Saturday, August 05, 2017

Welding goggles

Last night I mentioned my trouble in coming up with a topic for the blog. When that situation arises, I do goofy things. This process sometimes kicks dormant synapsis into creative action. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Last night I put on my dad's old welding goggles. It didn't work. My blog buddy Joe asked to see a picture of me wearing the goggles. This awakened one of my sleeping synapsis. The result follows.

My dad wore a hood when he did arc welding.  When he used an acetylene torch, he wore these goggles. For decades they've dangled on a hook in my home office. Every now and then, I'll pick them up and slip them over my head. The world is a much darker place when looking through them. The only things visible are surfaces that reflect the ambient light in the room. It's like one of those horror movies. 

The goggles give a different perspective on the familiar things around me.  I tried wearing them while I typed, that was an unproductive experiment. 

So, I usually just put them on for a few minutes and see if anything happens. The company where my dad worked, issued these goggles to him in the 1950s. He took care of his stuff. When he retired in the early 80s, his supervisor gave him his work gloves and these goggles.

Last night, I closed my eyes and held the elastic bands close to my nose. I wanted to see if a trace of him remained.  Either time had taken his scent away, or taken my ability to smell it.

Usually, the only thing that happens when I wear the goggles is that it makes me a little sad. My dad was not a yapper. When he said something, it carried weight. I didn't always listen, but I should have. 

When you're in your 30s, you can't imagine that you're parents won't always be with you. I wish I had been wiser then.  I had no idea cancer would take him so soon.  Now, all that's left are memories, old pictures,  and an old pair of welding goggles.


  1. Makes me wish I had held onto more things that belonged to Mom and Dad. I have some red and blue kerchiefs my dad always carried in his pocket. they are soft with wear. I think of him when I hold them.

  2. I miss my Dad too and the only thing I have is his DNA, his poetry, copies of letters to my Mom and all my fabulous memories of him. We may not have a ton of things from our Dads but having good memories are probably so much more than many folks have of their Dads. Love the goggles!

  3. Some days the missing of one's parents is intense. It was the date of my Dad's birthday yesterday and I felt such a tug of missing him. Your post today was just right.

  4. I really like this post Rick, your thoughts and memories of your Dad brought to life through his welding goggles, they look good on you Buddy.

  5. But you do have the goggles. It seems they were important to him as they are to you. The connection is there.

  6. I remember a song about Barney Google when I see that picture.

    They may be useful for watching the solar eclipse.

  7. A poignant post. I have a few things from my late Dad and, like you, from time to time I take these out and try to connect with the man.

  8. Nice you have a fond remembrance of your day and keep the handy too. Looking at you with them on only makes me smile. That's the way with me and memories. I smile and am not sad. We can only be thankful for having had the time we did have with them.

  9. that is to day a fond remembrance of your Dad, not your day. Sorry!

  10. Yeah, tis dark inside for sure. Amazing how easy and expert can make a job look. I weld, but stick more rods than get the job done. I never could run a slick bead, but I learned to admire the man who could. Good one, love the old goggles.

  11. Looking pretty cool in you dad old welding goggles. You can use those to look at eclipses of the sun. My husband used an helmet for soldering equipment at the farm.
    Hugs, Julia

  12. 'Gratified to realize I'm not the only one who's tried to sniff a memory.

    I appreciate how you tempered such a poignant message with this funny photo!

  13. Who's that handsome dude in the welding goggles?


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required