Onetime firefighter embraces chance to clean up
January 24, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, FL — Ed Colleton isn''t just cleaning up his own act; he''s trying to make other people''s lives better by protecting their environment, according to The Florida Times-Union.
He didn''t have money for rubber gloves, but he couldn''t afford to let a job go: So into the toilet water went Colleton''s bare hands; to scour the bowl, his skin to its slimy slopes, the article noted.
The Jacksonville man was tired, sore and broke, wondering how he''d take care of his family and thinking about how a man some might once have called a hero ended up stooped on his knees in the bathroom stall of some stranger, the article stated.
"I was in there one night cleaning the toilet and I was crying," Colleton said recently in a talk to others seeking second chances. "But, when I stepped back and my eyes cleared up, I said, ''That looks good. That''s a good-looking bathroom. Let me do another one.'' "
According to the article, this was not the life a man who was a city firefighter for 16 years imagined for himself, or for the five family members he also had to move into public housing and feed with food stamps.
After Colleton resigned from the firehouse, things would get even worse before they could start to get better: With everything Colleton cared about on the line, launching a janitorial business became his own chance to clean up, the article added.
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