John Ratzenberger eloquently makes the case for the unsung heroism of American blue collar work. The hands-on skills that built this nation used to be taught in shop classes at every middle school in the country; auto shop, wood shop, metal shop under the overarching name of Industrial Arts.
Students who were not academically inclined often found their first school-related self esteem in Industrial Arts classes where logic and hands-on skills married at the workbench under the guidance of a patient teacher who knew and respected the tools of his trade. Our country would be better for it!
I worked for 15 years with a bunch of guys who were maestros in the sheet metal and carpentry and machinist trades. If I expressed a need for a table, typing stand or shelf; they’d make it up in the big sheet metal shop on our site. If my car had a problem, they’d have it running in no time! They were co-workers and my on-the-job family. I guess that’s why I love to watch American Restoration on the History Channel. Blue collar competence is a many-splendored thing!