They wore jeans. Not like the fancy jeans with the gaudy stitching on the back pockets, or worse yet, the kind with shiny balls, chrome, or fake diamonds, in selected various art forms. I’m referring to back when working men, blue collar guys, wore jeans because they were durable and cheap.
Those were back in the days when there was no hiding your waist size with those types of jeans, least ways not until they got so worn out that the brown tag on the back right pocket got too faded to see the waist or inseam measurements.
There also would be no hiding your waist size with an untucked shirt, that was against the unwritten rules.
While those men didn’t have a lot, they had manners, got taught them along with the ten commandments. They also had combs, not the fancy ones of color that stuck out of the back pocket like a status symbol the way we did in the seventies. We wore the same jeans, but had a different outlook.
No, their combs were your basic black comb that could fit and hide with reverence in the back pocket of the blue jeans that ended up closer to the blue color of a sky and fading to white with age and holes. Their combs weren’t for vanity, they were meant for respect, to look presentable if the occasion called for it.
It was commonplace to see an aging pair of jeans get a remodel, the knees usually would get a rebuild out of an iron or sewed on patch. Money was tight, but the people I’m trying to describe had pride, not in their possessions or their clothes, they had pride in character.
Those folks valued honor above money or anything money couldn’t buy, they knew money couldn’t buy anything with real value. Value couldn’t be counted or calculated by a generation that didn’t worship idols.
If that generation did have a fault, it would have to be the fact that they wanted more for their loved ones. They worked like mules, traded blood, sweat, and tears to be able to provide a lifestyle that they didn’t have. To give us a world better than the world they’d inherited.
Of course, they succeeded. Who could have stopped them? Who on God’s green earth would have had the guts to try?
The majority of us got things that our parents didn’t, maybe it wasn’t much, but it was more than what the generation of honor had. Maybe part of the fault by our parent’s generation of marching into the unknown was that they assumed the next generation would cherish the same moral principles as well as the ones that led to honor.
That generation knew the words of Christ to be true, “Tis better to give than to receive.” They just didn’t know that too much giving kills the spirit that we’re designed with.
The best things I got from the man that wore jeans, the man I called “Dad”, were the things he never gave me, the things he couldn’t. The things he did give, I didn’t want, they cost me something that had to be paid from within… I had no way of knowing they were the greatest of gifts a man can give a son.
The things I once dreaded and avoided are the most cherished of gifts… along with the memories of the generation that wore jeans…