From an "OLD GUY" who was fortunate
enough to have been in on the very start of a whole new industry by joining
the newly born, American Buildings Co. of (then) Columbus, Ga., 1959.
An industry that came into its own because of the urgency created by
World War 2. The Quonset Hut barracks (in which I spent many months overseas
with the "MIGHTY EIGHTH" Air Force Bomber Group), airplane Hangars,
Maintenance Shops and all manner of other uses.
Such readily mass produced shelter with it's light weight, clear spans,
economy and speed of construction was destined to become a vital lynch pin
in the post war construction expansion of a vibrant and fast growing United
States of America!
The glaring opportunity to supply design--build--turnkey jobs in this
growth setting was too much for me so that I left American in 1965 to begin
my own General Contracting Co. in Tampa, Florida.
Over the ensuing years those opportunities led us into 5 foreign
countries, 9 overseas islands, 7 states, and the development and build-out
of 3 small Industrial-business parks in the Bay area. How interesting and
exciting a career can you get? You couldn’t write a set of specifications and
come out any better than we in "flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants".
My interest and pleasure in attempting to write this Column is to share
a few of our experiences, both the good and some bad, with all of you who
are out there slugging it out every day while I now sit back and take a
great deal of pleasure in selling my little invention called ROOF HUGGER -
sub-purlins to make it easy and profitable for you to do all those retro-fit
re-roofs that MUST BE DONE!
I'll try for some humor and excitement but always to point out what a
great industry we are in.
For a little RED HEADED kid, raised in the tiny town of Galesburg,
Michigan (pop. 750), during the great depression of the '30's and yanked off
to war shortly after the teacher handed me my graduation diploma (to finally
get rid of me in their classes), such a career was not even a dream.
Without the benefit of the great G. I. bill to go to college post war,
such would still have been unthinkable. While war was certainly not a fun
way to get to college, I still thank Uncle Sam for the G.I. bill that made
it possible. Having returned alive and in one piece, the future was indeed
ours to claim and Pre-Engineered Steel Structures became my ticket to a life
full of excitement and satisfaction!
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