What is a "tiehacker"?

"Tiehacker" is a term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a class of people from WAY back in the hills that made a living cutting trees into ties for the railroad. I first heard the term from my wife shortly after we married. I had been working outside all day and was dirty and stinky. She had learned it from her father, and thought it just meant "a bum". Never having heard it before, I looked it up. Although I am not really a bum, I thought it was interesting, and I do have a life-long love affair going with the Ozark hills, so ... there you have it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let's get this ball rolling, shall we?


My name is Ron. I am a 50-something conservative Christian married man in Missouri, living with my beloved wife Deb and OUR dogs and HER cats. My step-sons are grown and on their own now. I work midnights for a company that transports rail crews hither and yon; Deb is retired on disability.

I'll be posting all sorts of things in this blog. Political & social commentary, Scriptural studies, good jokes that I run across, and anything else that crosses my mind that I think someone in the world might like to read. So buckle up and come along for the ride. No telling where we'll wind up, but I bet we have fun getting there!

The title of this blog is in honor of my wife,  sort of. I never heard the word "tie-hacker" until I met her about ten years ago. She saw me one day in a pair of torn jeans and torn T-shirt, dirty and unshaven, and slightly odoriferous. (Hey, I had been working outside all day; what do you expect?) She wrinkled her nose and said I looked like a "tie-hacker" and needed to clean up, like RIGHT NOW! After I showered and changed, I asked her what in the world a "tie-hacker" was. All she could tell me was that it was a term her father had used for bums. (You gotta understand, I am from Saint Louis, and she is from tiny, rural, Monroe County, Illinois. I am always teasing her about her "Illinois-speak".) So I asked her if this was more of that Monroe County dialect that nobody else in the world speaks, and she hemmed and hawed. So, off to Google I went. Found out that it is an old pejorative term originating in the Ozark hills of southern Missouri. It referred to a certain class of people that lived WAY back in the hills, with only a nodding acquaintance with personal hygiene, and that made a living, of sorts, by cutting down trees, adzing them into railroad ties, and selling them to the railroad. Also, apparently they weren't too careful about observing property lines or property rights. So although the original description really doesn't fit me much at all, I have had a life-long love of the Ozarks, and own the entire set of Foxfire books. Hence, my choice of a title for this blog. Besides, I love to tease my wife, and I am sure that when she sees this her reaction will be, well, interesting. If I am lucky, eye-rolling will be the worst of it.

I enjoy reading almost anything I can get my hands on, although I do draw the line at the romance novels my wife occasionally reads. Yech! I dabble in gardening, and enjoy the occasional fishing trip and other outdoor activities when the weather is decent. I enjoy food FAR too much, as evidenced by my ever-expanding waistline, which is aided and abetted by my wife's extraordinary cooking ability. 
I am an avid genealogist. I have traced my family's history quite aways back, in some lines to the late 1600's! 
I have an eclectic work history, including such things as short-order cook, long-haul truck driver, skip-tracer, used car salesman, construction laborer, and plumber's helper, to name a few. 
I am a fanatic Cardinals baseball fan, and also enjoy watching football now and then. I enjoy most types of music, other than hip-hop/rap, which I cannot tolerate. I cannot sing at all; when I attempt it, dogs howl and run and hide. I can't dance, either, having two left feet and absolutely no sense of rhythm. Fortunately, Deb has an amazingly beautiful voice, both spoken and singing, so she handles the singing for both of us. 

Lately, I have begun getting into the "prepping" thing. Just on a small scale, at the moment. But we shall see. That just may expand a great deal as time goes by.

Well, that's enough for the moment. Until next time .....


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