Finally, the next batch of voices. I spoke with the people below on the route between Cedar City, Utah, and Butte, Montana, where fortunes were made through the mining of copper.
Late today, I’ll put up the next group, which I gathered between Butte and West Glacier, MT. This group spans a range from afternoon latte drinkers to out-of-state firefighters fresh from battling Montana’s “Black Cat” wildfire.)
So far, as you will note, I’ve been sticking with the same question, but that may change.
FULL DISCLOSURE: In the course of interviewing Holly and Heidi (see below) I found it necessary to have a Moose Drool beer or two—just for the sake of establishing rapport. (I am nothing if not dedicated.)
(NOTE: click on the thumbnails if you want to see larger photos)
Jason, 18, lives in Cedar City, Utah, and works at the local Motel 6. He said: Probably I’d change the economy. We’re so much in debt. We’re considered one of the wealthiest nations in the world. But we’re really just trillions of dollars in debt.
Jeff, 53, from Inkham, Idaho, is a truck driver, and family man. He said:: I’d first fire every one of them. And tell them to go find a job. They’ve been around long enough. Then I would probably address the war. I don’t think the war’s been run in our best interest. I think it’s been run over a bunch of money, and money only. A very selected few are filling their pockets. And we’re losing too damn many young women and young men for their cause to fill their pockets.
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Andrea, 34, lives in Inkham too, where she works at the Village Mart. She said: Poverty. I’d choose poverty. I don’t think we should have super rich people that hardly pay any taxes. Middle class people who work real hard, and still do well. But you’ve got lower class people who work their butts off, and don’t get anywhere. Sometimes a couple both work, but they still can’t feed their kids, but they make too much to get food stamps.. I see people who can’t afford the gas to drive back and fourth to keep their jobs. I think we need to be a little more equalized.
Holly, 27, lives in Butte, MT, and works at the Copper Kings Bar and Casino. She said: There’re so many things, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Okay, minimum wage. When you work for it, you think about that. I have three children. Trying to raise three kids on a minim wage job is just….really hard, with prices of everything going up, and jobs hard to get. I was a teenage mother, so that would be a top priority, helping girls like me to make it.
Dan, 23, lives in Great Falls, MT. He said: Probably the Iraq war. It’s turning out to be another Vietnam. The money that’s spent on the war, should we funnel that back into the US economy? I think so. We pulled billions of dollars—okay, a trillian dollars—and put it into the Iraq war. And we didn’t have that money in the first place. But we could have put that back into the US economy and made this a better place.
Heidi, 27, lives in Butte, MT, is the bartender at the Copper King. She said: Just one thing? That’s all I get? One? Okay, my first one would be….health care. We need health are. Everybody has so many bills, and you get sick, and it’s not good, you never have the money to pay for it… You have to think, should I go to the doctor, or should I not? It’s horrible! So health care.
NEXT: The opinions of latte drinkers and front line forest fire fighters.