Near and Dear to My Heart

Image © Despair, Inc.

Image © Despair, Inc.

I have been a proud member of the Working Class from the moment that I got my first job mixing mortar and toting concrete blocks for the Masonry Contractor who lived across the street from us in Florida.

My family of origin all had jobs in the manufacturing industries of Northeast Ohio. A few members of the family went to college and got degrees in Engineering, Education and the Medical fields, but we were primarily a family of hands-on, make-it-don’t-break-it people.

Our Germanic roots run deep. If we share one trait that stands out and sets us apart from our peers it would be that of perseverance—showing up on time, grinding out whatever lay before us and coming back for more the next day, and the day after that, and so on.

In my memoir, Fingerprints, I am charting my path from starting college to becoming an electrician. I did not achieve my goal of obtaining a college degree, but getting an education has been a never-ending process for me. My lessons in life have come in handy, especially the ones that I learned the hard way.

Becoming an Astronaut, an Engineer, or even an Architect were not in the cards for me. I was destined to be one of the guys who had to “touch it, smell it, beat on it, take it apart and put it back together again”. It is what I do and over the years I have gotten pretty good at it.

All of which leads me to send out a heads up about a new documentary, The Tradesmen: Making an Art of Work. I found it on IndieFlix and will be watching it this weekend.

Here is the movie trailer.


  • Image used without permission of Despair, Inc.
  • I have no financial stake in IndieFlix

  7 comments for “Near and Dear to My Heart

  1. December 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I wish there was more support for the trades and a renewed interests in guilds to teach young people more skills. There’s nothing wrong with a college education but I think the government /media do youth a disservice by presenting it as the only option to success…


    • December 15, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      The Electrical Trade has worked well for me for over 45 years and we are actively recruiting the next generation. I am hopeful that we can pass along the knowledge that we have accumulated in our careers so that the next crop of wiremen have an even broader base of education to start with.

      Sent from my iPhone



  2. November 30, 2013 at 6:20 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up. I’m one of those who was college educated, got an advanced degree and a good job, and then threw it all over for work in the boating trades. I didn’t begin to really grow up, become independent and learn those critical life lessons until I was running my own business. I’m looking forward to watching this, and expect to enjoy it.


    • November 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      I am glad that it struck a chord for you and I hope that you enjoy the film.

      Sent from my iPhone



  3. November 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Looks good, hope i can catch it sometime.


  4. John Carl
    November 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I had to leave college in my 3rd term, unfortunately the first two were also TRUMAN’S AND EISENHOWER’S-jc Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 19:36:45 +0000 To:


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