It was a bit scary coming home from the Navy because they have been taking care of me for two years. They fed me, gave me a place to sleep, paid me every month even though it was not much I learned to get buy with it. I know Charlotte had a rougher time with it though. If not for my wonderful mother-in-law we would probably have lost every thing, she moved in with Charlotte and made our house payments. I had Charlotte send me the address of several diesel truck shops in Amarillo, so I sent each of them my resume, and the only one I heard from was Cummins Sales and Service.
My mom and dad brought Charlotte and CeAnne “who was already 5 months old by the way, to the English field airport to meet the plane and it was so good to see all of them especially Charlotte and little Ce. I remember getting up that first morning and going in to CeAnne’s room and when she looked up at me it was like who our you and what or you doing here?
We did not have much if any credit at this time, but we did have a Sears’s credit card and so I went and bought a bottom tool box and what tools I thought I needed to get started in my new job as a diesel mechanic for Cummins Southern Plains here in Amarillo. All I new about was Detroit engines and I did not care that much for them after having one run away with me on a small boat in the Navy. I learned to really like Cummins engine for me they were a whole lot easer to work on. I do remember Charlotte coming to the shop to get the pay check and of course she had CeAnne with her, they were standing by this one truck when the mechanic started the engine, this particular truck had an air starter which is real loud when it winds up to crank the engine, you guessed it CeAnne screamed bloody murder.
I only had this job for about two years if that long when we got a new knight foreman, who by the way was sent here from New Mexico when they closed the shop there. He was the head supervisor there and was demoted to-night foreman here; to this day I do not know what he had against me but one Friday night at closing time he told me that I was fired.
Charlotte and I was devastated here we had this little one to raise and no job. When I went to the shop to get my tools the head foreman ask me what I was doing, when I told him he said he would have to stand behind my boss but that he would give me a good reference where ever I go, that did not put bread on the table but I thanked him loaded up and left.
I went to the unemployment office to sign up for unemployment pay and to try to find another job. After trying several places and had no success I remembered Tri State Baking Co. where I used to work, by law I could have gotten that job back right out of the Navy, the law stated if a person was drafted into the military the employer had to have a place for him or her when they returned. Any way I went in and talked to Mr. Sweet which was his real name having nothing to do with him working at a bakery, I asked him if I could come back to work at the bakery and he said yes but it would have to be on the dock until a route opened up. I worked on the dock for several months and would fill in if a driver was sick or on vacation, finely one guy had all he could take driving at night and quit so I got his route. I had this route for close to two years, and I have had no accidents, we leased our trucks from Rider truck rentals and they started having safe driver’s awards all over America with their drivers. I won a belt buckle and was entered for the next higher award which was a ring, I won that one also. The next one was nation wide and it was a trip but I do not remember where so needless to say I did not win that one.
Shortly after that I had two accidents which by the way was not my fault, the first one was between Dumas and Spearman at about one o’clock in the morning there were some cows out of the fence and they were on both sides of the road and when I came by two of them darted out in front of me coming from both sides. The second one happen when I was being sent to run the Lubbock rout, I was not too far from the bakery on South Washington when a kid coming from the other direction came over the yellow line and side swiped my trailer, neither one of was hurt just the kids pride.
Charlotte was pregnant again and we were excited, we decided that with the new one coming that being gone all night was not a good thing so I looked and found a job working for a freight company making local pickup and deliveries. This job did not have any good benefits so the bakery let me carry the insurance they had for a slight fee which turned out to be a blessing for we found out in the delivery room which Charlotte was at least a month early going in to labor that we were having twins. All through her pregnancy we did not know this only when the nurses at the hospital decided to x-ray her because there was a set of twins born the night before and that lady was a month early. We had twin boys (Praise the Lord I had two sons to carry on the Harbin Name) and we named them Jeremy Leon after my dad who was named Leon and Jeffery Earl who was after Charlotte’s dad who was called Earl. Friends and family are wonderful for they had given Charlotte a baby shower and after finding out we had two babies they all went out and bought another item which they had given at the baby shower so we would have two of every thing.
- Starting Married Life @ 19 (harbin77.wordpress.com)