Acid Rain & Tears

Eulogy of the the American Factory Town

Baby boomers and their parents lived it. Children grew up listening to the stories – days in the life of a factory town during the heyday of the Industrial Era. Biographies forged in the open hearth furnace. It was an iconic time in American history when emigrants came together to build a better life. The best days for these once productive blue collar communities have passed as they struggle to survive in the Information Age.

What was it like to grow up in the last half of the Twentieth Century in an industrial town? Thomas Wolfe observed that “You can’t go home again.” Nostalgia aside, ‘home’ has moved on. Visiting the place of my birth and my youth in the heart of the Rust Belt was a stark reminder that change is a constant.

Eulogy of the American Factory Town chronicles these culturally driven, hardworking communities that once set the pace for prosperity. As we race through the Information Age, these towns are drying up like acid rain pools in the sun. A series of anecdotes and short, free-form essays recalls that time.