A time to share

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16th 1978

32 years ago today I hired in and started my first day at Boeing in Renton Washington.
Wow! Thirty Two Years...I was eighteen years old, eight months out of high school. They paid me $6.01 an hour! i left a job at Italo's Casa Romana Restaurant in Seattle where I was a "cooks helper" that was paying me $3.50 an hour.
The owner, Italo offered to match Boeing's pay to keep me. I had to turn him down mostly because of the benefits package. I had a grandmother that had predicted I would own a restaurant someday... that would never happen, although there is still time for that! :)
In July of 1977 the girl I was dating parents died in a car accident coming home from Portland Meadows in Oregon. They were pulling out of a gas station in Tacoma Washington after fueling and were hit side on by another vehicle. They were driving an MG midget.
That single incident changed my life.
That night my girlfriend and I had takin in the Chicago concert. I dropped her off at home near Renton and went home to my house where I still lived with my mom.
I was reading a book when the phone rang at about 2:30 A.M.
I jumped out of bed and three thoughts went thru my head, "wrong number," "prank phone call." and " uh oh, something bad happened."
it was my girlfriend crying and screaming on the other end of the phone, her parents were killed in a wreck, she was home all alone when the police came to the door, she was sixteen years old.
"Could I go get her brother and tell him the news and get him to come home?"
He had graduated with me just a few short weeks before. He was just moved into an apartment. I arrived at his place and walked into a moving in party. A kegger to be exact. I had to find my friend and tell him about his parents, and I wanted to get out of there and get to my girl.
It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to take care of my girl. I went to my best friends dad, he had coached my little league all star team when I was twelve. I knew him pretty well as his son and I became solid friends for several years in high school. He was a manager at Boeing. I went to him and asked him for a job, explaining the situation to him.
A few months later, February 16th and I started my new job. My girlfriend left me not long after that, she was pretty messed up, told me she wanted to be independent and not have to rely on anyone, I was devastated...
I was about a month shy of turning nineteen, and met a lot of fun people in the early days of working for Boeing.
The atmosphere was one of partying. Drinking a few beers at lunch and enjoying a joint now and then.
By the time six months had gone by, I had purchased a house at age nineteen.
Guess I didn't know it then, but that kind of locked me in and made me become a more responsible person, for better or worse!? ;)
OI never wanted to work at Boeing, I could almost throw a rock and hit the Boeing plant from my high school.
I thought I might work there for maybe five years, where have I heard that before!?
32 years later, and I'm still punching the clock at the "Lazy B."
Later that year in 1978 I met my future wife because of working for Boeing and in reality because of the death of a girlfriends parents. I went to a house warming party in August of '78' and met Joan there.
Three months later and we started dating in earnest. In 1981 we were married in March.
It's sometimes a thin thread that binds us to the fabric of our lives. A major catastrophe in the life of someone, a person trying to do the right thing by them, but all hell breaks loose and the pieces are scattered, or shattered. Irrevocably changed.
Is my life better because of that incident 32 odd years ago? I will never know. I do know that because of it, I met my wife and the three children we have are a product of that. I met a man at Boeing who invited me to church, I still attend that church today. Ed Ferkingstad is still a friend and mentor in my life.
I got introduced into magic in my early twenties by a man I met working at Boeing. I played softball, Hardball and Boeing league basketball during my years working there too.
I remember when I was about twenty eight, telling a man that I hated my job as a fork lift operator. He asked me why? I told him I felt I was smarter than that. He pointed out some things to me that I hadn't considered. Like it has kept a roof over my head, fed my wife and children, allowed me the medical benefits I enjoyed.
That conversation with Fred Davis was a small but important turning point in my acceptance of the importance of work is. I had been trying to define who I was by what I did for a living. That was a big mistake.
My life has been blessed in many ways. Why me, I don't know.
Well that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it... because it's the truth!


Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Tim,
Wow, great story. While I never went through what you did with your girlfriend's parents, I can still relate to you in a few ways: We work at virtually the same place but on a different shift (I saw a little bit of your magic show at family day), I just celebrated my 30 years at boeing and went to a lunch with some V.P.'s for it last week, I am also a Christian (20 years now), and I think that I recognize your wife as a girl who lived in the same neighborhood as me when I was a kid, and went to the same high school (FW). Small world I guess.
I hope you have a nice week,
Gerry :)

10:09 AM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

Hey Gerry, thanks for the comments.
Hope yopu and your family enjoyed the magic!
I find it interesting about the V.P's joining in our luncheon. Ours was at Salty's and it is a nice affair, what bothers me is they want to get in the picture with my spouse nad I. That totally ruins the picture. I most often have never met these V.P's and will probably never see them again, and they are now in a picture celebrating my accomplishment. Having them in the photo totally makes it non displayable. Last time I went, I asked them respectfully to not be in it. So I have a nice photo of my wife and I with Puget Sound in the background!
My wife was in the class of '76' at Federal way. Her maiden name was Krucovsky. You might have been a year ahead of her!
Are you working at the Renton plant?

5:40 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi Tim,
My Boeing lunch was held at this Golf Course: http://www.newcastlegolf.com/
We had a very nice lunch, and we had our picture taken both with the V.P.'s and without. Haven't seen them yet though. I am now a Quality Assurance Team Leader out on the Renton Flightline. And yes, I was in the same class with Joan. If you look for me in the HS annual under "A", you will see a guy with long hair. If I had that to do over again...
Have a nice day!
Gerry :)

7:13 PM  
Blogger 健康保寶 said...

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.............................................

3:14 AM  
Blogger markjens said...

What do you mean, you don't know if your life is better because of that incident 32 odd years ago? Dude, God has woven the tapestry of your life long before you get far enough back to see 'picture' instead of 'thread.' Look at the tapestry of your life - look at what has gone on in that home of yours. You have kids to be proud of, you have a wife who loves you and if that isn't enough you're still growing! You haven't 'settled,' you are still walking His path for you and have all of those people around you who love you. Sound like a mistake to you? Of COURSE your life is better, you dim bulb!! '8) Have a great one pal, I've missed you.


10:15 AM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

Thank you Mark, I am not complaining about my lot in life, I realize very much so that I am blessed beyond what I deserve, I tried to say that, the threads in life or the bends in the road, or the forks that we do or don't take, lead us to who knows where and from what, we will never know.
\Buying a home at 19, locked me in tobecoming a responsible adult, maybe for better or worse...
Life is interesting, strange and fun!
Loved seeing you today!

6:33 PM  

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