Just when I thought I was home free…almost a journeyman; I was caught by the new apprenticeship committee of our Carpenters Local Union. They had decided that a school would be a nice thing for all apprentices to attend. And although I was within 9 months of becoming a journeyman, they figured that I could do a little time in school…on Saturday mornings…in downtown Los Angeles.
I went, quite reluctantly. After all, I was already being paid journeyman’s wages and I was directing work as if I were a foreman. What could they teach me?
As it turned out, I was right. The class taught us very little. The instructor was a crony, a friend of a friend who knew someone else…and the job paid well. So the “instructor” babysat about a dozen of us for 6 hours every other Saturday, unless we could talk him into letting us go early. Which we always did.
(Strangely enough, despite this poor beginning, in later years I ended up becoming very involved with the apprenticeship training program; even becoming an instructor myself. More about that later.)
During the week I was usually working on a Broadway store somewhere. Modern Drywall Systems had found a small gold mine in the department store construction business. There was hardly a Broadway store in the Los Angeles basin that we hadn’t built or remodeled.
And then it was time for some traveling…The Broadway-Hale people were expanding their horizons and asked us to come along. I think the first out of town job was in Las Vegas; a new store on Tropicana Blvd.
Alex asked Babe and me to go with him and I was eager to see someplace new and do something a little bit different, so I quickly agreed.