Time marched on. Everyday was repeat of the day before. Get up at 5:30 a.m., drive to work, punch in at the time clock, go to my job, my partner, Dennis, and the rest of the gang. A day didn't pass that the boys didn't spend tormenting me; especially Dennis. Even my one supervisor joined in on the fun. Fortunately, the two of them switched shifts every other month.
On December27,1971 my wife gave birth to another daughter, She was born so close to Christmas we decided to name her Holly. She was beautiful.
I was still working for my father-in-law during most of my spare time. The furnace business slowed down in the Spring and I was able to help my Dad and brother get the crops planted. In the summer I helped install a few furnaces and set pumps for my well drilling friends. By Fall the furnace service calls picked up. I'd be out servicing furnaces until late hours and had to be up by 5:30 a.m.
One day I went to work feeling totally exhausted. I told Dennis,"Don't mess with me today. I'm beat and I'm not up to any of your horse play."
Dennis left me alone for a little while, and then he came with one of his sneak attacks. He grabbed my leg while growling like a mad dog. I jumped, but this time, without any thought or notice, I swung aroung and slugged him in the face as hard as I could. He stumbled backwards into a grey, metal cabinet and slid down it. I don't know as I knocked him out, but I certainly knocked him senseless! Blood was rushing out his nose. People were stepping over him as an extra man jumped on his side of the car body to keep the line going. As I mentioned before, Dennis was a very muscular character. His arms were bigger around than my legs. I figured as soon as he got his senses about him, he'd no doubt jump up and beat me half to death. Then I saw the Supervisor walking up the line toward me. I thought to myself, "Well...I'm fired!"
Thank God it was Charlie and not the other one. He walked straight up to me, smiled and said,"Roger, I've been waiting for you to do that for the longest time!" He smiled again, tapped me on the shoulder and walked away.
Dennis started coming around. He shook his head back and forth, reached up on the work bench behind him and grabbed a blue work rag, and began wiping the blood from his nose and face. He sat there, on the floor, for a while, and then got up and walked straight across the line to his job.