I don’t know if everyone who reads my blog knows what a “blue-collar guy” is (or at least my definition of it)? In my middle years in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80′s that meant the guy who got out of high school and managed to get a good paying job in a factory. He could count of the company to payed pretty well for his work and to be there when he or his family had medical emergencies. He could count on being employed for years to come and then retiring with a manageable pension.
I know to many of you younger guys and gals this seems almost like a dream world. I was the first in my family to go to college, everyone in the Walters clan up until then were mostly farmers or blue collar workers. Eli Lilly is a big deal in this part of the country. I had an uncle who worked the line for thirty years there. When he went into retirement he found out that he was a millionaire. He took advantage of all the profit-sharing plans offered by the company and they proved to be worth much more than he imagined when it came time to cash them in. Back in those days companies actually thought of their employees as assets. Can you even imagine that!
I chose to go the college route instead of to the factory floor. I guess I had a pretty high IQ so I must have needed more stimulation than other in my clan. I did work in a machine shop during a couple of summers while in college. During that time I was one of Jimmy Hoffa’s guys in that I paid dues to the Teamsters Union. But that was the only time I was “union” or a real blue-collar guy. It was good paying work but it sure was boring at least to me.
Blue collar guys just didn’t have much respect for those office people. A blue-collar guy knew that he were on the line day after day making products; he really didn’t know what those guys in the white shirts and ties did other than to bug him once in a while. Blue-collar guys especially didn’t think much of rich people. They thought most of them were just spoiled brats who were given everything! The blue-collar guys had to work hard to feed their families; those rich guys spent their time with their Cadillacs, yachts, and airplanes.
I’m just a blue-collar guy in my heart. As I have mentioned before I am now into the auto type shows on satellite TV. I watch builders like Boyd Cottington, Orange County Choppers, and Barry White Hot Rods. Most of their customers are old rich white guys trying to re-live their teenage years. They all seem to have a trophy wife half their age hanging on their sleeves. The blue-collar guys on these shows have to work long hours often through holidays just to make sure the rich guy gets his new toy on his birthday. Making the blue-collar guys slave over the holidays is just not fair in my mind!!!
Even though I was actually only a blue-collar guy for a couple of summers I continue to be a blue-collar guy in my heart….