Monday, December 7, 2015

Ernie Margheim: My job was to play in the cracks between the keys

Ernie's lifelong typewriter and stand
An excerpt from an email my dad wrote to a cousin in Jan. 2009 as he was recovering at home from a broken leg and side medical issues. 

You know my life vocation was clerical, bookkeeper, so through the years, I worked with a typewriter 24/7/365. I always said "I think through my fingers". I first have to lay my hands on a keyboard before my brain engages.

Another expression I often used when I worked at the Meat Packing Plant in Great Bend (KS) for 54 years...people would ask me "What is your job there?" Well, you name it! In office work I did them all, but my explanation was "You know on the piano keyboard there are black keys and white keys. Well, relating my job to such a keyboard, I replied that my job was to play in the cracks between the keys. Anything that was not specifically identified as an assignment, ERNIE DID IT! I was in charge of government reports, finances that greased the wheels, license and permits, taxes, transportation, legal, audits... If anyone asked me something I didn't know, I knew where to point and find it. 
I knew where all the underground utility lines were laid, emergency waste water disposal in the case of an ammonia accident. Occasionally ammonia from refrigeration did find its way into the Arkansas River and we experienced a fish kill which our plant had to restore, with $15,000 worth of restocking the river with fish from the Pratt Hatchery. With the EPA era, no more liquid waste to the river. We had our own lagoons and disposal systems. Salt brine was trucked by oil field disposal. 

'Nuff said. When I get wound up, I can not find a quitting place.  Head 'em up, move 'em out. Happy Trails until next time.

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