My Dad was a traveling salesman.  The first part of his career he sold plastic products.  As a child that was enough information for me and now I have no one to ask.  One year for Christmas  we had a vacuum cleaner and stereos under the tree.  I think he got a deal from one of his clients. 

Each year he got a company car.  Our family always had two cars  because of the company car.  We drove a turquoise Plymouth station wagon until the bottom rusted out.  Imagine riding on the highway, resting your chin on your arms on the front seat from the back (no seat belts yet) and all of a sudden you are tilted to one side.  YIKES!

After my Dad sold plastics, he sold money.  Well, not really money, but mortgage investments  bundled and sold to savings and loans.  He worked for a firm out of Milwaukee, which was absorbed by the big players, I inherited stock that is now Bank of America.

When I entered high school my Dad quit traveling as much.  Almost all of his work was done by telephone.  We three girls were not use to having him around.   It was quite an adjustment.  He took over the front bedroom as his office.  We could hear him talking to clients all day long.  He kept a very efficient filing system with personal notes about people so he could instantly connect.  Since he worked out of the house, sometimes he would need secretarial assistance.  My sister and I fit the bill.  While typing those letters from the dictaphone I learned the difference between “due” and “do”.

At one point he worked for a savings and loan in Berwyn, selling investments to other banking firms.  Once a couple of the officers flew down to Marshall in their airplane, landing on the airstrip at the Lincoln State park just outside of town. They lived very affluent lifestyles and traveled in different circles.  Since I was in college, I never met these men.  He enjoyed working with them.  My Mom, now, was included on some of the business trips.  I don’t remember why he quit working for them, but I do know in a few years that firm made some major mistakes.

He finished up his career working again for the same company out of Milwaukee.  My Dad really could connect with people.

“When I Fly” 2013

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