This poor photo of my paternal great-grandfather, William Doyle (known as Billy to his friends, as Pap to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren), shows him standing in overalls near his home in Stoneboro, Pennsylvania. He was a farmer, though he'd given over the ownership of the farm to his son, Gust, long before this photo was taken.
If those overalls were still around and could only talk, what stories they could tell! Of the two-mile walks to the farm on snowy winter mornings to help his son Gust, or driving there in the car in the summer. Perhaps we'd hear stories of the horses and their work, or learn of the cows' names and which had recently had calves. I know we'd learn about the work of planting and harvesting corn, hay, and strawberries. Those strawberries were known for miles around. Maybe they would tell stories about digging the coal mine and shoveling and hauling coal. And the pockets! Tools, coins, pen knife, and, most importantly, the pipe and Cutty Pipe tobacco, but who knows what else! If only those overalls could talk....
Pap looks a humble, unpretentious, sensible man to me. He was also a family man. He tenderly taught his children and grandchildren the value of work and a job well done.
My great-grandfather was born in England and came to the U.S. as a child. Somehow the flat cap in his hand seems British to me, but perhaps it was common hatwear in the early part of the 1900s in the U.S.
This is a contribution to Sepia Saturday. Head on over to see what others have to say about working folks, some of which will probably be wearing overalls.