Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brookfield Poo Pond & Kenny Kiar

Never heard of Kenny Kiar? I have. The year is 1965, I get a summer job at the City of Brookfield, WI Sanitary Department, otherwise affectionately known as the Poo Pond. I was hired for general labor and the first thing I had to do was scrap and paint a very long metal railing that went around the place. I was out doors, no one pushed me and I just worked along. However, if you know me I was bored stiff and angling for other things that appeared to be more interesting, like driving around Brookfield servicing substations.

Kenny Kiar was a maintenance man, and older fellow, in his 40's perhaps. He worked at the Brookfield Sewage Plant several years before I arrived. He was gone most of the time on repair assignments to the various pumping stations or substations and we did not work together much at first. However, when I was done with the railing painting and the mowing he and I did start traveling about the city on repair missions. I would glaze broken windows he would check on and perform preventive maintenance on the equipment. We became friends.

After a time every morning meant a stop a the Brookfield Cafe for a sweet roll and a cup of coffee. Here Kenny indulged me with stories of his Navy days and lamented that he never had the opportunity to go to college. As a result he would never let me buy the sweet roll and coffee for either of us. He would say, "Your going to college, you need to save your money, don't become like me a man who'll have to physically work the rest of his life."

Every time I have a sweet roll and a cup of coffee I think of Kenny. I hope his life turned out well and he got to sit in an easy chair and watch his garden grow.

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