Tom Scribner: A Tribute to a Labor Organizer

This statue of Tom Scribner (1899-1982) was created in 1978 by artist Marghe McMahon. It is located right outside Bookshop Santa Cruz on the Pacific Garden Mall. In his older years, Tom made a practice of supporting buskers and street musicians by playing his saw on the Mall.

 

Tom had been a logger, and a labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (aka the Wobblies). The Wobblies were active from 1905 to WWI, and their aim was to organize unskilled workers all over the world into "One Big Union". "Solidarity Forever" was their slogan. He also editied a local newspaper called "The Redwood Ripsaw" during the 60's.

 

It is said that even though his skills at the musical saw were negligible, he did manage to play with the likes of George Harrison and Leon Russell. He was a raconteur and humorist, which I am sure helped his performances immensely. He also founded the annual Musical Saw Festival, which now takes place each year at Roaring Camp. Tom is rolling in his grave at that one, I am sure.

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Uploaded on November 2, 2005