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Visible Vocation

Reflections from a window washer

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You might notice the dozens of strawberries that covered downtown windows are starting to disappear this week, thanks to Kenn Clark.

“It’s all about letting them soak, that way it’s easier to squeegee off,” Clark said as he wiped a window in soapy water. He then scraped the paint off with ease, peeling back a clean window at Brothers Pizza.

Clark has been washing windows for nearly 22 years. He bought the business from his boss after working for him for only a year and has owned and operated Kenn Clark Window Cleaning ever since.

While working, Clark has also picked up an interesting art in photographing reflections across the street off business windows. His art can be found hanging in Arni’s Pizza, at Athens Art Gallery and even in the CT scan room of Fransciscan Health.

Although he has been taking pictures since he was a kid, he didn’t start capturing the unique perspective of downtown until 2005. Clark said he likes taking reflection pictures because it allows people to see buildings they pass every day from a new, backwards, angle.

Clark is also in a band. He joined The Leadsmen in 1967 and played until 1970. After breaking up and moving on to colleges and careers, nearly 30 years later they reunited to play at the 2003 Strawberry Festival and have been playing together ever since.

The Leadsmen played for the first time since the pandemic last weekend at the festival. The band plays periodically at events around Crawfordsville and is next scheduled to play for a 50th high school reunion in September.

Clark is used to being in front of people in his band singing and playing the keyboard, but he also is in front of people all day at work as cars drive by. Luckily, that does not bother him. In fact, one of Clark’s favorite parts of his job is connecting to people he meets on the street.

“We may not know each other’s name, but we still carry on conversations,” Clark said. “That’s one of the nice parts of the job, I can talk and work at the same time.”

Clark said even after he retires, he will still wash windows at home.

For the time being, though, you can find Clark on scraping the painted strawberries off windows.

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