Charlie used Flash to wash his hands…..
My Dad, Charlie was born in 1901 and died in 1998. At the age of twenty he left Canada to pursue a better life for himself in the United States. He came to a new place where nothing was guaranteed…or expected. He didn’t speak the language as he only knew French. He knew he would have to work hard to earn a living. And work hard he did.
Charlie used Flash to wash his hands….
He married late in life to my wonderful Mother…Betty. When I was born Charlie was all of forty-six years old. I joined my sisters Louise and Claire. Early in my life I soon realized that Charlie worked very hard…every day. I watched him get out of his truck in the driveway and take his dirty bib overalls off in the shed. He then went right to the hallway bathroom and looked into the mirror. He saw the dirt and soot and grease on his face.
He then reached for the can of Flash on the cupboard and twisted the top off. For the next few minutes the used that gritty paste to scrub his hands clean. In that moment all his hard work that day was washed down the drain. I saw all of it go away yet I never heard him...complain about it.
Charlie used Flash to wash his hands.
Both Charlie and Betty did all they could to provide what they could for me and my sisters. We all knew that whatever we wanted above what we needed we had to work for…ourselves. I might not at times been happy with all of that but I knew that in order to succeed I needed to work hard. And that we did.
During one of my final years in high school, I needed a summer job. Charlie at time in his life was the maintenance manager at a local brass and iron foundry. I was fortunate to get a job there and it paid well. Now there was a reason it paid well. Summer months working in a brass and iron foundry are the closest thing to hell that a human being can experience.
At the end of each day I rode home with Charlie in his pickup truck. I was sopping wet from sweat and filthy. Charlie looked at me and smiled. The lessons I learned that summer in the foundry were never forgotten. Hard work taught me to appreciate the fact that you earn what…you work for.
Charlie and I used his Flash to was our hands.
Now Flash is long forgotten by many and never known by so many. This great country was built by men and women who used Flash to wash...their hands. Now at this very point in time, I believe we must never wash our hands of our country. Our hands need to come together and work to build the future…together. it may be hard and we may get...our hands dirty.
Charlie used Flash to was his hands.