Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along to read it and add a few encouraging words.

This month the words/prompts are supplied by Margaret Adamson and Sue Fulcher with photos by Bill Dodd and can be found here

This week's words/prompts are: two photos taken by Bill Dodd. I have selected the first photo:


I walked as quickly as I could across the intersection, feeling mildly surprised at how quickly the bus had got us to this point. I held the hand of my great-grandson and made my way to the chainlink fencing that marked off what used to be the staff car-parking area. I knew a much larger area was behind the building for the factory workers. I gazed at the rundown building for a while until Cameron tugged my hand and asked, "why are we here Granny?"

"I wanted to see the old place one more time before it gets torn down," I told him. "Forty years ago, this was a thriving shoe making factory. We made men's, women's and children's shoes here. I worked on what was called a production line making men's business shoes." 

"Was it a good job Granny?" he asked. "It was a very good job, Cameron. I wanted to work there forever, or at least as long as I was able to work." "Why did you stop working here?" he asked. "Well, the accountants, who lived far away in England, told the owners, who also lived in England, that much more money could be made for them if the product could be made at a cheaper price. So they found other places in the world where people would work for minimal wages and moved the whole operation to those places and this factory was closed down. I was very sad." 

"I imagine you would be. My grandpa says when you love what you do everyday it isn't work at all. He tells me stories of the rebar machines he used to run, he has only been retired for a few months and misses working, but Dad runs the same machines now and comes home to tell us what happens every day. I hope the rebar is still around when I finish school, I think I'd like to work there and make a family tradition." "I like your idea very much," I said. "I hope it happens for you. There is still construction work available and rebar is still needed."

We walked along the fences as we talked and I pointed out various windows and doors, telling him which sections of the factory they had belonged to. Many of the windows were broken and one door was missing altogether. Probably squatters or homeless people had found a place to sleep.

"Do you remember the people you worked with Granny?" Cameron said. "Most of the ones along my particular production line I remember. Your other Great Grandpa worked on the same line. Funny thing, we were talking about birthdays once and discovered that almost all of us, about 18 out of the twenty or twenty-five, had birthdays in August." "That might be why you all got on so well," said Cameron. "What were their names?"

"It's beginning to rain, Cam, let's head back to the bus stop and I'll tell you their names when we get home. I have an old Teddy Bear with signatures from most of them. I sent it all around the factory to be signed a couple of weeks before the closure, so I would have something to remember them by. How do you feel about a pizza? We could pick one up from that new place near the home bus stop, I have my new teeth now so I can chew again."

"Great idea Granny, let's go."


Comments

  1. This is lovely. And sadly very, very true. Smiling at the new teeth sentence - I hope that Granny enjoys her pizza to the max.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elephant's Child; I'm sure granny will enjoy the pizza. Thank you.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely story. I lived in a house a few doors up from an old shoe factory which was on the verge of closing down. My old (huge) house was once occupied by the owners of the factory who were, according to folklore, so very good to their employees and proud of their beautiful shoes. Same story. Thanks River. Beautifully written.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WWW; thank you, I drew on my own memories for this one, although the great-grandson is fictitious.

      Delete
    2. I thought, too, partially it´s based on your real life. Is the Teddy real? It´s such a nice idea!
      Yes, when work is fun it´s no work, I had that for a long while, too. It was wonderful.
      Sadly our team was thinned out over years and I have contact now to only my T, that at least daily.

      Delete
    3. Iris Flavia; yes, the teddy is real. I have lost contact with all the other workers, some retired, others took other jobs in other areas. All of us 22 years older now.

      Delete
    4. Oh. Yay for Teddy. Believe me, if I ever find a good job/team again I will remember this!
      Sad contact broke. But Teddy provides memories that even lead to this beautiful story.

      Delete
  3. Lovely story and sadly too true. Loved the idea of the teddy bear with the signatures. Wish I had thought of that when they restructured our company and anyone over 50 had to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arkansas Patti; thank you. I still have my signed teddy, I wrapped him in clear cellophane to protect from dust and smudges, but these days I don't remember all the people who signed, only the ones I was closest to.

      Delete
  4. It's a bittersweet story, you told it well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. messymimi; thank you, I took a little walk down memory lane, back to when I worked in the shoe factory.

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed your story. Past and present and future entwined in the best manner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlotte; thank you; it is easy when your memories are still good, you just think a bit and write it down.

      Delete
  6. Your story makes me reminisce, too. We used to have several shoe factories around here. I used to buy my boys' baby shoes at their factory outlet store over in Bill-Paying Town (Farmington), right next to their factory. There was also a factory beside the school where I taught in Steelville. It was called Brown Shoe Factory, but I think they've gone out of business now.

    Some of my students would bring those signature bears on the last day of school. Others just wore a white T-shirt, and had friends sign the back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val; students here often just had their uniforms signed which meant of course they could never be washed. We had three shoe/boot factories here in Adelaide, the one I worked at made baby and kids shoes, but the others only made adult shoes and boots, mostly the pull on type of boots for farm work etc. Both of those are also closed now, with the boots one closing just last week.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the new kick-start diet

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

Sunday Selections