Blue Collar Family – South Platte Sentinel

When my father was a farmer, he always wore blue work shirts. He wore short-sleeved clothes in the summer and long-sleeved in the winter. He was definitely not white collar.

He lived off the land and cattle. Kinda hard to keep clean when working with these things all day.

I don’t think it’s surprising that I married a blue-collar guy. That’s what I used to be around.

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

When he came home at night, his shirt and pants were dirty. It had grease, oil, or whatever else smeared on it. Quite often he still had a red rag stuck in his back pocket. It was with this that he wiped his dirty hands.

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

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

They work in two different factories. Nick, our youngest son, is a machinist. He stopped 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 dirty. For him, it is important to stay clean.

Mike, our eldest son, is a test technician. He stopped here after work, and his hands are black. His clothes look like he’s been rolling around in dirt and grime all day. It doesn’t bother him at all.

For Mike, this is nothing new. When he was in kindergarten at Sexson Elementary, the principal told me he was the only boy who came home dirty from recess. He played football with the other boys and fell a lot which caused him to roll on the floor. When he came back inside the school, his clothes were covered with grass. Of course, becoming an adult hasn’t changed him at all.

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

Now that Ben is retired, he puts on his work clothes when he has a project to complete in the workshop. I gave him rags to wipe his greasy, oily or dirty hands. I have to say that he gets all the profit he can out of it. They are dirty!

I even saw him wipe his sweaty face with it. Fortunately, he takes a shower after finishing work.

From my father to my husband to my sons, we are a blue collar family. But I can see that Nick has the potential to be white collar in a blue collar environment.

Elizabeth J. Harless