Friday, May 1, 2015

Cheers to Blue Collar Roots: Robert J. Niehaus III

A special blog nephew is graduating from UC tomorrow!

To celebrate Robert J. Niehaus III, and his relentless pursuit of an elusive dream, the hard fought
journey to get there, and ultimately, success at the end of a long road.  Congratulations on earning your degree from #UC!

Your Grandpa Niehaus, for whom you were named, spent his life as a blue collar worker, with six day work weeks...putting in overtime just to make ends meet.  He liked to listen to the #Reds on the radio and enjoyed drinking #PabstBlueRibbon from a can, with a little salt on top to keep the foam down.

His uniform was plain, blue shirt and work pants, with a patch on the pocket, and his name, "Bob." He could fix anything at the local factory, #MiamiMargarine, where he worked.  And better still, always seemed to be able to fix anything that went wrong in any of our lives as well.

Our chosen career paths are a long way from the gravel road leading up to that old warehouse, now long gone and demolished.  But the tread in his tires paved the way for all of us from the start, pushing us to embrace life and go after our dreams, no matter how long it took...instilling in us that anything was possible if we worked hard enough.

He taught us the importance of being who you say you are, the value of your word, and the capacity to love and equally important, to forgive.  

I like to think those blue collar stitches are what made us all who we are today.  And that our own thinking is well grounded in the basics of what it means to work hard and stand proud.  

Over the years, we've held fast to his rugged wisdom, smoothing over some of the rough edges along the way.  Those stitches reinforce every area of our lives and began with a brilliant man.  He could have done anything...been anyone...but thankfully, chose to be a dad and then grandfather and to share his passion for learning with us all.

Enjoy this moment and know that your journey and every success comes without surprise, but with deep admiration and respect for the accomplished young man you have become.

Aunt Mary aka godmother

Robert James Niehaus Senior

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