A tribute to classic American jobs

The barber, the butcher, the farmer, the milkman and fireman all conjure up ideas of classic small-town America. In this issue, we take a behind-the-scenes look at some of our favorite men at work — both then and now.


Gear and HammerThe Fireman


Ryan Carrender, 37
Jefferson City Fire Department, Station No. 3, 2104 Industrial Drive, Jefferson City

Years in the biz: Six and a half

Favorite aspect of the job: You get to make a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s a big thing that I really enjoy. Plus, it’s
unpredictable, and it keeps you on your toes.

Best way to blow off steam? By playing the guitar and singing vocals with my bandmates for Dozer X, a local rock band.

Working Man - Fireman


Capt. Donald Thompson, appointed interim fire chief in September 1978, stands in front of the Seagrave engines at Station 621 W. High St. Thompson retired from the department in 1996 and still resides today in Jefferson City today. Photo courtesy of the Jefferson City Fire Department



Gear and HammerThe Milkman


Luke Webster, 35
Central Dairy, 610 Madison St., Jefferson City

Years in the biz: 15

Favorite aspect of the job: It’s different every day and always a challenge. Keeping up with all of the new products and encouraging customers to try them is always fun. And people love their milkman!

Favorite Central Dairy ice-cream flavor: Moose Tracks. It’s the best ice-cream in the solar system!

Working Man - Milkman


Noel Hackman of the Hackman family, who became owners of Central Dairy in the early 1950s, gives a classic welcoming smile during a friendly neighborhood delivery. Prairie Farms bought the company in 2007, but Chris Hackman, grandson of the family, continues to run the day-to-day operations. Photo courtesy of Central Dairy
*Central Dairy is a subsidiary of Prairie Farms.



Gear and HammerThe Barber


Larry Horstdaniel, 86
Larry’s Barber Shop, 224 Madison St., Jefferson City

Years in the biz: 60

Favorite aspect of the job: We have some real stories that come through here. Each day is different. It’s what keeps me here. The politicians in town are what have kept me in business over the years.

What keeps him going: Drink two scotches every evening before your meal, and you’ll live to be 100. I’m going to retire when I’m 90, so I’ve got four more years left!

Working Man - Barber


Horstdaniel, a Korean War veteran originally from Westphalia, attended the Moler Barber School of St. Louis before coming to Jefferson City in the 1950s and working as a barber on High Street. In 1971, he opened his own shop at 224 Madison St. in downtown Jefferson City. Photo credit unknown.


Gear and Hammer The Butcher


Roger Weber, 57
Weber Meat Market, 1708 Missouri Blvd., Jefferson City

Years in the biz: I’ve been doing this forever.

Favorite aspect of the job: I really enjoy the challenge. I like working with unusual things, not elaborate but specialty and custom cuts rather than precut. I don’t try to oversell product and can estimate appropriate portion sizes that are often more delicious, versatile and economical.

Most recommended cut: A big thick bone-in cowboy rib-eye

Working Man - Butcher


Weber Meat Service started as a meat locker in the basement of Beck Motors in Freeburg, Mo., in 1960. In 1983, the business moved to Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City, where it continues to operate today.

Photo courtesy of the Weber family.


Gear and HammerThe Farmer


Josh Smart, 32
Smart Brothers Farms Inc., 5623 Missouri 94, Tebbetts

Years in the biz: 16

Favorite aspect of the job: I always knew this is what I wanted to do. I like being outdoors, and my job is different every day. Today it’s prepping equipment to put crops in the ground, and the next day it will be working in the field.

Working Man - Farmer


Andy Smart, one of three founding brothers of Smart Brothers Farms Inc., sits atop the tractor at the family’s successful crop farming operation located in Tebbetts, Mo. The Smart family farm, dates back more than three generations.