Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Jack the Cleaning Man

First published Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jack the Cleaning Man

Years ago, when my father owned an architectural firm, he hired a man named Jack, who had a janitorial service, to clean the building my father owned. Occasionally, Jack brought his school-age sons to help him.

Now, I never met Jack, but my imagination worked overtime. I loved the concept of how Jack might have mentored those boys while they worked side by side with their father. The type of work performed was irrelevant. I believe those boys, even while emptying garbage cans and pushing a vacuum cleaner, assimilated their father’s work ethic and learned the value of a job done well.

Those impressions went into the character of Steve Barnes. As a plain maintenance man in the backwards fishing village of Munsonville, Steve lacked the sophistication that Melissa and Brian’s cosmopolitan father, Frank Marchellis, once had. Steve does not try to compete with Frank, but neither is that necessary.

His consistent presence, interest in the children’s lives, and sharing of interests, brings a certain stability to the children’s live which, perhaps, even Brian never fully realized.

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