I was born on May 24, 1949 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At age 9, we moved to Houston, Texas. It was boom time in Texas and Dad followed the work. After 9 months in Houston we moved to Beaumont, about 100 miles away. It was a case of instant hatred, for Beaumonters and for me, each for the other. .
The first people we met were our neighbors across the street. What was the first thing the said? It was a question. "What church do ya'll belong to?" I knew we were in trouble. We belonged to no church and really had no interest in religion. In Beaumont everyone goes to church. Most were Baptist who are non-drinkers and non-dancers. We were, well, "otherwise".
After 7 years of torture, (I realized my being gay could get me killed in this hamlet), I left for Austin and UT. College lasted for over 5 years. I decided to leave UT after 3 years. Feeling a degree in Humanities wouldn't improve my career opportunities, I left for a job washing cars. One winter at my new craft and a call from my parents (begging me to allow them to pay for me to return to UT and get a degree) convinced me. I was a failure as a dropout so I graduated. My Dad suggested I go to electronics trade school. He paid, I went. I was finally out of excuses for not working. TI hired me!?
5 years later they laid me off. It took a year of unemployment benefits, tanning by the pool and heavy drinking to find another job. APC and I began a 1 year relationship after which they were purchased by 3M. I was part of the sale, thank God. 23 years later, 3M invited me to leave. Over the years, I had developed certain physical difficulties. Walking became difficult, for example. I knew finding another job in my condition at my age was not for me. So I declined 3M's offer to leave and went on disability. To my shock and delight, admin. at 3M seemed relieved. They were supportive. That was 2003.
I'm still with 3M, on Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability. As far as I know, that is unheard of at 3M. After 4 years, everyone else on LTD has been gotten rid of in some way.
Next year I retire.
That's my story up to now. The future is anybody's guess.
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