Mike Rowe Posts Heartfelt Tribute to His Mom With Awesome Throwback Photo

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)

Mike Rowe recently shared a heartfelt memory from his mom’s childhood as she embarks on a new career at 84.

The Dirty Jobs host is currently working on a side project. Over the past few weeks, he’s been recording an audiobook of his mom, Peggy Rowe’s, recently debuted New York Times Best Seller, Vacuuming in the Nude.

The book is a memoir that spans nearly her entire life. So when Mike began working on the early chapters, he asked for some photos that he could use as a reference. And what she sent made him realize that Peggy was someone else before starting a family.

“Is this my mother?” he wrote on Instagram. “I can only assume it is because I asked her to send me a photo apropos to the next two chapters of her audiobook that I just posted on my podcast platform, and this is what I got. But like last week’s photo, I don’t recognize this person.”

Mike Rowe’s Mom Was Once an Accomplished Equestrian

In the post, Mike Rowe included two photos. The first shows Peggy Rowe as a smiling teenager of maybe 16 or 17. She sits on a couch and embraces a wide-eyed dog that Mike calls “Topper.” Peggy is also outfitted in full equestrian attire.

The second picture shows an old issue of Young Rider Magazine that includes a short story she penned titled Long Way to Go.

“There’s something familiar about the eyes, but [the] smile is not the one to which I’ve become accustomed,” he continued. “This is the sh**-eating grin of a horse-crazy teenager who slept in the barn and always dressed like she was about to embark upon a Steeplechase, or something equally ill-advised, even when she was just going out to walk the dog.”

“Speaking of which, is it just me, or does Topper look like a canine held hostage by a lunatic who might very well saddle him up and ride him to school, should no horse be available,” Mike added.

Mike explained that Peggy Rowe continued to revel in her passion for horses well into her golden years. But at some point, she had to retire from the saddle thanks to aches and pains. However, she’s happily funneling all of her joy into writing.

“I’ve always known my mother was obsessed with horses. She rode all the time when I was [a] kid, and my brothers and I often accompanied her,” Mike wrote. “My father knew better. She’d still be riding today but for the arthritis, and settles instead for writing about riding, which you can hear for yourself. Giddyap!”

You can listen to samples of Vacuuming in the Nude on Mike Rowe’s Twitter page. Or you can read the entire book, which is available now.