Even though my father did not finish high school, he was ambitious and smart. (He was awarded his GED while in the Navy.) For many years he ran a ceiling tile business, bidding on jobs, managing a crew and supporting his family. He named the company “Continental Sound Control”.
Tools of his trade.
On family trips he would often spot a building under construction. Brake the car! “Wait here!” he said as he ran into the building. A few minutes later he’d jump back in the car waving a piece of paper, announcing he had successfully lined up another ceiling tile job.
On vacations to Seattle or California to visit family we would go and come home in a week. At every stop he would call back to “the business” to ensure things were running smoothly in his absence.
A Chance for All
Dad had a great business partner who worked tirelessly alongside him for years. Much to my mother’s chagrin at times, he also loved to hire down-and-out folks – a man that drank too much, the son of a friend who in desperation robbed a bank, served his time and was released from jail; my dad hired him without a second thought. Students from the local Christian college were employed, when my husband was laid off my dad gave him work, and he started his nephew, another son-in-law and others in the tile-setting profession.
He even hired me to work construction. (Not that’s an Uff da!)
To me, the business was everything to him. He worked hard, long hours, to provide for his ever-growing family.
“Vacation! You’re taking vacation!” Dad would scold me after I entered the workforce and took a day off. As a self-employed person, not working meant you were not making money. Work was the end-all and be-all to this man of the Greatest Generation.
It is important you understand my dad, so you can appreciate the impact of Lewy. This self-made man overcame his Depression-era childhood to run a business and raise a family.
When he wasn’t calculating a ceiling tile job on the back of a napkin, he was writing poetry or telling stories over pie and coffee.
Here he is with our dog, Melody.