Living in Jackson

Disaster Master

August 3, 2020

Maintaining a building like it was his ship.

David Parlow served our country in 1991 during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. His duty was aboard aa LPH10 Navy helicopter carrier on alert in the Persian Gulf off Kuwait. DC3 Parlow’s responsibility on board the U.S.S. Tripoli was damage control.

I asked him what his work entailed as he rehung the office door he had repaired and varnished in a second-floor office of the Commercial Exchange. “I did general maintenance on board the ship. I plumbed, I patched holes in the ship with a welder, and sometimes I fought fires.”

“Dave, that’s the same work you do for our workspace tenants,” I said, “except for the fires. You keep the boiler running, and the plumbing humming.” I did a little tap dance and gave the guy a high five.

This man doesn’t just replace broken window glass, he rebuilds frames that look like the originals from the 1930s. Dave is the kind of guy who figures things out, like when he converted all the lights in the building to LEDs or when he fixed the brakes on the snow plow truck. My favorite response from Dave Parlow is, “I can take care of that.”

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Dave moved to Wyoming after his military service to be with family. He was a deputy for the Sheriff’s department in Carbon County, Wyoming, which is 7736 feet above sea level. In 2000 he relocated from Wyoming to Jackson with his wife. Thelma had high-altitude breathing problems. He picked Jackson because it was 932 feet above sea level. In Jackson Thelma can breathe. This week Dave’s wide smile barely fits inside his broad cheeks. He had closed on a new home in Jackson he bought for his family.

Dave comes to work every day to deter and deflect potential disasters. He keeps our ship afloat. He also stops by on weekends to check for leaks.

Watch for a passion-filled reveal of how the world began for a kid from Jackson and this old red brick building. That’s next Friday’s blog.