Granddad Retires

G.M.C. Massey walking on sidewalkOur guest blogger, my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, kicks off the new year with a memory of the days after he retired from 30 years working for the Post Office.

I retired from the post office March the 31st, 1950.

I went home and tried to forget about the Public. I even built several rabbit hutches and accumulated over 100 good rabbits, but I never got rid of that desire to be in constant contact with the public.

I began to look about for something. I noticed an advertisement for Watkins Products Salesman. I wrote immediately to Memphis, Tenn., and sent the letter by Air and the next morning a man that was here, a field man, that was passing got a wire from the office at Memphis, knocked on my door, and let me know that they were in position to give just what I was looking for. Therefore, it was no trouble for us to get together on my going to work for them. I got a few articles from him and borrowed a few from a local dealer together with a sales case and immediately went to work. That set me easy and as soon as my products came, I payed my local dealer back and what I had borrowed and was at home on my own job and had my own business.

I could buy the products at wholesale and sell them at the suggested price list or at such price as I felt that I could afford. I did very well till my eyesight failed me. Then of course I had to depend upon my wife to drive for me and she could not go out as often as the business demanded. I had to abide by my necessities. My wife could only go out with me two or three evenings out of each week. So I just reported to the Watkins People the circumstances and it was O.K. with them.

But my trouble had just begun. In about two years I went blind altogether and I had to stop long enough to have a cataract taken off of one eye (you see I had been blind in one eye for 8 years) and they took off the cataract that had had me bound for 8 years and I can see as well as I ever could with one eye at reading distance, but not so well at driving distance. So I am not capable as a driver yet.

Then there was for me more trouble ahead; for you see I am a diabetic and when I have a sore on my foot it takes it so long to heal. Last November my right foot got very sore and we kept going to the Doctor and finally on the 9th of December when we went to see him, he discovered that I had let it go too long and double gangrene had set up and it was very necessary to amputate at once. That was after 5 o’clock and I had to go to the Dr. that did that kind of work and he said that it ought to be done in the next 30 minutes but owing to the fact that they had to get me ready for it, they would have to put me in the hospital that night and would take it off the next morning.

Now I am waiting for the Rehabilitation Service to tell us what and when. This is one thing that you just have to experience to appreciate, but when you get into it you certainly want to get out of the understanding side. Just one leg is 100 times worse than two legs. But to not be able to get that leg will mean that I can never be as useful as I had hoped to be. I am too old and get too much pension to expect very much consideration at the hands of the rehabilitation Service.

It makes no difference which way this business goes, I am going to be satisfied for it maybe that is best after all. I accept it as God’s will for I read in the Bible “That all things work together for good to them that are the called of God and are willing to do the will of God.” And if I am not in the will of God, I want to be. So I accept it as the best, or for the best, whichever way it goes. So after all I am not going to stay here always, anyway and God has been so good to me that I do not have any grumbling to do anyway. And I am satisfied whichever way it goes.

This is another example where Granddad doubled up his storytelling. The manuscript notes were written as he thought of things, so he often repeated the same story in a slightly different version elsewhere in the typewritten pages. Here is another recounting of his time after official retirement.

And sent it by Air mail to Memphis Tenn. That night; and it was in Memphis the next morning, and they called their Field man that was at that time in San Angelo, And by nine o’clock that morning he was at my door, and in less time than it takes to write it: We were agreed, and we went out that day and began the sales of the products in the territory that he assigned to me, And we worked that day, and he let me have such articles as he had that he could spare and I borrowed some from another salesman together with a carrying case, so I went right to selling from the word go, and as soon as my products came that we ordered I paid back what I had borrowed and went on to selling. I only worked about half time as that was all that I had bargained for; because my rabbits kept me pretty busy for half of the time, And for the first 4 years that I was working at that half time I averaged over $2,000.00 sales each year, and after that My eye sight got so bad that I did not drive any more. And wife drove for me in the afternoons of two or three days each week, and I did pretty well then averaging about $900.00 each year, and then the Cataracts that had been closing In on me closed up the other eye, and I had to have one of them taken off, and since then we sold a lot of products till I had to have my right leg amputated, just above the knee, and that was the first part of December 2 years ago; I have a new limb now But I have not been able to master the use of it, and therefore am not selling, only what people come to my home for, and what I can sell by using the telephone, and then we go out there and deliver what we have sold, or what has been called in for. And that runs up, sometimes to $50.00 per month.

But I have had to quiet my self down by writing, and that is what drove me to do This “MEMOIRS.”

And I find that the things that happened back there when I was A school-Boy Is plainer on my memory than the things that I did yesterday. When I am not busy one way I am in some other way. I read the bible a great deal, and go to church every time that I can get a chance, and Preach to every one that will listen to me and when they won’t listen, I just pray that the good lord will make them so miserable about their souls that they will cry out for mercy.


About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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