Just to back up a few years, Shouna and I moved to Chicago in 1976 as I was transferred by EDS to work on a facilities management contract with Central National Bank of Chicago which is about one block from the Sears Tower and one block west of the old First National Bank of Chicago and on the west side of the L-train. I was on the 3rd floor which is eye level with the L which was always interesting but noisy. I was an SE - systems engineer which means I wrote programs for EDS and ultimately banks. Just for a little more background and historical record keeping for my children, I was a programmer who wrote computer programs in assembler language primarily and reports were written in COBOL. I doubt anyone knows what those languages are but maybe COBOL as assembler language is right next to binary / hexadecimal which are combinations of zeros and 1's or more specifically on or off. Does that help at all? My most famous adventure in EDS lore was that I was an expert on what we called WAAPDSUT or I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP. Basically it was a method to change things in the computer by breaking ALL security and it was a "lose your job" for trying it thing to do. The funny thing about it was that we had installed a new banking system DDA which meant demand deposit accounting and it had a lot of problems which created what we called dumps. Basically that means it broke often and generally in the middle of the night. Bob Scott was a super smart guy who headed the team out of Dallas and I was the local Chicago person supporting the system. It was the middle of the night when we got what was called a data-exception or SOC7. In English that means the system crashed and no one's account would be updated in the morning unless it was fixed. Well, I solved the problem and called Bob in the middle of the night and he told me to use the I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP routine. I told him NO and he yelled at me, cussed at me and then threatened to get me fired if I did not use it to fix the problem. I explained that I was trained that it was grounds for being fired if I proceeded. Finally after a lot of yelling I did the deed. As it turned out I became a hero and became the go to guy around EDS for I-AM-a-SUPPER-ZAP.
I should add that Bob became a close friend and moved to Chicago where he was the team leader. At one time he told me I would become an alcoholic before he became a Christian. He lost that one. Should I also mention that Bob and his wife had a few of us over for a very formal dinner where the salad had cherry tomatoes on it? Well as a side story I tried to eat one of those tomatoes and squeezed it in my mouth to the point it exploded and went all the way across the table. Not COOL!
Back to the subject, shortly after joining First Baptist Church of Hoffman Estates we met some folks who seemed to drip with money, Brian and Marg Hayes. Shouna and I were sitting in church and they were sitting next to us but after church they were extremely nice and invited us to a musical downtown at the McCormick Place. A week later they dropped by our apartment in their motor home and picked us up for the musical. We were impressed. When we got to the McCormick Place Brian parked at the front door (a little surprising) and we got out and walked in. To our surprise everyone there seemed to know the Hayes family. After the musical we met Rich DeVoss, founder of Amway and what seemed like a hundred people. Again we were impressed. We had no idea who we were with or what Amway was or even who Rich DeVoss was. A few days went by and of course they shared the multi-level marketing plan with us and Shouna and I were off on another Fullamanure adventure. In less than 12 months and a lot of stories later we were making more money part time in Amway than I was at EDS working about 60 to 80 hours a week. Over the next five years we found ourselves traveling a lot with folks in Amway including our first trip out of the continental US together to Puerto Rico. We even became speakers at Amway rallies and they flew us around the country to speak to hundreds and thousands of people. It was a great time and shortly after Wynter was born in Hoffman Estates, Illinois in 1979 we moved back to Oklahoma to raise our lovely girl where she would know her grandparents and cousins. It was a great time with lots of great memories and yes our Amway income continued for years even though we were not active until we forgot to renew one year.
Well, what do you learn in the Osage?
- You can do anything you set your mind to
- Life is like a box of chocolates, you don't know what you might get
- Life is an adventure, keep your eyes on your goal and not on the effort
Thanks for listening,