Daddy’s Boots

Daddy’s boots sat by the heater panel overnight. There they would dry and warm to be ready for work the next day. They smelled of leather and creosote. They had supported my daddy’s feet for miles. They protected his feet from the hazards of the job.

Daddy's Boots

Daddy’s Boots

My dad worked as a section hand for UPRR for sixteen years. Every Friday he walked the tracks seven miles looking for areas that needed repair. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, wind and summer’s searing heat didn’t prevent him from completing his work.

The other four days of the week he worked with the crew manually repairing those areas that needed work. No matter the weather, the work was completed.

My dad’s hands were as callused and weather-worn as those boots. His hands smelled of oils, tools, sweat, and cigarettes. After the day’s work and a shower they smelled of Lava and cigarettes.

My dad lived for the weekends. That was when he could get in his Chevy pickup, with boat in tow, and drive to the fishing hole. There he would spend hours fishing, smoking, thinking, dreaming, and enjoying nature. There, next to the river or in his boat on a lake or reservoir, he could spend time alone with his thoughts, pondering, meditating and of course, waiting patiently to snag the “big one”.


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