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Saturday, October 27, 2012

December of 1971

It's hard to remember exactly how everything went, but to the best of my recollection, I went to work for an insurance company.I had to be in the office, located in Lansing, which was over twenty miles from home, by 8:00 a.m. in the morning. I had to do my four debits with an old adding machine. We didn't have calculators, or computers in those days. The company did a lot of Direct Mailing back then by mail and magazines. People were asked to mail them in for more information on Life Insurance and Health Insurance. Little did they know they would be greeted at their front door by me, or salesmen like me. And we were taught to put the pressure on with canned speeches. Good thing gas was a lot cheaper back then because I covered three to four counties. How much I made depended on how much guts I had. I sold insurance for almost a year until I couldn't take the pressure anymore. Meanwhile, my wife worked at Burger Chef ( much like McDonalds). We managed to survive, but barely. By the Fall of 1972 we both quit our jobs and decided to move Up North to Alpena. We had friends that lived there, Sandy and Dan. Dan had moved to Charlotte and worked with me at General Motors, but he didn't like the hard work on the Asssembly line, or the heavily populated area. He got homesick for Alpena and they moved back. We contacted them, and they were excited to have us come and stay with them until we got settled up there. I got lucky and was hired into Abitibbe Paneling right away. The pay was comparable to General Motors. We drove back to Charlotte to give all our families the good news!My wife's family took it very hard. They yelled at us and carried on. They didn't want us moving that far away. My father-in-law offered me G.M. wages if we'd stay in Charlotte and I'd work for him in the Furnace and Air-conditioning business. We thought about it and decided it would be the best thing for all concerned. The first couple weeks went well, and then my wife's Dad approached me and informed me he couldn't afford to continue to pay me the high wages. The next thing I knew, I was making $2.50 an hour. I began to get behind on all my bills. My wife was lucky enough to hire into a factory that paid more than I was getting. The only problem was that she worked night shift and I worked days. Plus, her father was quite a drinker and couldn't always afford to pay me. After a while I had to quit him and hired into a Tent Camper Factory. I was still on days and she worked nights. Her sister babysitted for us. Sometimes I was there and sometimes not. Sometimes she came home after work, and sometimes not. She made friends with a girl named Becky and Becky's friends.

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