Leonard Carpenter raised his family in Akron, Ohio during the 1960s. He worked as an assembly worker at a tire factory there.
He died in 1999.
That same year, his grandson, Jack Bruschetti, was born.
At StoryCorps, Jack sat down with his mom, Lynne, to find out about his grandfather.
Click here for the transcript.
And in his pockets he always kept a comb, handkerchief and a penknife. And the handkerchief was always clean and pressed. He would use a handkerchief not to blow his nose, but to clean. If there was like a mark on the side of our house, he would wipe it.
And when I was a teenager, I was starting to lose respect for your Grandpa Leonard.
Jack Bruschetti (JB): Why?
LB: I resented him always wanting to keep the house perfect and always being in control, and I was starting to realize that he wasn't that educated. But, at that time, we were active in our church, and the church asked him to be president of the trustees. And I was shocked, like why would they want him to be president?
There was tension in the church--things weren't going very well, and people weren't agreeing with each other.
And in the trustee meetings, Grandpa Leonard got some apples. First he would pull out his handkerchief and he would wipe the apples and make them shiny. And then he would pull out his penknife. And he'd always cut so that there was just one long apple peel. And as they're arguing, he would slice the apple, put it on the penknife, and hold it out to each member of the trustees. And every meeting, they would eat apples together. And they started getting trust back. And so he had that ability.
He didn't have a lot of money. He didn't have a lot of education. But he had that handkerchief, and he had that penknife, and people did start to get along. He was an important part of that.