Ken Kobus (left) tells his friend Ron Baraff (right) about his father, John Kobus, who worked in a steel mill for nearly 40 years. The job left an imprint on both Ken and John. When John was near the end of his life and in hospice care, he would lie in bed and make hand motions in the air—the same ones he made while working in the steel mill.

Originally aired September 1, 2006, on NPR’s Morning Edition.