Friday, July 13, 2007

A Good Man

This gentleman was a top executive with the Continental Casualty Insurance Company in Chicago in the early years of the 20th century. He had done a lot to protect workers, including the introduction of shields for machinery belts in factories. He also insisted that Frank Lloyd Wright prove that his design for the Johnson's Wax Building was structurally sound before he would underwrite the construction insurance. [It was and still is.]

He had a loving family of four children and his beloved wife. When the Great Depression struck he paid CCI employees out of his own pocket for several months because he knew that they, too had families to support. His financial wealth was never the same, but his wealth in friends and goodwill grew exponentially.

Medical science fascinated him and he studied it quite a bit. He was also knowledgeable about nature, mechanics and just about everything else inquisitive grandchildren wanted to know. His fun-loving, gentle ways made him utterly approachable. In his later years, he grew a nice, round tummy where cranky babies found comfort and a resting place.

Every summer during my youth, my family would pile into our car and drive the 600 miles from home to visit him and my grandmother in Pennsylvania. I think I can speak for all 16 of his grandchildren when I say Poppy managed to make each one of us feel special. Our special thing was strolling hand-in-hand to the corner drugstore for frosted mugs of root beer and one-on-one time.

Sometimes my longing for him is unbearable, but recalling so many happy memories helps me get through it.

1 comment:

Kari said...

He sounds great. :)