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From The Vault Of Art Shay: Nothing Without Great Labor

By Art Shay in News on Sep 5, 2013 4:00PM

(Legendary Chicago-based photographer Art Shay has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. This week, Art shares some of his favorite labor photos.)

One of the few things I learned in my year at Brooklyn College—before I transferred to a heavy bomber in WWII to save our little world for all of you unappreciative dorks and your offspring—was to translate a little Latin, specifically to catch the meaning of the Latin inscription probably still gracing one of the lesser gates: "Nil sine magno labore.." "Nothing without great labor."

It was a phrase probably tossed off originally by one of those early Greek geniuses in a bleached toga and white curly hair, whose classroom was a few logs and rocks outdoors near the Acropolis site and who worried incessantly, like Socrates, that his latest flirty wife with showy tits and a come-on-in classic Greek profile, was being bedded in her spare time by one of his several straight students with a surfeit of testosterone.

Why thoughts of labor should screen up for me in this Labor Day week of $100 million football and baseball contracts—even a soccer player or two—and poor Tiger Woods laboring a whole weekend for $19,000, is an open question.

I have no real answers, except to display a few of my favorite labor images.

Published with permission.

If you can't wait until this time every week to get your Art Shay fix, please check out the photographer's blog, which is updated regularly. Art Shay's book, Chicago's Nelson Algren, is also available at Amazon.