He was the son of a Connecticut florist—she was the daughter of a wealthy Missouri banker. He was known for his love of horses—she was known for catching a car on fire with a smoldering cigarette while on the way to grade school—both were known for their service to America during WWII—one flew planes and the other went Navy–they were of the greatest generation.
Tom Reck was born November 1914 in Bridgeport Connecticut, the home of P.T. Barnum, birthplace of the Frisbee, and Subway, and once headquarters to numerous well-known companies, including Remington Arms. Situated in… Continue reading
Glen Banks was born November 25, 1902 in Columbus, Ohio to Lewis Banks, a railroad conductor, and Barbara Calhoun Banks, reportedly a relative to the late John C Calhoun, who was famous for serving as vice president for both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.
Glenn earned a degree in Forestry Management in Mansfield, Ohio, near where the legendary Johnny Appleseed supposedly planted one of his many apple trees. Immediately following graduation, Glen accepted a position with the city of St. Louis managing the trees in the city’s many beautiful parks, including the famed Forest Park, known then and now… Continue reading
His father was employed with the civil service at Wright-Patterson Air base; he grew up just down the street, a few blocks, from the garage where the Wright Brothers designed the first airplane. One would assume that during his formative years he’d dreamed of strapping on a leather helmet, wrapping his neck with a silk scarf, becoming an airborne swashbuckler, and barnstorming across America. Rather than using a vacant field to fly kites and balsam model airplanes and idolize Ohio’s Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy migrated to the field where America’s favorite sport was being played—baseball. His idol… Continue reading
On possibly the same day a Pan American Lockheed Super Constellation night-flight from New York to Stuttgart, Germany, carrying Gordon Williams and Harding Smith on their quest to secure the famous one page contract, a young, driven and clever Dorsey Glover was possibly sitting in an afternoon class on the sultry campus of the University of Arkansas, wishing he had drank more coffee before attending class to suffer through a monotonous law professor drone on about torts. It’s not likely that the lanky soon-to-be lawyer was sitting in class and obsessing about torts the way Gordon and Harding were obsessing… Continue reading
Missouri’s Rhineland lies along the last hundred-mile stretch of America’s longest river, the mighty Missouri. Big Mo begins 2300 miles upstream at the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, near Three Forks, Montana. While the French were the first Europeans to explore and establish settlements along the entire length of the river, German immigrants, following soon thereafter, settled primarily along the last hundred miles between Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital, and St. Louis, where the Missouri flows into the Mississippi.
The most well-known village along this stretch is Herman, named in honor of… Continue reading
Like most Native American tribes, the Osage suffered countless broken promises by the American government. However, unlike most tribes, by the time the Osage were forced to re-settle in Oklahoma, they had the financial wherewithal to purchase the ground upon which their reservation was located. Much of this wealth gained as a result of being paid by the federal government for the land they’d been forced to acquiesce in Missouri and… Continue reading
It’s possible that Gordon Williams met the chainsaw legend of Hood River while visiting the Oregon chain plant during his days at Estate Equipment. If the two hadn’t met, Gordon most likely knew of the reputation of the owner of H&D Logger Supply, Virg Hatfield. Virg’s parents had migrated to Oregon from West Virginia. It’s possible they were trying to get as far from family as possible since during the time of the migration, the Hatfields and the McCoys were bent on killing each other—some say over a disputed pig, while others claim the feud was a remnant of the… Continue reading
Leora Back (Bach) was born 1912 at the home of her parents near Zalma, Missouri. She was one of eight children, four boys and four girls. Seven of the children graduated 8th grade from Zalma. One brother died at young age a few days after falling into a boiling kettle of lye.
Leora’s parents never owned a motorized vehicle. The farm was four miles from town one way and four miles from Berong Baptist Church the other. They’d all ride on a wagon pulled by a team of horses to both places at least once per week, sometimes more… Continue reading
Response to full-page ads running every month in Chainsaw Age, starting in 1959 by Tull-Williams and subsequently Stihl America continued to pay rich dividends. The single warehouse phone virtually rang off the wall with calls from established Stihl distributors placing orders and those wishing to become distributors for Stihl. Joe Minarik, Mock, by then working part-time for Stihl America took the initiative to have a second phone line installed. Gordon, then being held accountable to a budget with the Stihl’s, a 40% partner, fired Joe for what he thought an extravagant expense. The following day a container of saws arrived… Continue reading
Roger Maris had recently broken Babe Ruth’s record, much to the dismay of most Yankee fans, they’d preferred that the record stand, and if it was to be broken, let Mantle be the one. Cassius Clay, after cruising to the Gold at the 1960 Olympics, was beginning the long-lasting spar with Howard Cosell, the Russians were building a missile base in Cuba, Bob Dylan was inspired to pen the lyrics to “The Times They are a Changin,’ and Stihl American needed someone focused on sales.
Years later, when a Stihl salesman walked through a dealer’s door, he’d often times be… Continue reading