It was time for our annual division picnic; employees, families, pets; food, drink, games and hanging around the picnic benches. Fun for all.

I assigned myself to be the photographer for the event. Very much the wanna-be pro I knew that if I took a lot of photos some might turn out. So, with my Canon AE-1, zoom lens, and a pocket full of 35-mm film, the party began. It was a great time.

When the film was developed I found that we had a great selection of candid shots. Kids playing, close-ups, faces filling the frame, families between poses, etc… My MARCOM Manager and I sifted through and found we had quite a few good shots.

A couple of weeks later the photos had been cropped, enlarged, matted and framed. That weekend all the engineering drawings and computer chip die photos came down off the walls in the office area and were replaced over 75 nicely framed color photos of the fun we all had.

One photo was a closeup face shot of a three-year-old little girl wearing a brightly colored hat. She had just stopped crying, had a Mona Lisa smile and a big alligator tear running down her cheek. Precious.

The morning the employees came in they first grumbled about their die photos and drawings that had been taken down, and then saw closeup shots of their son or daughter playing and having a great time; as well, their wife, their husband, and their friends. They began showing off their kids and family to one another and reliving the good time we all had that weekend.

At one point, one of the engineers asked why I had done all of this. I replied that I just wanted everyone to remember why they came to work…

A year later the little girl with the alligator tear became ill and was left totally blind. At the following year’s picnic she was there having her face painted, and was painting the face painter’s face. I heard her ask which little pot held the red and green and yellow. As her fingers were put into each color she put her other hand on the painter’s face and proceeded to paint as if she had her full eyesight. She laughed and had a wonderful time.

Work is about sales and shipments and quality and customer service and profits and market-share… and it’s about family, connection and compassion for those with whom we spend the bulk of our waking hours. ~

(Photo of little girl and woman by: simplybubbly.com)

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Postscript: The face painter was my niece, Tamara Anne Gunter, who passed away in May 2019