In 1960 I was working for Ace Muffler Co. in Downtown Sacramento, CA. I work in the downtown location for two years, then two years at the Town & Country location, which I think was on Fulton Ave.

Before Marlene & I were married my dad offered to send me to college if I wanted to go and I certainly did at the time I wanted to be a metallurgist. That offer prompted me to break up with Marlene and that's when I learned she was pregnant, which ended my college ambitions. Marlene & I were married in 1960 and separated in 1964 living together for four years. When it became apparent that I could not live with Marlene and raise James & Terry, I gave her full custody of the kids because I knew I would travel and the kids would be in & out of school, which would not work. Part of the reason was I never finished high school and would have trouble applying for a local job with reasonable pay.

At some point, I became a Boilermaker union member and went to work for CB&I on 02/07/1961 through 07/24/1961 as an x-ray technician. I don’t remember where the job was, but it was some place around Sacramento. During that period, James Andrew Steele Jr.'s was born on March 30th, 1961. Which increased the pressure a little. Then I went to work for Kaiser Steel in Napa, CA. on 04/027/1961 through 06/02/1961 as a welder fitter.

Then I went to work for Murphy Scale Co. On 06/28/1961 through 07/24/1963 as a welder for a couple of years and was fabricating large framed pit scale decks and smaller scales per customer order. I wound up working on a bench, welding the weighs in the heads of the lever system. There were many scales like hopper scale, mostly industrial type scales for businesses like paper companies, etc.

The union called me for a job with CB&I as an aluminum welder which I had no experience doing but I wanted to try it and passed the welding test and went to work for them on 07/25/1963 through 11/08/1963 and turned I turn out to be one of their best welders on the job. My rejection rate after x-raying the welds was very low.

After that was finished, I went to work for Barden Bumper as a welder in Woodland, CA. On 11/10/1963 through 03/16/1964. I was working on a bench welding bumper for trucks and other vehicles. One of the worst jobs of my life and didn’t like the shop foreman. He kept bugging me about buying some steel-toed shoes, which I could afford. He was a big Swede guy and stepped on my toes as a reminder to buy the steel-toed shoes and it pissed me off and I tried to run him over in the parking lot but missed. It’s probably a good thing I missed him looking back on the incident. So the next Monday I came in quit and picked up my check.

I went back to work for Murphy Scale Co. On 03/16/1964 through 09/09/1965 as a scale mechanic working with the Department of Weights Measures to seal or calibrate scales of all types all around the state. Rick Tamani was my mentor working for Murphy Scale and taught me the business of calibrating scales large and small with the Department of Weights & Measures. I remember going to some big paper company in Antioch, CA. And spent several days going through their scales.

In 1964 Marlene & I officially separated but following that we kept trying to make things work and that’s when Terry Steele was conceived. His birthday is on February 1st, 1966. Following all of that I think I moved into an apartment in South Sacramento with a friend of mine Kenny Dials who work for the Forestry Division in Sacramento, CA. Which didn’t walk out because I came home one night and found a bunch of guys being entertained by a strip dancer so we parted ways soon after that episode.

Those were my wild days and went to the South Bowl & the Trophy Room on the weekends and did a lot of dancing. I met a woman named Catherine but didn’t remember her last name. We got along fine and she lived in North Highlands, a suburb of Sacramento, CA. I wasn’t interested in getting emotionally involved with anyone and told her that and she was OK with it. I told her if she found someone to let me know, and she did.

After that, I went to work for PMI in South Sacramento for a month and then to American Bridge in Forrest Hill, CA. Welding on a penstock on the side of a hill through 12/10/1965. It was dangerous and was hard to get to the joint to weld. Working inside of the penstock was a little scary and in those days we didn’t have safety belts so if you fell down the tube you wouldn’t have any skin when you got to the bottom if you were still alive.

I got tired of the union politics and told them I would get my own jobs. They would save to good jobs for their buddies and give the newbies he one and two-day jobs So I called CB&I in Salt Lake City, UT and they did a call by name in Los Angeles and I went to work for them in Torrance, CA. On 12/10/1965 and never had to wait on a call from the union again.

I worked for CB&I for 10 years, missing only the days between jobs or the days I wanted off. When I finished the Torrance project, I was transferred to Pasadena on 01/25/1966 as a welder on two Stainless Steel Vacuum Chambers. Before the job was finished, I had decided I liked the Site Manager (Gene Erickson) and got along with him very well but his Pusher or Foreman was a scumbag low class bully I didn’t care for and I told him so then I went to the Site Manager and told him I wanted to his foreman on his next job. He said we will see and gave me an engineer and an assignment to put all the penetrations in the vessels and we did. So I wound up being Genes new foreman in Littleton, Colorado, in two more Vacuum Chambers, just like the ones in Pasadena, CA.

When I went to Littleton, Colorado, I took Marlene & the kids which turned out to be a mistake because when it was time to go she wanted to stay in Colorado so I left her there and at some point she got back to Sacramento

The new foreman’s job wasn’t without its challenges because I was young 26 years old at the time and I had some older geezer started giving me a bad time and I talked to Gene about it and he left it up to me so I tried to work it out with the guy but he wasn’t having it so I let him go.

We finished the job on 9/30/1966 and I was transferred to Salt Lake City, UT, Hayward, CA, Drift River AK, where I was unprepared for the weather with 20 foot snow banks living in a truck trailer with an oil heater which was too hot or too cold, and then to Anacortes, WA.

I got back together with Gene in Portland OR on 04/24/1967 to build an LNG double wall vessel for liquid propane gas just below the Saint Helen’s Bridge and finished the project on 01/26/1968. That was the only time I had pneumonia. Gene had to cal me down from a man basket hanging on the side of the vessel doing an air test of the welds and sent me to the Doctor.

From there, I went to Colton, CA. On 02/05/1968 to 04/12/1968 to build a gas storage tank for Gulf Oil for two months. I had a 1965 El Camino which I think I bought in Portland, OR. after I caved in the door of a pickup I was driving backing out of a restaurant parking lot and turned into a post. I knew it was there, but was in a hurry to get to work. I had a girlfriend that was all about staying with me until it was time to go to Alaska, so I took her home and said goodbye.

The next alignment was with Gene Erickson in Kenai, AK from 04/22/1969 to 07/18/1969. We flew over the Alcan Highway to Kenai, Alaska, through Canada, which was exciting and dangerous at times. We landed in White Horse, Canada, to spend the night and had dinner at the local restaurant & pub and noticed the bar was segregated int into men & women bars. That was strange to us, being from the USA. We continued the trip and only got lost once, but it was scary because we were in Canada’s Yukon Territory, an area of rugged mountains and high plateaus. We overcame drama and made to Kenai Airport safely. I flew back to Anchorage and bought a 1964 Pontiac Le-Mans that was winterized with a head bolt heater for cold weather.

In a weak moment, I invited Marlene and the boys to come to Alaska to solve our problems and raise the boys. I told her I had signed the rental agreement that excluded pets. I was very clear that I had rented a place near a military base that did not allow animals and she was fine with that. She and the boys came to Kenai, Alaska, working for CB&I, building three Liquid Natural Gas holders for the Mobile Oil Refinery near Kenai.

There were a bunch of things we didn't agree on, but after she agreed we couldn't have animals in the apartment before she came, then I came home one day and there was a poodle. I lost it because I had signed a rental agreement that specifically stated no animals were allowed. I should have known better because everything you agree to with her is subject to change without notice. We had an option to move out or get rid of the poodle and getting rid of the poodle was not an option for her, so I told her I was going to weigh the pros and cons. After thinking about continuing the marriage for a couple of weeks, I ask her to go home and file for a divorce and she did. On January 5th, 1968, Marlene and I were officially divorced.

I paid child support for close to 18 years and took advantage of my visitation rights. If I was on a job with enough longevity for them to come, I would always ask the boys to come during their school break, In most cases, James would come but Terry would not and I'm sure Terry had a little influence from his mother.

Once Marlene was gone, I rented a smaller apartment on the ocean in Kenai and about a month later I met Patricia McClain in the parking lot of the Safe-Way store and we hit it off right away. We dated and seemed to get along very well. Fortunately, a friend of mine was visiting when her x-boyfriend showed up at the door and when I opened the door, he rushed me and the fight was on. Carl Pontrella kept the other guy busy but couldn’t get him to fight while I was whipping her x-boyfriend but. When the fight was over, the x-boyfriend admitted he couldn’t beat me, so he left with his buddy and I had no more problems with him. I ran into him once in a while, but the fight in him was gone.

Patricia and I were married in March 1969 while I was still in Alaska. We finished the job in Alaska and I worked different jobs in Benicia, CA. Salt Lake City, UT., Green River, WY., Cheney, WA., Shirley Basin, WY., The Dalles, OR. Singapore, Guam, and several other cities and we split up after three or four years and I don't have any documentation about the divorce. I heard a rumor that Patricia would lock the boys outside of the trailers while I was at work and I confirmed it with James, which led to divorce in 1973, I think. During the time we were married from 1969 through 1973, James & Terry both came to Green River WY. (1970) and The Dalles, OR. (1971) plus whenever I was going through Sacramento I would always stop and visit the Kids and other relatives.

Patricia and I parted ways when I was doing a job in Kent, Washington between 03/26/1973 &05/29/1973. Then I was off to Toppenish Washington to build a sugar tank for some company in Toppenish, Washington.