Story by Tim Tillotson, photos from the Virginia Slusher archive
Editor’s note: The story is from a May 14 phone interview.
On the top pic, second from left, Ted Morris? It don’t look like him at all to me. Wayne Skinner, I believe that’s his Olds they’re leaning against.
In the background is Fairmont Ice Cream. They brought refrigerated rail cars in there. One of them, Dad rammed the ass-end of his ’56 imperial into, backing out of the front of the office and I don’t know where he was going in such a hurry. Second day he had it. A four-door Southhampton, pink and white, Mother drove it most of the time. The air conditioning system—they were coming into the picture then—the condenser unit was in the front of the trunk in a big metal box.
When he slammed into the tongue of that rail car, you know how high those tongues stick out, it got into the trunk and the back window. He had them working 24 hours a day to fix that thing, the trunk, back window, and roof.
After he had it fixed, you could always hear some broken glass shifting around in the box of that unit.
Wayne was the so-called engineer, he set over there in that drafting room in the other side of the office, did all the structural calculations.
It was a ’49 or ’50 Olds. Wayne is in the middle pic with Bob Rodgers. He was like the bookkeeper.
Top and bottom picture? There’s Virginia (second from right) and I don’t know who that woman is.
Johnny (Hassman) had to be office help. He didn’t really have anything to do with the drawings or plans. I don’t even remember that he even worked on a job. And I don’t remember why he was there. He got his college work done, I think, in Missoula.
Uncle Ralph, Johnny’s dad, helped later in sales. I remember Ralph talking about him almost living in the car, and he ate a lot of pork and beans out of the can to pay for his way through college. I can’t remember his academic agenda.
Ted was the pilot. He worked int the office with Wayne, doing the drawing and getting the specs together. He flew Dad when Dad would go out to the jobs. Ted used to take me flying out to the job. He was a fun guy, good-natured. He tried going into business himself after Dad passed.