Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God Bless the Laboring Man

Lilana Slater from dandelionseeds.com via Pinterest
My father has been a factory worker all his adult life. Factory work was an opportunity for people who came to America from another country to earn decent pay for their hard work in a, albeit,  tough, and dirty environment. You didn't have to speak English well to run a machine. And if you were smart and good with tools, you told the machine what to run and how to run it. That is my father. Now retired, my father is the smartest machinist I know. The foreman always used to give the most difficult jobs to my father to run. Why? Because it required more than just pushing a button. My father designed entire set-ups to some of the most difficult pieces/parts used in manufacturing today. Even retired, my father is called back to his former company as a consultant on some of the most difficult machine set-up jobs.

The work was long and hard, it was always hot and exhausting, and the environment was dark, dingy, and always dirty. But my father worked everyday in that muck to provide for his family. And provide he did. We lived in a small all-brick ranch house by the lake that my mother beautifully made into our home. He sent me to one of the best engineering schools in the country. And we never had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. My mother was able to stay home and raise me right (I needed that). My father did all this because he was given the opportunity to work and to save.

You are first-class all the way, Daddy. Now that I'm older and know better, I am so proud to be my father's daughter. Thank you, my Tata. Thank you for all the bittersweet sacrifices you've made along the way. And, thank you America for giving my father, new to this land so long ago, an opportunity to earn a better life, pursue happiness, and help strengthen the backbone of America.
(The following video requires Flash Player - sorry!)

Do you think American manufacturing will be able to offer to today's working men and women the same opportunities my dad had to make a living and a life?

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