I always thought it quaint when I noticed that union ironworkers would refer to each other as brother. (And in a few rare cases, sister.)
Thought maybe it was just an online thing, or maybe an old timer thing, but I was wrong. I remember the day that my husband’s cousin came to show off his brand new ID card (same international, different local), they did that guy back slapping, hugging, handshaking thing and called each other ‘brother’. Made me all gooshy inside, but I’m a sentimental fool.
Then my husband would come home with work stories, (he is a first year apprentice). Talk about how they take care of first year apprentices, get them coffee sometimes, how on Fridays at one site they made lunch for all, but let the apprentices eat for free, how they looked out for his safety, stuff like that. They seem to look after their own.
And then there were forums online, and they’d offer advice, and hints, and I would see them tell each other about work in other places, and they would meet up, all very nice. A real brotherhood sort of thing going on.
And even online, they take care of their own. We got a very nice Christmas present from someone who has made an effort to keep up with us, check up on us, on one of the new guys. It sounds like a bunch of hooey, but it really is like a family out there.
And I’m glad that we’re part of that family, because things haven’t been better, as far as that part of life is concerned. Other things are falling apart around us, but with support from others, we’re gonna be ok.