The economy began to slow in Glasgow, making it necessary to go elsewhere to find work. In 1956 the business of the contractor I was working for faded out. I took my little family (by now we numbered three) and our mobile home about 160 miles west to Havre, Montana. I went to work for one of the four local electrical contractors there.
For the next thirteen years I managed to work for all four electrical contractors in Havre. I was also hired to work for one of the electrical contractors in nearby Great Falls. Great Falls, Montana is a mere 100 miles away. I also worked for a contactor out of Helena who was installing wiring for Minute Man Missile silos.
I vividly remember my first day working on a missile site. I was given a hard hat to wear (what in the world is this?). As I climbed the ladder in the first silo I tipped my head back to look up and the hard hat fell off and landed on a guy below. My foreman looked at the guy and said; “We’re drawing them green now.”
The foreman was a fun guy to work with. One time we were heading back to the temporary headquarters trailer and he wanted to stop for a beer. We went into a bar where a pretty lady and her little girl (perhaps 6 years old) were also ensconced.
All the men in the bar; construction workers, farmers, cowboys, etc, were gravitating to her. She asked if anyone knew a man (she used a specific name) that she had danced with one time. No one knew him. She observed that he smelled nice, …. And that he was a sheepherder. …. All the men de-gravitated from her. My foreman said; “Let’s get out of here before a fight starts.”
Arriving back at the work trailer he told all the other guys about this pretty lady that liked the smell of the sheepherder. One of the guys jumped up and started out in a hurry.
“Where are you going.”
“I’m gonna find me some sheep (excretion) around here somewhere!”
One day the local union fined me and my employer. I had transported company tools in my personal vehicle. (What was that about?) Before my hearing I hurried back to Havre and told the business agent what happened.
I told him; “Maybe I better get my Union Card.”
He asked me; “Do you have $50.00?”
For the next 20 years and a little more I was a member of the electrical union.