Bonnie Shell's Life Stories

What were your favorite subjects in high school?

I always liked math. It came easily to me. When I was in grade school, I was the nun's assistant, helping other students work out problems. I also liked English in seventh grade. The nun had us write stories about various subjects, and as I did more, it started getting easier. I enjoyed storytelling.

I went to what, at the time, was called a Commercial High School. It was a business school. Bookkeeping was my favorite subject. In my senior year of high school, I was recommended for an after-school job as a secretary. After about a year at this job full-time, I started to look for another job, mainly because the neighborhood where this company was located was getting dangerous, and it was a one-hour commute one way on the bus. Winter was brutal.

The recession hit, and we were given the choice of having a lay-off or everyone taking one day off. We voted for a four-day week, giving me one day a week to do some serious job-hunting. I was lucky to find a great job in the second week of my search. I got a job in the accounting department, working on a posting machine. We didn't have computers yet. I loved that job. As time went on, I got several promotions, and in time, I became a supervisor in the Production Control Department. I was only one of four female supervisors in the company.

The company was A. B. Dick Company. They made duplicating products. I joined the bowling league and also the golf league. This is where I made most of my long-time friends. We had a lot of parties, both company-sponsored and at each other's homes. Those were the fun years of my life.