In 1959, my brother, Al, my brother-in-law Dominick Guerriero, who was married to my oldest sister, Elizabeth, and myself owned 4 flat bed trucks hauling fruit for Bianco Packing Company. It was owned by my other brother-in-law, Funzy Bianco, who was married to my other sister, Jeanie. We had been doing it successfully for two years and it was doing very well. A lot of hard work, but it was a future for us all. The crops the next year was very poor and not enough to keep 3 families with income and forced us to find other work. Being there only enough for one of us, my brother and I decided to let Dominick stay with the trucks and we would find other work.
So my brother went back into selling cars, which he had done before we started our little business. I knew washing machines from my little company in the Bronx, NY, so I went looking for work that way. It didn’t pay much and it was only part time, so I looked elsewhere. Being a good talker, I tried selling life Insuranse for John Handcock Life, Inc. I didn’t do well going door to door, so I came up with a new idea, selling group insurance to farmers. I asked my superiors at John Hancock if I could set up my own group plan, called Farmers group. I using my old 1937 Plymouth I started going to farmers locally, then making a larger circle as I progressed. My idea was great but the timing was bad. Most farmer were going through the bad crop production and had no money or time to think about insurance, so I expanded my area of customers. One that looked very possible was a group that I could try to sell, and so I called it “The Mormon Group”. I met with a young man that headed the local Mormon church in a town called Sanger, Ca. The group had set up a separate area and made it into a combine-like community. My new friend, Ted, allowed me to come into his community to try to convince his followers that insurance would protect each family in time of death. They all listened, but again no takers! I turned out that Ted was actually trying to bring me into his foal. So, my having a very strong sense of being a Catholic, I explained to him that he could no more convert me than I could convert him. Thereafter we were just friends. Not getting anywhere with insurance, I need to earn everyday money to live, so besides working as a washing machine repairman, I found work at the local Drive-In theater in Sanger for $1.00/hour, as a repairman, janitor, and Soda-jerk. I worked 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, and when I was needed to repair machines, I did that as well. In the first two years of of Our trucking company doing well, I purchased a home North of Fresno, Ca. so when things got bad, I looked for work anywhere, doing anything to keep up the payments. using one of the trucks when I wasn’t working, I travelled into the Sierra Nevada Mountains finding dead tree lying about and with the permission of the rangers, I cut them and brought them back as firewood that I sold wherever I could. It was back breaking work, but between my other jobs, I was able to make payment towards our home and the furniture we had purchased fron a family friend. this tells of a tuff time, but there is mre to come in another story.
Beginnig of new story:
Our Next door neighbors were very friendly and tried to help. He, Mel Freeman, asked his brother brother who had a local store