Work History

 

I Spent the biggest part of my working life in the constuction field, which was a general contractor in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their main business was in the construction of major roads, airports, and shopping centers in and around the Las Vegas valley. In the beginning of my teamster career early in 1960, I started for the company in a limestone quarry on the Hualapai Indian reservation near Peach Springs, Arizona. After that job was finished, I went to work relocating the Sante Fe railroad thru Williams, Arizona. Then to the building of the Glen Canyon dam in Northern Arizona. Then back to Las Vegas, off and on for over three years. Then in the late 1960's, my brother Bill and I worked together on the Cincinnati Reds baseball stadium (Riverfront Stadium) for a couple of years. I returned to Las Vegas on January 5, 1971 and went back to work for Wells Cargo again. I spent the last 24 plus years with them until I retired on April 21, 1995. On December 16, 1986, I attained the position of Transportation Superintendent for the company, and held that position until I retired. The Wells family has always made Barbara and I feel welcome, and we were invited to all the family and company functions. Even after all these years of retirement, Howdy's secretary, sends me the company's monthly newsletter and has invited me to play in some of the companys tournaments. At my retirement dinner, the Well's family presented me with a set of golf clubs which I gave a good workout through out the year. In this year of 2009, after 14 years of retirement, those very clubs now rest in the pro shop of the golf club I joined in LaGrande, Oregon to be used by guest that want to enjoy our beautiful nine hole course.

Military Duty

This picture was taken in San Diego, California after I had finished my first trip to Korea and the far east... In January of 1952, I joined the U. S. Navy. I did my recurit training in San Diego CA. After boot camp, I was then transfered to the aircraft carrier USS Essex CVA-9. Aboard ship, they assigned me to the (E-Division). E-Division is the department that handles anything electrical. It was a really good duty station, and I was lucky to have been assigned to that department. I was promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class, and enjoyed the benefits of that rank... We made three trips to the far east, two of which were during the Korean War. On my tour of duty, I was able to visit many far eastern cities such as Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong, China; Manila in the Phillipines; Bangkok, Thailand, and Guam... I was awarded the Korean Service Ribbon (two stars); United States Service Medal; National Defense Service Ribbon; The China Service Medal; Combat Action Ribbon, and on the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, Just recently, I received a Letter of Appreciation, and the Korean War Service Medal directly from Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea... I was honorably discharged on January 20, 1956... Life aboard an aircraft carrier is like living in a small city. We had movies, a drugstore, barber shop, postoffice, library, and view of the ocean everyday. We would spend up to a month at sea before ever seeing land. All in all it was a great experience.

Hobbies

My foremost hobby is the game of golf. When I lived in Las Vegas, I played with a mens group called the (Big Whackers). We had this group that has been together for around 21 years. We tried to play each Saturday at a different course. The set of clubs the company gave me upon retirement have had a good workout... I played slow pitch softball for our companys team for seven years, and bowled different leagues for many years. I have tried coins and stamps. Now that I live in Northeastern Oregon, I returned to golf as my main hobby as of now. I joined a country club in LaGrande and also play with a mens group during the week... The picture on the left, shows the race car I ran at the Stardust International Raceway. I ran in the "D" Gas class, and held the Nevada record for two years. The Orange Peeeler was the only drag racer I owned, but it was a beautiful and fast "55" Chevy. It was painted orange with silver leaf lettering. This was in the 1965-66 era, Russell was still in diapers, and Brenda was going on 3 years old. We raced every Sunday until they closed the raceway down to build houses on the property. I have trophys from here in Las Vegas and from the Bee Line Dragway in Phoenix, Arizona. I often wonder where the car wound up after I had to sell it in 1967 to be able to move to Cincinnati, Ohio and go to work with my brother on the River Front Stadium.

Memories of the Past

Its funny how you remember little patches of history that at the time seemed normal. I remember my first year in school in Willard, New Mexico. We rode an old panel school bus, and my sister Louise was there to make sure I didn't get lost or to lonely. We shared sandwiches made of biscuits and salt pork, and biscuits and homemade jelly for lunch. I remember my mother tying a cup towel around my neck, and I became Superman. I would climb up the running board of our old car and jump off, saving the world from the bad guys. Moving to a different farm around Mountainair, New Mexico, I remember playing marbles and flying homemade kites at school. I could name all of the capitals of the then 48 states and got an A plus for it. Old man Farmer was the school bus driver, and we were happy when he couldn't make it through when it snowed. I used to climb up on the rickety old windmill and look all over the place. Sunday dinners with the distant neighbors. The games of kick the can, red rover red rover, hide and seek. My sister had a game she played with a little ball and little pointed things called jacks. She called them, eggs in the basket, pigs in the pin, around the world, all kinds of silly names. We didn't have much, but we found things to do. We always had chores to do. We had two wood stoves and we had to chop the wood and make kindling to start the fires every morning. Remembering the cold linoleum floors, getting out of a warm bed to build the fires when its was your turn... From New Mexico we moved to Tucson, Arizona in an old two wheeled house trailer my dad had bought. It wasn't far from New Mexico to Arizona, but that old trailer was always having a flat or something. Dad bought a lot on McArthur street in Tucson. He built an addition on each side of the trailer house, then pulled out the trailer and closed in the front and back and it became our first home that we owned. I remember it was the first time we had an inside bathroom. what would they think of next. The iceman cometh: We had an ice box and had 25 lbs of ice delivered regularly. I remember always having to empty the water tray under the icebox... Dad had a 1940 Chevy dump truck that he worked on different jobs around Tucson. I was really king of the world when I got to drive it when we would go visiting friends out of town. One of dads friends was named Mathis, and he worked in a gravel pit. The pit would fill up with water and after we had learned how to swim, we would go there and swim in the hot summer... I can remember when World War II ended. Billy and I were downtown at the YMCA. We heard all kinds of yelling, horns honking, whistles blowing, and people hugging each other. Mother finally made it down to pick us up. She was worried that we would get hurt in all the celebrating... I remember us making a trip to our grandfather Wolford's farm in Texas. Me and Billy had to make our own fun, like we played alot of cowboys and indians, cops and robbers and the like. One day we were out in grandpa's barn playing like cowboys on the range. We had built a little camp fire and acting like old time cowboys sitting around a camp fire. My dad hollered that we were going over to aunt Ediths, which was about a mile away, and to hurry up so we could get going. Well we just half hearted stomped out the little fire and rushed out to get in the car and go to aunt Edith's. Our cousin, William Eugene Norris was our age and we were playing around as kids do. Uncle Grady Norris had a watermelon patch out back of their house that still had a lot of watermelons that weren't needed, so we got an old butcher knife and some sharp sticks and began to have field day hacking and spearing them old juicy watermelons. I happened to notice some smoke coming up from the general direction of grandpa's place, so me and Billy and William started wondering who would be working on Sunday. I said, "looks like someones is burning trash or weeds along the turn row in the field". Anyway, the hacking and spearing came to a slowdown, and finally after looking over and over in the direction of the now really heavy smoke, we headed back to the house. As we got close, we saw uncle Grady, Dad and others headed down the lane to the road that goes to grandpa's house. When we got to the house, my mom said it was grandpa's barn buring. I knew and Billy knew that our campfire had smoldered until it recaught and set the barn on fire. I spent the next two hours dreading the meeting of my dad. Mother couldn't help us this time. As dad and Uncle Grady came back, they stopped at the entrance to the lane that leads up to the house. I told Billy that dad was cutting a switch to set our butts on fire. Me and Bill looked like we had received the death sentence and was going to get a whipping for our misdeed. The first to speak to us was uncle Grady, all he said was "You boys been smoking?" We both said together real loud "No Sir." Seeing dad and fearing the worse, dad just walked by us not saying a word. I can only think that seeing the look on our two faces and the fact that we never in the world meant to harm grandpa, and were feeling terrible about the whole thing, that he had a change of heart about whipping us. When we got back to grandpa's and looked at what we had done, little plumbs of smoke stilled curled up from the ashes. It was one of the worst days of my young life... I remember living on a farm just outside of Mountainair, New Mexico at the end of the 1930's. Our dad raised pinto beans on a farm that he share cropped with a Mr Blake. Where kids of today get to enjoy their summer vacations, we were always having to work in the bean fields, and do our chores every evening. Looking back on those days seemed like we were always working, but I guess it molded us into what we would do when we grew up. We finally settled in Oregon's Willamette Valley sometime around 1947/48. I went to Junior High and then to High School in Springfield, Oregon. In fact this year being 2002, we will have our class of 1952 reunion held at the Elks lodge on August 10th... Its been a journey through many different places and times, and I wouldn't know if anything would have turned out any different if I had had anything to do with it.

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