Ode to the blue collar man

Yesterday I told Bee ” I really liked a  poem  she’d written because of how “accessible” it was to my blue color workers brain.”

She replied :“I am wondering what a “blue color workers brain” looks like.” 😉

Her words got me to thinking all sorts of ways to unpack that question….

Rather than get all philosophical on you, extolling the virtues of having the opportunity to make a living working with my hands,  I decided to write  this little ditty about my dad.


Back story:

Dad graduated high school   in the early  50’s. I’ve been told  a local attorney offered to pick up the tab on his college tuition because  while he had a knack for math, my grandparents were not rich.  I’m sure this was before student loan money was readily available.  Dad opted not to go to college, instead went to work at a packing house. From there he started  driving a cement truck for a cement company.   At some point, he was asked to come into the office and help behind the counter in the lumber yard portion of the business….eventually rising through the ranks to manage both the lumberyard and the concrete plant.

(Remember what I told you about math.) 🙂

In the early 1970’s dad went into business with his brother  as a general contractors. They built up a multi-million dollar construction company, employed one  hundred eighty men over the course of a 30 year span, one of which was me.

This is an ode to the  blue collar man that shaped my life..


Ode To The Blue Collar Man





of a


The heart of

a musician,

the mind of

an engineer.

But somehow..

between raising a family,

paying the bills and farming the land,

his steel guitar  got misplaced in the mix.

Life is a pendulum.Sometimes we learn

by example, and sometimes we choose

a different path.


And on a completely different note.  I changed the picture in my blog header today.  I took that picture of the sun dogs this past Tuesday on the way to work. When we see the sun-dogs in Iowa it usually means  it is cold.

Very cold.  DM


13 thoughts on “Ode to the blue collar man

  1. Great new photo! I love your words about your dad, and his ability to find the path that was correct for him. Sounds like a man who could listen to his inner voice and trust his instincts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙂 When you talked about blue collar, all I could think of is “Shop Class as Soulcraft” by Matthew Crawford. What a great ode to your dad and I love the poem!
    For most of my ‘career’ life I worked among the blue collar you could say, although in corporate marketing and sales departments, but among industrial salesmen, traveled with them in dusty trucks to quarries and recycling plants, and really, those were best days of my work, when Virgil, who knows everyone in the manufacturing plant and their brother teaches me, in my 20s, to pound conveyor belt fasteners in with a hammer. Gotta tell you, I was prouder to be doing that for some reason than getting my MBA. 🙂
    Great pic of the snowdog! We had one on Sunday. They are predicting -2F for low here on Sunday. Local farm will be cutting ice on the lake 1890s style (they keep it in the ice house through summer) although this year ice is not nearly as thick as it should be. Last year we were able to do cutting ourselves, it is quite a neat process.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The photo is glorious. We’ve only had a halo or two this year, but we may yet get some cold.
    Your poem is such a good one — as was your dad. We were lucky to have the sorts of fathers we had. They still exist, but they’re less common, I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

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