A Tough Job

My dad’s first job after the Marine Corps was at Wilson & Co. He talked a lot about it and was proud of the work he did. He worked down there for 13 years until the place closed. One job he did was called dropping pelts, or skinning sheep. There was this conveyor chain like an assembly line that was constantly moving and everyone was expected to keep up. You had to have a really good reason to stop the chain or you would get fired. He would come home and say, “We had to stop the chain today.” It was a big deal because everything was scheduled around train loads coming in. He would sometimes get severe cuts that required stitches. He also had to lift the sheep up and slipped every now and then on a wet flor and hurt his knees or back. The union eventually made sure that if you got cut and had stitches, they had to reassign you to a different job until you healed.

Mark had his career in Law enforcement: OPD reserves and retired from Sheriff’s office. He now trains police officers so he travels and then will be home a while.

He always left work really early because you’d get stopped by the trains and everyone had to be in place on time. I remember as a kid you would look down from the viaduct and couldn’t see the ground for all the trains.


If a neighbor was ever trying to butcher a deer, my dad would watch and then push them aside. He could take a steel and sharpen a knife so fast it was a blur, even later in his 60s and 70s.


He was easy going and had a super strong work ethic and made strong commitments. If he ever told a friend or family member he would do something, he did it. He came from family with 12 siblings and his Dad died when he was 4 years old. His mom, my grandma would leave for work before he got up for school and he would be asleep when she got home from her second job. They were so poor the kids would follow the ice trucks that were delivering ice to cool people’s ice chests and pick up the pieces that fell off to use.


My dad taught me to follow through on what you say. Be honest and work hard. Vote, because a lot of people put their lives on the line for the freedoms we have.  Follow through with what you say. Be honest. Work hard. Hard work pays off. Vote. A lot of people put lives on the line for freedoms we have. If people ever say, “You’re from Salt Lake?” I correct them and say, “No, I’m from Ogden. I’ve always held my head proud when I say that. It’s our industry and work ethic. It has always been a roll-up-your sleeves, blue collar town.