My working career spans, let me see, over fifty years out of my (now) sixty-five.
|This ain’t me, but it could’ve been!|
A ‘silver walker’ fifty cent piece.
To pay my college tuition, during the summers I worked and saved all my pay, still living at home with my parents. Dad’s policy was not to expect me to contribute to the household finances as long as I was saving for school.
|Wheaton, Illinois, post office, where I worked.|
|Clegg Chapel and Hudson Hall, at Blackburn College.|
I left college a year before I would have finished and earned my bachelor of arts in History. That was a silly mistake, but my parents were going through troubled times and were not in a position to rein me in and make me do the right thing. I quit school so I could immigrate to Canada and join a New Age commune. Instead of doing my fourth year of college, I lived with my now-divorced Mom, and worked swing shift as a line operator in a container company, managing two or three lines of blow-molding equipment and the people working on the lines. That was a very hard job.
|Canada and USA flags at the border.|
|The road north from Portal, Saskatchewan.|
|My wife, in London around 1971.|
|My ‘official’ photo in 1972|
for Canada Immigration.
I went straight from my Mom’s house to the commune, and then to my wife, without the slightest chance to misbehave. It was only years later that I noticed and mused, ‘I forgot to have fun!’ Actually, I was and still am very happy that I was led along my life path by an ‘invisible Power,’ and very pleased, indeed, when I found out who That was. Meanwhile, ‘back to work.’
|Our homestead outside Edmonton.|
|Here I am milking a cow into a wine bottle!|
Unusually for me, I can’t quite remember what my last job was in Canada before I moved back to the States with my wife and infant son Jacob. But I do remember my first job here in Oregon. How could I forget? It was both the worst and, in another sense, the best place I have ever worked. The worst of it was, it was a small town furniture factory, and nearly everyone I worked with was ‘low life.’ Dirty talk, cheating on wives and girlfriends, drug addiction, all around nasty behavior. I was ostracized and made fun of, and I wasn’t even a Christian yet. But I didn’t stay that way for long!
|I was the lead man at Sterling Furniture. Here I am band-sawing a panel.|
Starting off in the shop, first as a sawyer and lead man in charge of an assembly crew of youngsters about ten years my junior, after less than four years my education and skill set were discovered by the owner of this company, and I was yanked upstairs to work in various management positions. I had gotten use to factory work. I was able to move about freely, dress casually, and sing and whistle while I worked. By then I was also a Christian, and I was always on the lookout for those God might send me. I resisted the boss’s offer. ‘Your position in the shop has been eliminated,’ he said. ‘If you want to keep working here, you had better take the office job that I’m offering you.’
After about ten years, the owner of the cabinet company sold it, and I was left again to find another job. By then, I had been doing design work in cabinet style and interiors, and one of my customers, a designer at a remodeling company, drafted me to work for them. That job lasted about a year, and I was glad of it, because I was drawn there by the promise of being able to ‘straighten out’ their product line (they also made their own cabinets), but they wouldn’t let me do a thing to help. ‘We’ve always done it this way!’ Well, needless to say, I didn’t stay there very long.
|Where you could find me the last five years on the job,|
loading and unloading aluminum into this Haas VF2 mill. Fun!
|‘And the sky is still wide and high before my path…’|
Wisdom is wisdom and inhabits and fills the birth and the death of all beings and all things, awaiting us beyond age and time. And ‘there are no losses except those that free.’