Blue Collar Man

by mollykl

I remember the first time I heard Styx’s “Blue Collar Man” at work.  I was at store #8, helping bag groceries (and for those of you NOT in’s what you do…help out), and the song came on.

It was particularly poignant, since Elk Grove is populated by state workers, and at the time said state workers were “furloughed” which meant that they were forced to take at least one Friday off a month without pay.

And I was…am..old enough to remember when the song was first released. My thought was, “Well, damn, we’re back here again are we?” What goes around, comes around. I was busy bagging (cans on bottom, bread and tomatoes on top, make the bags equal weight) and I was lip-syncing the words to the song, because of course I remembered every word. The guy in line looked at me and laughed and made a nice comment about how I might not actually be old enough to know Styx, which was flattery, but I took it. I laughed with him and said I remembered when the song first came out, and we had a nice moment.

But the fact is I remembered the 70’s, and the OPEC oil crisis, lines at the gas station, the California drought that seemed so severe, but now seems like a walk through Eden, and the pervading sense that it would never end, that it would never get better. It did. It’s really hard to remember now, but It. Did. Get. Better. Now without work, mind you, but it did.

Hope is not lost.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” J. K. Rowling