Blue-collar family

When my dad was a farmer, he always wore blue work shirts. He dressed in short-sleeved ones in the summer and long-sleeved ones in the winter. He definitely wasn’t a white-collar worker.

He made his living from the land and livestock. Kind of hard to stay clean when working with those things all day long.

I don’t think it was surprising that I married to a blue-collar type of man. That’s what I was used to being around.

As a newlywed, Ben worked as a mechanic at Holloway’s. They provided him with uniforms. He wore blue work shirts and blue pants to his job.

When he came home in the evenings, his shirt and pants were dirty. He had grease, oil, or whatever smeared on them. Quite often he had a red rag still stuck in his back pocket. That’s what he used to wipe his grimy hands off on.

My uncle George was another one of the mechanics at the garage. I remember Ben telling me he worked hard; but when he was finished for the day, his clothes looked like he hadn’t even opened his toolbox. Ben couldn’t understand how anyone could stay that clean working on vehicles.

Our two adult sons are both employed at The Bradbury Company. It is an original equipment manufacturer for the roll-forming industry.

They work in two different plants. Nick, our younger son, is a machinist. He has stopped over here after work and his clothes look neat as a pin. I know he is a hard worker; but somehow, he manages to avoid getting grubby. To him, it is important to stay clean.

Mike, our oldest son, is a test technician. He has stopped over here after work, and his hands are black. His clothes look like he’s rolled around in dirt and grime all day long. It doesn’t bother him one bit.

For Mike, that’s nothing new. When he was a kindergartener at Sexson Elementary, the principal told me he was the only boy who came in from recess dirty. He played football with the other boys and fell down a lot, which caused him to roll on the ground. When he came back inside the school, his clothes had grass all over them. Obviously, becoming an adult hasn’t changed him one bit.

When Ben was still working as a machinist, he didn’t wear a uniform to work. His clothes were soiled when he got home. His shirt was especially dirty at the stomach area.

Now, that Ben is retired, he changes into his work clothes when he has a project to do in the shop. I’ve given him rags to wipe his greasy, oily, or dirty hands on. Must say he gets all the use out of them he can. They’re filthy!

I’ve even seen him wipe off his sweaty face with them. Thankfully, he takes a shower after he is finished working.

From my dad, to my husband, to my sons, we are a blue-collar family. But I can see that Nick has the potential of being a white-collar worker in a blue-collar environment.