Blue Collar 1968

Jim liked to think of himself as a simple man. A skilled machinist, to be sure — that had landed him this job — but not complicated. His family’s modest suburban house didn’t even have a television. He couldn’t see the point of having one. His three children didn’t seem to mind.

This morning his wife had packed him a ham sandwich. It was a bit dry, as usual, but she had the notion that too much mayonnaise was bad for one’s health. They still loved each other, though it wasn’t quite so passionate as when they had met, a decade earlier.

Someday, he mused, he’d take his family on a nice vacation. They were happy enough, but they had never really traveled. Travel was the thing to do these days, it seemed. Maybe he’d even take them somewhere out of state. Perhaps when the kids were a couple years older.

A buzzer sounded; lunch break was over. Jim stood up, stretched, and brushed sandwich crumbs off his shirt. He returned to work, shaping parts for a vehicle that would put two men on the surface of the Moon.

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