Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

Have you ever had a moment that changed the course of your life?

I went to a commercial high school. Local businesses often requested students to work for them after school and in many instances, asked them to stay on after graduation. I was one of those students. In my senior year, I was hired by Guardian Electric. I worked there for two years. The neighborhood was changing, and not for the better. One gentleman always left ten minutes early so he could catch a train to get home. One day he left, and three guys mugged him. They beat him pretty badly and stole his seven dollars.

One Saturday morning, I was going to work. I had about a one-hour bus ride and when I got off one bus, decided to walk four blocks instead of waiting for the transfer bus. I started to walk, and this black man started honking his horn at me. I looked over and realized I did not know him. He wanted me to get in the car with him. I just kept walking and noticed he made a U-turn so he would be on the same side of the street as I was. The traffic was light, so I crossed to the other side street. We kept doing this until I got to the street where my work was located. I don’t think I ever ran so fast in my life. Thank goodness the guard was right by the door. I rang the bell, and he opened it immediately. He said I looked like I saw a ghost.

My dad was concerned and kept telling me to find a job closer to home. That year the recession hit, and the company said we had a choice to either have a lay-off or have everyone work four-day weeks. We opted for a four-day week. I decided that my day off would be a good time to start looking for a new job.

I was lucky. I went on one interview and didn’t like the people who worked there. My second interview was with the A. B. Dick company. I got the job on the first interview. Later I heard that the boss who hired me said he thought I was too young (I was 18) and wouldn’t last because I would probably get married in a year and would leave. I fooled him. I worked there for thirteen years.

If I had not made the change, I would not have all the wonderful friends I still have in my life. especially my best friend, Marge.