I was living on the money I collected from my 401K accounts when I left RMCI and some small unemployment checks. Things were getting more desperate by the day. We had worn out our welcome at Anke’s friends house and moved into an old metal trailer home in a poor neighborhood south of Dallas. The trailer was in such sad shape that when it rained, we had to set pans around in different rooms and in the hallway to collect rainwater, the ceiling leaked terribly.
One day while working out in the yard, I accidentally put my hand into a fire ant mound. Painful experience. My unemployment checks and savings were rapidly disappearing, and I was becoming more and more depressed. If I didn’t find work soon, we would lose the trailer and what little we had left. In effect, if things didn’t change soon, we would join the ranks of the homeless. It is hard for me to say, but I was at the end of my rope and very depressed.
About this time, my brother Guy called and suggested that I come to Rochester for an Easter visit. While I was there I put in my required three job applications for the week so I could get my unemployment check and went to Good Shepherd Church to pray. I hadn’t been to church in years. While my mother was alive, she would try to get me to go to church. Well, I was at the end of my rope and ready to try anything. To my surprise, I was offered three jobs that week. One for each application I had submitted. I went back to Dallas and told Anke we were moving to Minnesota.
Finally, things started to look up. There was hope for tomorrow. It took a while, but we found a decent place to live. We started making a decent living again, and I believe that going back to church and putting my faith in God really did turn things around. Life is now good.
I had walked into Best Buy in Rochester. The first person I talked to was David Galanits. He was working security at the front door. For some reason, he was impressed with me and wanted to hire me on the spot. He took me to the store manager, who immediately hired me and stuck me in the computer sales department. I worked at Best Buy for a couple years. While I was there I moved up to the service department where I fixed computers and helped with customer service.
While I was there an old friend from RMCI called me. Bob offered we some part-time work for the FAA providing training based on the Fire and Life Safety Program I had worked on before. I took the work and a leave of absence from Best Buy. In the couple months I worked for HAL (I don’t remember what the letters stood for, just that the company was based in Austin, Texas) I made enough money to make a down payment on a house and saved enough to start my own business.
At this point, Anke said she would not buy a house with me unless we were married. I really wanted to get out of the apartment complex we were in, but I also had said that I didn’t want to get married until I was done paying child support. We talked about it and decided that getting married was the thing to do. I look back on it now and wonder why I agreed to get married. I think it was because I wanted to buy a house more than I wanted to stay single.
I remember the Saturday morning that I told Guy that we were going to get married. Guy’s response was “Oh no.” To this day, I remember the look on his face and those words ring in my ears. He seemed to know that the marriage was bound to fail.