This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking my Momo and Papa to the Whirlpool Maintenance Departments Charity Fundraiser and Retirement Get-together/Valentine's Day Dinner.
Papa has pretty significant dementia and Momo is still recovering from her colon/liver cancer surgery and still doesn't walk all too well (she took a tumble off her bed Saturday afternoon because she made Joe move it to the other side of the bed...the side of the bed that she doesn't use...nice.) so it was pertinent that someone went with them.
You could tell Papa was excited about going, since he was begging to leave at 4 even though the doors didn't open til 5 and it is only a 20 min drive.
He talked to me the whole way there and he is a man of few words. He told me how back in the day, when he first started at Whirlpool in 1952 and got into the maintenance department, in 1954, he noticed that all the scrap copper was being thrown away. He and another co-worker approached the president of the Clyde division and asked if they could begin collecting it and turn it in for money to then use to fund a dinner event. He said yes and to this day that is what they do. He seemed very proud of that, as he should be.
The copper scrap leaves so much extra money though , that the maintenance department is able to donate to charities as well. Before dinner they read off all the names of the newly retired and what charities were donated to that year. And the charity list was quite long. Plus they donate only to local charities. Impressive.
It was fantastic watching Papa interact with his coworkers and chat about things other than the weather and how Momo is doing. You could tell he was a very well respected man in his days at Whirlpool by the number of men that still came up to shake his hand.
Papa was a self-made man. He started on the floor at Whirlpool and worked his way up to upper management, retired early, then started his own landscaping business. Add this to the fact that he left his Mother and Father's home at the age of 8 due to their alcoholism and still managed to graduate high school and be a 3 sport athlete. He is very intelligent and slow to judge. He is probably the greatest man I will ever know.
I felt very proud sitting beside him at dinner, especially when he would make it a point to introduce me to his former coworkers.
And Lora, you would have had a blast with your stealthy camera at all the "fashions" that Clyde has to offer.
Oh, and Papa remembered every moment of the evening on Sunday night!