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Letters to the Editor

70 great years

It was June 6, 1950, when as a sophomore at Newton High School, I started a part time job at the Newton Manufacturing Company.  The pay was good for a student … 75 cents per hour, which was a lot better than working on farms for a couple previous years at 50 cents an hour or $4 per day.

Much of my first day as a “handy-man” was spent mowing the huge front and side lawn with a push mower … no motor. Finishing in the early afternoon, I was given a shovel to help dig a long, deep  trench, to be used as footings for a new  parking garage. This was on the sight of an old brick yard, full of rubble and stones ... a tough,mean, sweaty job, ending at 6:30 p.m.

Heading for home 2 miles north of Newton on my bike, I arrived after dinner, telling my dad “I may not go back there tomorrow.” His reply, “You darn sure will ... nobody quits a job on the first day.” So, I did, and stayed part-time through my last two years of high school.

Back in those days, a much smaller percentage of students went on to college. I grew to like my work, which was soon in our sales department. Top management assured me that if all went well, I would be given the best business education possible ... and this came about.

Marriage, a two-year tour in the Army and three fine sons later, I was still on board at NMC, while holding several titles ... including promotion manager, vice president of sales, and retiring Dec. 31, 1991 as senior vice president.  Things went well, with a great group of people to work with over the years, and a great national sales force.

During these years I have been active in many facets of our community and church, feeling that it’s good to “give back” as much as possible. At 86 years of age I am fortunate to be in  good health, and will continue to be active in many local organizations, including Rotary, O.P.E.N., Salvation Army, Progress Industries, Knights Of Columbus and others.

My dear wife Mary left me for the golden highway to heaven on July 19, 2002. But, much of my family is close by, and do their best to keep this  “old man” out of trouble, and active, for which I am thankful!

John McNeer

Newton

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