Monday, April 23, 2012
A Happy Wife Will Give The Message
When Jack wrote about all his jobs it included driving a Roach Coach. That reminded me of Mel driving a panel truck. He was allowed to drive it home to take service calls in the middle of the night or week-ends but he wasn't allowed to use it for personal use. He never broke the rules. He wouln't even go to the convience store for a loaf of bread in the company truck. This picture was borrowed from Photobucket and looks very similiar to the one Mel drove. The shade of yellow was not quite this bright and of course the lettering on the side was the company Mel worked for back in the 50's. I would go with him on service calls and sit in the truck unless the owner of the business invited me in which they did sometime. I think they thought a "happy wife" will always give service call messages. His work truck didn't have a passenger seat so Mel put a wooden box for me to sit on. When the first baby came along we used the landlady's wicker clothes basket for her to ride in. No seat belts or baby car seats back then. As the girls got bigger we would all go sometime if the call was out of town. I would devise things for them to do while we waited. Snacks, coloring, stories and such. Mel was a very good Commercial Refrigeration Mechanic so it didn't usually take all that long. Once we went to a small town and it was only supposed to take one day and night but it took longer. We stayed in a motel next to where he was working. I don't remember any air conditioning and there were Dirt Daubers everywhere. Another time the small town was having a celebration and we could watch the parade from the truck. At times he worked for a man who raised orchids. He would cut little wholes in the bottom of a card board box and stick it full of the little vials of water with an orchid in each one. Mel worked for him bacause he had a soda fountain in his house and needed some repair from time to time. Another man managed the swimming pools in San Antonio. In the summer the snack bars needed a repairman and time was money so he tried to keep me and the girls happy with cotton candy and drinks while Mel worked.