March 18, 2003

Happy Birthday Al Wismar

Dad, I'm thinking about you today. I still miss you. We all do.

A friend of mine related a story to me the other day that brought home to me once again what a remarkable man my father was. The friend belongs to a sportman's club owned by the grandson of the founder of the company where Dad worked. Aware of the connection, my friend mentioned Dad's name to this gentleman, who had, as the third generation, run the company that employed my father for his entire working life.

The company owner warmed at the mention of Al Wismar, and he told my friend the story of the hard-working man who started off at age 17 as a delivery truck "runner" and advanced to manage the Data Processing and Administrative departments for the entire company. He revealed to my friend how this man was revered by all in the organization, and what a positive influence he was for company morale, proving as he did that hard work and loyalty could pay off with success and advancement. Just the fact that this busy man took the time with my friend to relate the story says a lot about Dad's impact on the company and the people in it.

I had never given much thought before to the ways in which Dad's career was a source of pride to the owners of the company he served. Sure, his family and friends had always marveled that he worked for a company for 50 years in an era in which gold watches and fancy dinners are given for employees who serve for 25. We knew his co-workers loved him, right down to the hourly laborers in the warehouse, and that his relationship with the owners' families was something beyond your everyday employer-employee connection. But it was nice to be reminded of it by hearing of a chance encounter, and a warm remembrance.

Posted by dan at March 18, 2003 12:19 PM