It is Monday afternoon. Raining all day. Heavy and easy. That makes for 2 consecutive days of rain. Unusual this year. We are in a drought of 2-3 years duration. However the rain is needed and no one is complaining.

Heard from Anna again. She is now off to Camogli. Camogli is on the Italian Riviera. Anna has an apartment there. She is remodeling and so is off to see how the workmen are doing.

Anna travels a lot! What a life!

Antoina bartender Clayton is still in Columbia. I read in yesterday’s paper that several innocent people were killed by gunmen in one of Columbia’s main towns.

Clayton, get your ass back here!

I was with a friend yesterday whose eyes looked terrible. That heavy tired look. I asked what was wrong. Apparently my friend has a cat. One of those bushy hairy ones. Miniscule cat hairs had gotten into his eyes. A common occurrence I was told.

Anyhow, the cat hair situation reminded me of Charlie Morrison.

Charlie was a black man. Still is assuming he is alive.

My story regarding Charlie goes back to the early 1960’s. Around 1963.

I was early into my legal practice and had purchased my first home. Charlie was a client/friend who did odd jobs for me in exchange for bartered fees and/or actual payment.

I was trying to get Charlie into one steady job. In one of our conversations he told me his father had been a barber. So I suggested Charlie become a barber. He responded very emphatically “…Oh no, Mr. Petrone!” I asked why. He said that when his father died they performed an autopsy. When they cut him open, they found his lungs full of little hairs. There was no way Charlie was going to let that happen to him!

The house I bought need a paint job. So I hired Charlie to do it. Two coats I told him. I bought the primer and finish paints to be used.

When I got home the first night after the painting started, I noticed something strange as I approached my home. It was bright! And the windows were painted over!

I asked Charlie why he painted the windows. They were totally covered in white paint! He said it made the job easier. No cutting in. When he was finished with the whole house, he would go back and scrape the windows.

Till the day I sold that house some 15 years later, the windows were never perfectly clean!

The reason the house shown brightly was that Charlie used the finish coat first. He thought it looked better and could not understand why I bought the flat also which was dull appearing.

Charlie did odd jobs for a lot of people.

One of them involved painting a floor over with polyurethane. I do not know if it is still used today. Back then it gave a bright shiny gloss to wood.

Polyurethane was highly inflammable.

Warnings on dangerous products were not as they are today. Today a warning on anything inflammable is printed on the container in big bold letters. Back then the law was not strict in this area. There was a warning on the container. But it was the size of the ingredient/chemical composition print. So Charlie never got to read it.

The warning was that when used it was to be used in a well ventilated area. Windows were to be open.

Charlie painted the floor with the windows closed and the only door to the room closed shut.

There was an explosion!

Charlie was badly burned over half his body.

Charlie became a white man! When he recovered, one of his residuals was a loss of pigmentation. Big time! His brown skin became white. This area included his face and arms.

Although a serious event, Charlie and I used to joke afterward at the extreme he went to to become white!

Charlie also benefitted greatly from the large award I got for him for the failure of the container to carry a proper warning.

I have not seen Charlie in well over 40 years. I hope he is still with us and well and happy!

All that Charlie stuff because someone in Key West got cat hairs in his eyes yesterday!

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