Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I opened my door today, and standing there was a man with whom I'd worked in the 1970s. We had not seen each other in years, but several weeks ago, in Kroger, I had a pleasant time reminiscing with him and his wife. He told his wife that I had "saved his job". When we worked together, I was also the Union Steward and when I became a Supervisor, he worked for me.

I invited him to come in and he said, "No, we're just out yard-saleing; I made this for you," and he handed me a carving of an owl setting on a branch.

I said, "This is lovely; you remembered that I loved owls." He said, "And white walnut and butternut." I said, "You have a fantastic memory!" He said, "Never met too many women who knew anything about woods." I kept marveling at his kindness, thoughtfulness, and especially his memory. I asked, "What are these stones?" He answered, "The rubies in the eyes are industrial grade, but they're your birthstone, and the jade I just had around."

I said, "WOW! I'm supposed to be the one with the eidetic memory." He laughed and said, "No, you're the one with the BIG WORDS--what does that word mean?" I explained, "Some people say "photographic memory", but the correct word is eidetic; it means having an extraordinary and detailed recall."

I told him that I didn't remember that he carved and he said that his ancestors had come from the Black Forest and he thought the carving talent was genetic!

For years, he and his first wife Karen had been trying to have a baby and she suffered several miscarriages. The obstetrician ordered her to be on complete bed rest the last three months of the pregnancy. He was known to be a reckless driver; it was arranged that his wife would go by ambulance to Columbus to deliver the baby.

On the trip to Columbus, the ambulance was hit by a drunk driver and his wife and the baby were killed.

Of course, he was devastated and he returned to work too soon after the tragedy. After he returned to work, he was driving a fork lift and he had his forks too high and the overhead sprinkler system was hit. The damage to the paper products was estimated in the thousands of dollars.

The Company management thought they had every right to fire him; as the Steward it was my job to defend him. We had a Superintendent who had been with the Company a short time and he was from Kentucky (see my article "WOE TO MAN" HERE). He was not aware of the history of the tragedy. I presented the case to him and begged the Company to have compassion for this devastated man. He was suspended for a month and I took up collections weekly to match his paycheck.

He and I used to ride our bicycles to work (2.8 miles from my house) and we had many conversations. He's a hunting, fishing, Euell Gibbons follower, and a history-loving survivalist and a conspiracy-theorist kind of guy!

I have frequently told the story that he once told me that "when the Revolution comes", that Gerald and I were welcome to come to his bunker. I said, "But if there is a Revolution, we'll be on opposing sides!" He said, "That's OK, I know that you're a good person despite your politics." I submit that is the SWEETEST thing anybody ever said to me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Only YOU would have a friend who is diametrically opposed to your beliefs offer to protect you! ML