Instructional designer Penny Ralston-Berg keeps an old, dented cloth tape measure on her desk.
It belonged to her great-great-grandfather, Charles Thomas Courson. Over the years, her grandpa Charley worked in construction, did yard work and maintenance for the doctors in town, donned a suit to work at the local bank, and even dug ditches for the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
All the time he and his wife, Minnie Myrtle, provided for their daughter, grandchildren, neighbors in need, boarders from the many factories in town, and hobos that came up from the railroad tracks nearby.
They didn’t have much, but always had a full house and a hot meal ready for those who needed it. The local townspeople looked down on those who lived in the Fourth Ward. Penny’s grandpa Charley proved them all wrong.
Having one of his tools reminds her of where she came from, the importance of respect and kindness for those less fortunate and the rewards of hard work. It also reminds her that it doesn’t matter where you start out in life or what situation you may find yourself in. It might take you longer and you may need to work harder than those more fortunate, but with hard work and determination you can achieve anything.
[contact-form 8 “On My Desk Boilerplate”]