I had an uncle who owned a motorcycle shop when I was young. The shop was a wonderland of parts and tools and the smell of exhaust. But the thing I remember most was my uncle’s hands. They were rough and no matter how “fancy” the occasion, he could scrub all the stains from the cracks and callouses. I admired him and I wanted to grow up to have hands like his.
That was almost 40 years ago now. For the last 18 of those years I have worked a job where I come home smelling of two-stroke exhaust, campfire, sweat. My hands are rough and scarred.
I may not have the skills my uncle had nor do I own my own shop but I can tear down a chainsaw or re-wire a pump and I like to think that, if he could see them, he’d admire these hands.