| By Bob Weaver Published 2001|
"The happiness in men consists in life, and life is in labor." - Tolstoy
"The real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities." - Adam Smith
"The common burden of our race." - A. Lincoln
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return unto the ground; for out
of it wast thou taken." Genesis
"The capital of our workingmen." - Grover Cleveland
It has been nearly two years since by dad Giff died. With him died some concern
about the labors of my own life, that I never had a real job and did not "labor."
To labor was to sweat and flex muscle, sufficient hours each day to qualify as a
workingman, he believed.
His stories of work abounded, long hours, days at a time, fighting deep winter
snows for the State Road, or digging with picks and shovels underneath roadways
and up steep mountains laying pipeline.
The labor of survival on the WPA, knapping rock into the roadbeds of Calhoun
during The Great Depression, earning a few survival dollars each week to stave
He was a history expert on The Great Depression.
Labor was a task to be performed erect and sturdy, not sitting in a chair or staring
at the ceiling behind a desk or in front of a computer. Not until the days of illness
before his death, would he recline on a couch or bed during daylight hours. He was
known to nap sitting in a chair, one eye open.
It was by the sweat of thy brow that one earns their keep. That was what Giff
When I would try an explain how much mental energy I dispensed from my wealth
of knowledge each day, he would quietly grumble.
Despite a couple of long careers, I never had a real job.
It was on common ground we stood, however, as father and son, supporting one
another in the challenges of life.
The day he died at 87, he said "I don't want to get down on that (ambulance) liter
again, I would rather just sit here and go away."
Giff was proud of his labor.