Wednesday, August 12

Area man never thought he’d die in a giant chemical-mixing machine.

Washington Court House, OH – As bits and pieces of the late Joe Mikotowicz were scraped off the industrial mixing machine at the ABC Chemical Corporation, relatives and friends were left to ponder the fate of a man who slipped and fell just trying to make ends meet.

Mr. Mikotowicz was a 30-year veteran of the WCH fire department, having retired two years ago to do some traveling. A few weeks into retirement he realized his pension wouldn’t be enough for he and his wife to live on comfortably, so he took the part-time job at the chemical plant. Let it be a lesson to all of us.

“Joe could bend your ear for hours with stories from his fire fighting days, the near misses and such.” Lifelong friend Jerry St. Jean said. “He’d just keep chattering on until he had too many beers. Then he’d start crying about burned babies, people on fire begging for their lives and shit … What a character.”

Joe knew he’d go before his wife, family history and all. But no one could have predicted he’d become a reactive protein in some high-speed chemical conversion, let alone be reduced to syrup in three, relatively pain-free seconds.

“All these years he promised me he wouldn’t die in a fire.” His wife of 45 years said. “But, Jesus, maybe he should have.”