Mar 20, 2009

120 years in paint

This is Ken, my old man.
Well not so old at the time of this picture of him rolling putty to glaze a window. (Or was he thinking about the beer after work...hmmmm?)

He started a family tradition that is still thriving today three generations later! He was a painter.
More than that he was a very skilled and qualified tradesman. I may just be qualified to make that comment after my 45 years in the surface coatings industry as its called today.
Unlike painters of today in the 30's/40's painters were often also trade qualified in sign writing and glazing as he was.
He could do anything needed to transform a dump into a palace.
Oh to have those skills today.
Ken had a big problem in hind site and that was he never charged enough for his work. He and we never had the finer things in life.
But to be fair life was not too bad and we, as kids, were free spirits. BUT DON'T BE LATE FOR "TEA" (Dinner)

Back to paint.
I am one of 5 kids. We were all brought up with the smell of paint. On dad when he got home from work, in the shed...god I can smell it now as I was snooping through dad's tools (What the hell were you doing in the shed. You never put my tools back. Stay out of the bloody thing. He would say)
Then on the weekends burning out the pots and boiling his overalls in caustic and wire brushing and cleaning up all his brushes.
He always started the new week with clean overalls, brushes and pots. I cringe when I see most painters at work now. I have had "tradesmen" turn up at our home to do a job and they don't have a ladder let alone drop sheets or covers.
I digress.
Well two of us kids went on to have a life in paint.
I started in 1965 and after a couple of decades in manufacture and formulation and went on to management. My kid sister (as I still see her at plus plus 40) went more toward the retail and trade selling of specialised and decorative paints and coatings. She has won the praise of many painters and do it yourselfers around town for her knowledge and helpful approach. She has completed 20 years in paint.
14 years ago my son started working part time at the company I manage. That led to a career of paint. The third generation!
He worked his way up the ranks. Starting on the floor in the manufacturing side of paints and now runs the operations side of a multimillion dollar paint manufacturing business. There are many stories to be told within these 3 generations and 120 combined years in the world of paint.
But maybe another day.

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