Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard
A former colleague's zest for living
January 3, 2010
Over the 2009 holidays, a former boss, Frank Easton, and I exchanged Christmas cards and letters. Frank was widowed several yeas ago and resides by himself in Salem, Ohio. A daughter who lives nearby assists him, but he tries to be self-sufficient. We began communicating again after a 50-year hiatus, and I previously discussed Frank in a 2007 Christmas blog which you can read here.
In his mid-nineties, Frank has a remarkable zest for life. He has always been a backyard mechanic and inventor who likes to tinker with new ideas.
A major interest in his life has been midget airplanes, and Frank traveled to a Oshkosh, Wisconsin, airplane museum last summer to show slides of his midget plane that he has loaned to the museum, as described here.
In his letter, he explains his excitement and enthusiasm in relating the features of his plane and categorizes the touring visitors as 1) Those with limited time and just breezing through the planes displayed in the museum hangar ; 2) Visitors interested in the plane, but tending to ignore his slides; 3) Those keenly curious in his plane, but who didn't want to interrupt the number-two type visitors. Frank explains that he did not recognize the number-three type soon enough for them to appreciate his slides, and they were soon gone.
Despite his advanced age, Frank still manages to perform many household chores himself. Recently, his dishwasher got stuck on one cycle and growled a bit. In the past he would check the sequence timer, but realized now that he could not get down on his hands and knees to do this task, and would have to wait for assistance. After facing the discouraging prospect of hand-washing, he decided that the fuse box would prevent any real damage to the circuit, and started the washer again. Presto! It worked into full cycle and hasn't given him a problem since.
Recently, he has spent time trying to broaden his knowledge of computers, and a grandson is assisting him. A grandson, who resides some distance away still in Ohio, had Frank get rid of his old Compac 98 computer, and updated him with a late Laptop model, a large flat screen, and a new Hewlitt Packard printer. Frank is updating himself now with the Internet, Gmail, and computer knowledge - a bit much for this old man - as he explains. His grandson tutors him over the phone with control of Frank's computer with the grandson's computer. Frank concludes his letter with, "If you find things getting dull in your life, just call on one of us experimental type Old Guys to liven things up for you with some new challenges."
As we age, let's hope that we always have the enthusiasm for living as displayed by this gentleman.
A video presentation on a midget plane, the Flying Flea, is available by clicking the play button.
— Frank Charney
New Year's wish: May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be tears of joy.
Thought for today
May you live long, die happy, and rate a mansion in heaven.
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