Friday, May 9, 2008

Introducing Me - W.B. "Bill" Babcock

In looking at what the other guys have put up on the blog, I thought I’d better tell the ones who don’t know me a bit of my story and past.

I graduated HHS in 1956 along with a very intelligent group of students. Probably the MOST intelligent to ever graduate HHS. Only problem, I was not one of them. I think the only reason I graduated was the faculty DID NOT want to put up with me another year.

The night we graduated, Mike Sullivan, Kenneth Bishop, Leon Fortner and I “cut out” for California in an old ‘49 model Oldsmobile we’d purchased from Coach Carl Twidwell. That’s another story.

We arrived in California to make our fortune at the American Crystal Sugar Company in Oxnard. I stayed for a few months, came back home, and then went to Dallas. I was employed by Wilson Sporting Goods for a couple of years working in the Tennis Department restringing tennis racquets. I also did a lot of engraving on trophies.

Then I moved on to Dodge Inc.Trophies, the world’s largest trophy manufacturer. I started off as an engraver and worked myself up to Vice President in charge of Sales & Marketing. This required a move to Chicago, where I really only gained ONE thing - my wife, Joan.

I knew there HAD to be something good up there, and she was it. One winter is the “windy city” was all I could take. This ol’ southern boy, in his cowboy boots and Stetson hat, nearly froze.

So, Joan and I moved to Miami Fla. I got just as tired of sunshine there as I did of the snow up north. We moved back to Texas and settled in. I was involved with the trophy industry again with a company that manufactured engraving machines. I set up a national sales team to market them and did quite well.

At age 44, I decided I’d had all I could take of the “rat race” so purchased a small farm south of Heavener in the Octavia community. Joan and I built and operated a tourist attraction or “tourist trap”, whatever you want to call it, called Babcock’s Store. We prided ourselves in NOT selling anything a person needed. JUST stuff they wanted.

We operated the store for about 17 years, then closed it and turned the building into our home where we now live. (You’re welcome to stop in to see us)

Check out our website: www.pine-net.com/babcocksstore and you will see how I spend my retirement.

Bill

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