Forty years ago today Leroy started working for Ralph Shank. It was called R. M. Shank then and became Shank Door a bit later. Leroy was the third employee when he was hired in 1973. The warehouse was a small garage on Ralph's property and the office was a table in his basement.
On his first day on the job, Ralph took him to a place which needed two doors. He told Leroy to watch him hang one to see how it's done. He slapped the door up and then said, "Now you hang the second one. I have to go to another job." That was his training period!
Ralph retired and moved to Florida a few years later and his niece's husband, Ira Mast, took over the business. It grew as the years passed and the warehouse was enlarged several times. Today they have two warehouses and about fifty employees. Ira is the only one who has been there longer than Leroy.
Many things have changed over the years. New installers now work with an experienced installer for several months before they are sent out alone. Forty years ago Leroy provided his own truck, tools, and fuel. As the years passed the company gradually began providing those things. We thought it was great when they got two-way radios in the trucks and now they have cell phones.
Leroy installed doors and openers for 22 years and then switched to the warehouse where he is still working. We are very thankful they found a spot for him within the company when installing got to be too heavy work for him. Finding a new job when you're in your fifties isn't easy.
Raising a family of six children takes a lot of money and we struggled to make ends meet but yet we never lacked for anything we really needed. We're not wealthy but Shank Door has provided a good living for us. (On second thought, we ARE wealthy compared to the majority of the world's population.)
Leroy could have retired several years ago but he has been hanging in there so he can say he worked at Shank Door forty years. Today he reached that goal. Is he going to retire now? He says not just yet. He thinks he'll work at least until the end of the year. He's one of those guys who just doesn't know when to quit!