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My late dad sold construction equipment his whole adult working life and would take me and my brother on jobsites and contactor’s yards back in the 60’s and early 70’s. Some of my childhoods better memories.
Here I sit, holding down his 30+ year old company, selling construction equipment and my brother is in the business also for close to 40 years.
Thanks dad, and to all the dads who bust their ass and pass it on. Even it’s just for a glorious memorial minute watching him roll on by.
My grandfather was an engineer, New York Central System.
I was a boilermaker in the same yard, Collinwood, that was his home base.
I have the ID plate (manufacturer/serial number/date) off a locomotive that coincides with his tenure.
He died peacefully in our home.
His daddy is a working class hero!
One of my classmates was a train engineer. I’m proud of him.
My Dad was a fireman, often took me and my brother to his firehouses; and when my brother and I were young we clambered all over Dad’s hook & ladder truck, pumpers, the watch desk, the wrought iron spiral stairs to the upper floor, and whatnot else. On several occasions Dad even brought gaggles of our cousins along to join in the fun that included ringing the rigs’ big chrome bells, switching on their cherry lights, sounding their sirens, stepping into fireman’s boots whose rolled-down tops came up to our crotches, donning fire helmets, and posing for snapshots in front of fire trucks while holding pikehead axes, Halligan tools, hose nozzles, plaster hooks, and assorted other gear. And Dad always made sure to regale us with his grand slide from the upper dormitory floor down the brass fire pole.
More than a few times I saw Dad at work fighting fires, wielding axes to bash through doors or to ventilate rooftops, hauling lengths of hose, gripping nozzles as he streamed water into holocausts of flame, carrying 300 lb. wailing panic-stricken women down ladders from blazing three-story tenements – and Dad was five-foot-six and never weighed more than 145 pounds.
My son was deeply disappointed at the age of three or so to discover that I wasn’t *that* kind of engineer.
One of my Uncle’s was a train engineer. He worked out west so he ran some pretty long trains.
In his spare time, he was a rock hound, hunting Agates, Opals, Petrified Wood and other various stones,cutting them down to make belt buckles and other mostly men’s jewelry. Stashed in a box somewhere, I’ve still got a polished Sandstone belt buckle he gave me on one of his visits.
Me and my brothers really liked him, but I think he was a bit of an embarrassment to my folks because when we would go to pick him up, invariably he would be wearing a fringed buckskin jacket and a black top hat. He was tall and with his beard, a lot of people thought he was a reincarnated Abraham Lincoln.
Will that boy’s world be like this when he’s old? Still, it’s good to catch a few seconds of happiness like this. Thanks, Gerard.
Reminds me of my Grandfather. He was an electrical engineer for the Bangor & Penobscot RR waaay back. Summer vacations at his house in Bangor, ME., end of the road it bordered the B&P RR. Every morning 7:00AM sharp, standing under the Flagpole flying the Stars & Stripes, a hearty few toots and wave out the window by the pulp train headed to the mill. Us kids never missed a morning. Fond memories that can never be repeated, unfortunately….. But fortunately we do still have the memories. And I don’t think what we’re experiencing now is progress.
I’d like to see Gerard repost some of his columns about his own father, who was a car salesman. Even though selling cars is not as dramatic (if that’s the right word) as being a firefighter or train engineer, it is, like any occupation, one that can be carried out with integrity and purpose. I still recall Gerard’s account of his dad’s refusal to sell people cars that they could not afford– in my book, that kind of decency makes a man a hero even if it isn’t front-page news. There are many ways dads can “bust their ass,” as Tim said earlier, and all honor to them.
Why am I sitting here crying this morning?
Because I saw proof that there is still pure joy in this world?
Or because I’m reminded once more of the joy I shared with my “Daddy” who has been gone
for 51 years?
Awesome vid. I submit that their is far more good in this world,,,,, then bad! , in fact daily we are all surrounded by goodness, seems we often take that “ Goodness” for granted. I’m at the age where I’ve placed myself in a circle of good people, good life. Admittedly I’m lucky.
I no longer follow the nonsense on my friends old blogs. Since childhood I’ve always known the difference between “the truth and a lie”, “right vs wrong”. Simple is as simple does.
Being A Stoic, I don’t worry about stuff I can physically change.