COSTA MESA — For years, Todd Wright toiled as an ironworker for a union in Seattle.
He used pliers, tied wires and reinforced concrete in the city's skyscrapers. He earned just under $30 an hour.
Now he's a carnival worker.
His past life as an ironworker "was back-breaking. I blew out a cylinder," said the 49-year-old Wright, pointing to his left-shoulder injury that now earns him a disability paycheck. "If people think working at the carnival is tough, they should try being an ironworker."
On Thursday, Wright was hanging up teddy bears and all sorts of stuffed animals at the "Balloon Bust" carnival booth.
Talk about the working man's sabbatical. Wright was a far cry from the skyscrapers, arranging the balloons and darts where contestants, hopefully, win something special for their bedroom — or for the family dog to chew up.
It's a booth Wright has been managing since February for Ray Cammack Shows, or RCS Inc., a traveling carnival whose most recent stop was the Del Mar Fairgrounds and whose next stop is the L.A. County Fair in Pomona.