Archie Green Fellowships support new research in the contemporary culture and traditions of American workers.