I Got Here From There

Some workmen have jobs where there is very little variety.  For instance, some men may work only on high-rise towers, or in manufacturing plants, or military jobs, or huge apartment buildings, or residential homes.  Fortunately, in my 65 years of being an electrician, I have worked on such a variety of jobs I have never been bored.

As I previously wrote, I have been employed in North Dakota, Montana, Washington and Idaho.  I have worked in small farming communities to places as large as the Port of Seattle.  I have worked for electric shops large and small as well as establishing and running my own business for 25 years.

People talk about starting a business on a shoe-string.  Our shoe-string was about 2 inches long.

A friend of mine asked me to do some work on her place as I was out of work.  I accepted.  She paid me $8.00.  Another friend asked me to do some work, so I spent the $8.00 on material.  This friend paid me $30.00.  I received $100.00 for the next job I did.  Then I had to buy gas.

There was a sale on at one of the supply houses so I borrowed some money from another friend and purchased a used station wagon and $200.00 of material.  After spending money on licenses, insurances and permits we were in business.

A couple of years went by before we ran out of work.  I went to Seattle.  One of the Seattle contractors I was working for got a job in Pullman.  I got to come home and travel to Pullman for work each day.   After the job in Pullman completed, work around Spokane had picked up enough that I could stay at home and make a living.

For a time I would work Monday through Thursday noon in Seattle and then drive home.  On Fridays I would catch up on all my local jobs for my business.  On Sunday afternoon I would drive back to Seattle.

On my way to and from Seattle I would often encounter cars in the ditch, rolled over, etc.  There were traffic delays and very often heavy fog.  Sometimes the fog was so heavy I couldn’t see the cars on the other half of the highway, but I could hear them.  I noticed that some drivers would pass me up and disappear into the fog.  I figured out that if I could speed up just enough to keep their taillights in sight, I could make better time.  Neither would I be likely to be rear-ended.  One time I followed someone right off the freeway, not realizing we were on the exit.

Working in Pullman about 100 miles away was much the same.  After a few years of that I was happy to stay home and work.

I finally got here from there.