The department: Men’s Work Clothes.
And the only work clothes I folded and sold were made by Carhartt. I was a “Work Study” student and my job was helping to find clothes for working stiffs.
Some days I would have to work to work two departments, Men’s Work Clothes and one department over – Records.
I knew working stiffs and music.
Kind of scary that this was being set up way back then.
We are all on a ride; we’re just not the one driving.
So almost five decades later I’m somehow sitting in the Carhartt Corporate headquarters; it’s where the Elite registration for this shindig took place. I get a tour of the joint, meet regular folks and VPs, who also seem mighty normal, and see this sort of museum they have in the place, and actually see some of the stuff I used to try to fold and sell.
Got a buddy working here; name is Tim Humes, a VP in title but not so much in big head stuff … sort of a John Goodman kind of working stiff. It seems Tim runs PR here so we sit down and talk a bit. (Dear other PR people, Tim is a friend; I don’t normally talk to PR types and I’m too old to change so unless you are a drinkin’ buddy PR type, please don’t call me.) That’s when Tim starts talking ABOUT SHOP CLASS.
I’m freaked, thinking geez somehow Carhartt got ahold of my Permanent Record.
Tim tells me my beloved Shop Class is becoming a thing of the past. Nothing personal, Tim, but I have spent a life as an investigative journalist being told all sorts of almost truths so I Google this Shop Class issue and find out it’s true.
One fact I found: 90% of the 660,000 students in the Los Angeles school district have no access to any kind of a Shop Class. Hey LA, you think you have problems now, wait about 10 years when you
need someone to wire a light bulb that won’t catch fire.
A dude who only knows how to click a mouse ain’t going to be much use to you.
“You know what, db?”
Tim is eating, I’m writing.
“Having had to earn a dollar isn’t a bad thing.”
“Dude, er, Tim, we have a bunch of
dudes on the tour, working stiffs, they all have had to earn a dollar…”
And one of them is Bassmaster Elite angler Kevin Ledoux.
“…he keeps giving…”