Admirable Employer……………#152 (the 70’s)

A passing thought when discovered, but just a thought.

A passing thought when discovered, but just a thought.

Gary having acceptance Bill Guice’s offer to remodel the front of his recently purchased house,  converting  the porch into a conventional small office for his Busy Bee exterminating business would be a challenge.  The company was on a tight budget,  Bill explaining his resources were limited ,  the business employing his sister Helen, abiding as the bookkeeper/ office receptionist and client dispatcher,  two  sons, Tim and Tom, a third son, Terry, available after school and on weekends.   Busy Bee was full service extermination enterprise,  including pest control,  termite prevention,  foliage treatment,  liquid lawn fertilization and coloring,  maintaining three apply administered  fully equipped trucks.

The two bedroom frame house in the 1300 block of S.W. 29th St. was a relic from the past,  the actual residence entrance was accessed  thru a screened-in  porch extending the full frontal width of the structure. The plan was to enclosed the 8 x 30 foot porch, the office to occupy 24 feet with double pane windows to reduce the traffic affliction from  the busy roadway with an office entrance door to the left as you enter from  the outside and a residence entry occupying the remaining 6 feet.  Other projects included,  remodeling the single bathroom,  enclosing the open bath tub area to exercise as a shower,  replacement of the kitchen sink and counter,  the painting of all remaining rooms and replacing the antiquated electrical fuse box with a circuit breaker unit.

On the job

On the job

Bill and his youngest son Terry having moved in  wanted Gary to expedite the residential part of the house  commencing with the kitchen sink & counter, bathroom shower and the interior painting.   Gary being more of a layperson than a  journeyman carpenter or electrician the,  the remodeling blueprint conceived as an idea and pretty much fixed in his head was soon to be realized.  The porch already framed with outside studs leaving a decision on the size of the two double pane windows and the framing of the two door.  The progression was deliberate, the interior work more detailed than expected, especially when Bill decided he wanted the attic crawl space insulated, Gary taking advantage of Sears loaning a blower when you purchased a quantity of insulation.  The new office addition beginning to come to fruition,  Gary wasn’t surprised when asked to accompany Bill and his sons on a termite job, Bill having got the termite prevention bid to the Midwest City Library which meant drilling  treatment holes every 18 inches around the perimeter and walls of the buildings concrete carpeted slab floor.   The replacement of the ancient fuse box with a  breakers box the finale, even with the additional projects the job was completed in six weeks, Bill surprising Gary with an offer to remain on as an employee.   The Busy Bee owner saying that he needed someone to reinstate customer termite damaged  and to assist with pest extermination, but Gary suspected the real reason was to supervise his three sons, Helen relating that she had received complaints about their lack of enthusiasm on the job when their father wasn’t in attendance.  Gary finding Bill’s soft-spoken demeanor, his older sister Helen and the three boys easy to get along with, their relationship beginning to feel more and more like family, Gary agreeing to the proposal.

E. Melvin Porter

E. Melvin Porter

The Musician discovering the exterminating business to be intriguing at times and mundane at others.  A most interesting aspect was the spraying  treatment of a complete apartment complexes, gaining entrance to every apartment and observing the diversity of the apartments physical environment.  Gary having witnessed everything from passed out naked people to a stash of drugs left on a table. It never amazed him of the denial expressed by some customers of the extent of their roach problems, especially those living in the upper echelon Nichols Hills community.  On one occasion the owner mentioned that she had discovered a roach and wanted only the house to be thoroughly treated. Bill informing her that the most thorough method would be to fog the house.  Gary donning his mask, the fogger filled with pyrethrum, the fog affecting the roaches nervous system making them scurry from their hidden recluse into the open leaving a pattern of hundreds of dead roaches in the residence.

 During the  treating of a congressional apartment complex near the state capital, which served as an auxiliary residence for many of the congressional delegates, a surprising event took place.  The complex management provided a passkey and as always Gary announced himself before entering and  with no response entered  the occupant  apparently having left.   This suite was maintained by a notable black State Senator from Oklahoma City District 48, and past president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the NAACP,  E. Melvin Porter.  Starting as usual he began spraying the diazinon along the baseboard in the main room, upon entering the bedroom he stopped noticing that on the bed in plain sight was an open metal carrying case,  it contents drawing his full attention, it looked to be  filled with bundled $20 dollar bills. A passing brief thought about the opportunity of the mother lode of bills, but only a thought, without hesitation he immediately left the room deciding it would be best to continuing his work in another apartment.

The world of music no longer an option ?

The world of music no longer an option ?

The Musician beginning to believe his two professions could coincide,  a musical endeavour of three or four night per week and Busy Bees five or six days of activities.  Jan was approaching the final days of maternal expediency and once again, even when she was reminded that Tiffany Rose came into the world as a Robert, she still insisted the newly arrival would be a girl.  Her and Robert spending more time in the company of her family in Kiowa and a much closer association with her mother’s church, her uncle Raymond a minister in the Apostolic Christian  Church.  The Church having a profound influence, the change in Jan was subtle at first but noticeable, the absence of makeup and jewelry, her hair styling or lack of it in keeping with Church tradition, a changed person for the better.  The visits to Kiowa influencing another, Gary too noticing a change,  taking a hard look at himself and his new responsibility, beginning to question his past and the future platforms of opportunity, coming to the conclusion that it might not be found in the world of music.

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