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Honoring tradesmen

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Sept. 20 was National Tradesmen Day, a fairly new observance created to honor those who often receive little honor. It’s about time they did.

Created by Irwin Tools just two years ago, National Tradesmen Day is a means of acknowledging several million workers who really form the backbone of not only our economy, but also our very way of life.

You can define “tradesman” any number of ways, but generally the term describes anyone (man or woman) who uses their hands and tools to create, install, maintain and repair those things that keep our lives going. You might immediately think of auto mechanics and plumbers, and you’d be right of course, but it also covers cabinetmakers and installers, furniture makers and refinishers, lumber suppliers and homebuilders, and the entire staff of your local millwork shop. It’s also the guy who brings in your new refrigerator, gets it running, and then hauls off your old one. It’s a whole group of workers who, in spite of how completely essential they are, are almost invisible.

Rodney Dangerfield got tons of mileage out of his catchphrase “Don’t get no respect.” He was joking, because that was his trade, but I’d be willing to bet that thousands of true tradesmen – possibly including you – feel exactly that way.

Although many of you reading this are certainly tradesmen, I don’t consider myself one. Yeah, I can create, build and install lots of items, and I have the skills, knowledge and tools to repair most things around our house myself. But I know my limits, and when something needs to be done that stretches those limits I won’t hesitate to call a tradesman who knows what they’re doing. And I rarely complain about the cost. As far as I’m concerned, if they can make my problem go away then they earn every penny I’m paying them.

For those of you who are tradesmen, I salute you because I know that without what you do my life would be a lot harder. For those of you who, like me, create things with tools but don’t consider yourselves tradesmen, please join me in tipping our collective hats to all those who do the work of making everything else work.



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