Monday, September 04, 2006
This is something I seem to have been learning about since my very first job in manufacturing where I redid a process to be more efficient, thinking "wow" I've done something that will last a long time. It lasted about 3 months after I left.
Years later, I was working at a fire dept with a wonderful old guy, John O'Rielly. He was nearing retirement, yet he was still ONLY a firefighter. There was a lot of turnover in that dept, so I was an Engineer in 2 years. John was happy as just a firefighter. He was happy to work in dispatch, which the young guys (I was one once) hated.
I like to think we were friends. Once, out of the blue, he gave me a paperback book called "Paso Por Aqui" It's a western themed book. John was an Old West buff, even though he had been raised in San Francisco.
I've read it a number of times over the years. It has to do with one's redemption and legacy.
I think the only meaningful legacy one is likely to leave are the relationships we have with people. John died within a year of retirement. I never saw him again after his last day at work, I was always going to drop in, but didn't.
Still, I tried to leave a mark. The picture is of a small "Zen" bridge I built for the backyard of my last station. It was right ourside my window. I'm sure it will only last until it is old, weathered, and no one remembers who made it, then it's the dumpster for sure. Being ok with that is another lesson.
The ceramic FF figure was done by my beautiful bride.