4.01.2007

Gathering Around the Table.... Hard Hat Area

Growing up in Kellogg, Idaho hard hats were commonplace for the workers at Bunker Hill Mining Company. Posted around the different areas of the company were signs that said "Hard Hat Area... Safety First". You'd see men in white or yellow hard hats which were usually covered with muck from the mine or grease and dirt from the Zinc Plant. Usually Dad had one in the basement or out in the garage.
Mom started a collection of antique kitchen items after Grandma West died. She inherited some memorabilia from her own childhood and continued to add other pieces to the collection. The items are all situated on the large eastern wall of the kitchen. New collectibles have been added until now the wall is pretty full. When Dad's cronies, our family members or family friends would gather around the table there was always a warning to the person that would sit in the back part of the kitchen table. Dad loved to announce," You better put on your hard hat if you sit in that chair. If anything shakes this house, you'll be a goner". Then he would break into a smile followed by loud laughter. Through the years each of us had an encounter with something that fell off that wall. There was a lightweight rug beater that ended up on my niece's head. Somebody got a trivet on their plate. Mom had some round casserole holders that were attached to the wall with tiny nails. All it took was a clumsy, left-handed blonde (me) or a grandchild trying to secure a seat for dinner and one of those ended up on a head, in a plate of food, or on the floor.
The wall has always been quite a conversation piece when people come to visit. These items remind us of those funny mishaps and of many hours gathering around the table at my childhood home.

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