Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Working Man

I keep my nose on the grindstone, I work hard every day Might get a little tired on the weekend, after I draw my pay But I’ll go back workin, come Monday morning I’m right back with the crew. That’s my working man in the picture. He works hard all week-and often does more work for me on the weekend-that’s the kinda guy The Deer Hunter is. His hands are rough but his heart is tender. I was raised around men like that-you know the kind that when you shake their hand you feel as though you’re grabbing hold of a big chunk of solid wood. Pap’s hands used to be so tough you could hardly cut through the hide if you tried.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    June 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I work with my hands every day, and have made a living with them for quite a while, either working or whittling. When younger, they made bows and arrows (arras), spears, guns, swords, shields, models, go-carts, fires, houses, forts, tree houses, and many other things a boy should know how to make. We made our own fun.
    My dad, papaw, and great grandfather could make anything and repair or fix anything. We come from a long line of people who know how to use their hands.
    You can tell a lot about a man by his hands and his handshake. With this younger generation or two, I wonder if kids will ever know how to use an axe, or wedges, handsaws, picks, hoes, shovels, files, or any number of hand tools. Will they know how to plant, work on or repair things in order to be self-sufficient like our ancestors?
    Hands are a blessing. They come in handy for many things, caressing the one you love and disciplining those you love. How ironic.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    LOVE that Merle Haggard song!!!
    I have one of those working men, too. Rough hands and all.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thank God for the men in our lives, with the big, strong, work-hardened hands and their BIG, soft, loving hearts.By the way, the sweetest uncle in the world is having a birthday on the 16th of April. Happy Birthday Uncle Kenneth! xoxo

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Lawsey mercy, what my Daddy’s hands fixed and made in his life time.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    April 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Amen to that Don. Thanks for sharing your love of family Tipper.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Love this post!
    I have always admired the hands of the hard working men in my family as I was growing up. I thought all men had large rough and scarred hands until I shook the hand of man whose hands were softer than mine. I will never forget that feeling, it just felt wrong and shattered my image of men as a whole.
    When I met my husband the first thing I noticed about him were his hands, then I looked at his face.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    We have the same kind of men in my family. My dad is a retired stone mason. He built the house I grew up in.
    My husband is a hard worker, too. He built our home and worked full time all at the same time. It wasn’t a fast job, either–took years. I am a blessed woman, too!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The hands of a baby are one of the most wonderous things in nature. They are so small it would seem at times they could not be functional. You know the deep wrinkle that encompasses the wrist of a babys’ hands, that is something that has always fascinated me.
    Miss Cindy, if they gave out grades for having children, you would have gotten an A+ for the Deer Hunter. Bet I know someone else that would agree!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    April 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    My husband is much like yours. He works long hours running heavy equipment & long hours at home. Our house was moved to this location & we added on to & remodeled with help from friends & family. We worked together well & had a lot of fun & hard stuff too. My husband built his huge workshop which he is now expanding to include a “man cave”. Also two large storage buildings. Reroofed a trailer singlehandedly. Installed bookshelves & cabinets & I could go on & on. In recent yrs. he’s started helping with the garden since I’ve had health problems.
    I try to help him when I can. We had to replace the dishwasher & wanted to save the installation fee. He was on the floor & I was holding the level (a long wooden one, of course) at the top of the dishwasher. The counter edge was rounded & the level slipped out of my hands & conked him directly on the head. He accuses me of doing it on purpose & we laugh about it now but at the time I was scared I’d killed him.
    What a blessing it is to have a good husband.
    Thanks, Tipper for this site–always happy to have a new page pop up on email.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    April 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Tipper: Neat capture of the hard working man.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    April 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Manual..(with hands) Deer hunter is a manual man of physical is my dh..although his daily job was of manual pencil and paper pushing before retirement…
    Two men on a bridge looking over the rail, The Manual the one hanging to the rope, scraping the rusting metal…
    Three men standing by a pole looking up…The Manual on top the pole with his hands in the hot wires..Four men on the ground under the eve..The Manual squating on the roof barely hanging on with a push of one foot behind him, hammering in roofing nails…
    Five men on the ground one in the lift bucket, one holding the rope, two watching…The Manual swinging, holding a running chainsaw..topping the tree..
    We pass these guys everyday and don’t realize how hard physical labor is and we are lucky to have these men around us that are willing to do it every day…
    My Dads hands were so rough and callused that he only felt splinters if they went in far enough to “fester” in a day or two.
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    You are blessed to have the Deer
    Hunter in your life. Just recently
    I experienced working with him and
    we had a fun day.
    My daddy sure had tough hands, you
    got out of line too far and you got go feel the love in his hands.
    He was a carpenter, a rock and block mason and could fix just about anything. But the thing that
    touched me most is he always had
    time for us. Nothin’ like a best

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I love those hands in your picture. I’ve loved them since the day he was born.
    The preacher came to the hospital the next day and talked about the perfection God created in that tiny baby hand!
    Jen said it perfectly…true men are such a blessing!
    Don’s quote is a perfect fit for your Deer Hunter, Tipper. He is quiet, minds his own business, works with his hands, has the respect of others, and is supremely independent!
    Do you think I am partial? lol

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    April 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Holly Dunn’s lovely song, “Daddy’s Hands.” The lyrics are wonderful and I like her rendition of the song.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Those “working men” include my dad, brother, uncles and relatives. They’re the kind of people you want to be around when the Sewage Hits The Fan!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Tipper, from a very young age, I made a habit of offering my hand to a man for a handshake.
    I’m still that way, for this reason; you can tell a lot about him by the feel of his handshake.
    I am not much for physical work anymore, but my hands are hard yet, carrying the scars from over seven decades of work.
    I am still shocked when I grasp a hand, and it feels like a warm dishrag.
    Lord bless the Working Man!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    True men are such a blessing!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

    They say that girls marry their fathers. We are very lucky that our fathers are hardowrking wonderful men, so many are not so fortunate.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    April 14, 2011 at 8:30 am

    You are blessed to have good hardworking men around you,and you never forget Daddy’s hands.Have a good weekend, Sweetie.

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    April 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Papa, (my grandaddy) was the kind of man that all men used to be. He could do anything! And never went to school to be anything. And he was just everything~
    He taught himself to play the piano, organ, fiddle. He made his own fiddle. He sang shaped note music, he could fix a car, shingle a roof, preach a sermon, heck! he built a house all by himself during the Depression. I never saw him not be able to do anything! I thought all men were that way, boy was I surprised when I got married and found out, I was wrong!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 8:21 am

    my man is a workin man also. his hands were just like you describe, but since he retired they are much softer, as they should be. he had tough working hands his whole life, since he started in a sewing factory at age 9, now we marvel at his smooth hands, he stills does a lot of work, just not the kind that toughens the hands. you are blessed to have a working man

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 14, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I just remembered a neighbor who was always working on cars with me underfoot. When I was 12, he had an old ’48 Chevrolet that had a stripped timing gear. He asked me if I was up for doing the job and I said that I thought I could do it. He gave me a new timing gear and gasket and walked away. One of my proudest childhood memories is of a neighbor who trusted me to do that job and to have the car start and run perfectly

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Sing a little bit of them working man blues : ) To live on a farm like we do I think you have to be a working man. You should try to get a splinter out of O Wise One’s finger. IT is like trying to pick a splinter out of leather…

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 14, 2011 at 8:07 am

    My work has always been behind a computer, but, thanks to my Dad and others and a curiosity and ability to do manual work, I have saved myself a lot of money by being able to “do it yourself”.
    There is also a great deal of pleasure from looking at the tangible thing you just created or repaired. Whether it is a brake job, leaking plumbing, carpentry repair or improvement, electrical – done it all and enjoyed it.
    The best news is that Uncle Sam has not figured out how to tax the DIY work!
    I am really grateful to the men in my life that had the patience to let me help and to teach me how.

  • Reply
    barbara gantt
    April 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Thanks you Don for sharing that verse.
    I remember my Dads hands being rough. He built furniture and always had splinters. It was my job to get the splinters out of his hands. Not always an easy job with the rough thick skin. I miss those hands. Barbara

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Amen Tipper! I’m old-school on this subject, men are not supposed to have soft pink-and-white hands with shiny nails! I think a man should look like he’s no stranger to work and can take care of himself whatever may come!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Gotta love those workin’ men. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 14, 2011 at 6:21 am

    …as long as my two hands are fit to use.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    April 14, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life; You should mind your own business and WORK WITH YOUR HANDS, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
    1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

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