John did odd jobs like mowing people's lawns and working in the fields while still in school. He also worked at Tubby Buffington's filling station in Athens, making .50 cents and hour. Of course, he found time to get pop at Adbella's and play cards or checkers. He would have to sit in the restaurant side since he wasn't old enough to go in the bar. Oh, Abdella's was the place to get those hot dogs too.
While in high school, he and Chuck Fiske, a fellow student and best friend, discovered 8 mm film that was being put in the dumpster. I believed these dated into the 1930's and 1940's. John and Chuck ask if they could retrieve and keep them, of course the answer was yes. Years passed and John took them to Chet Baughman in Chauncey to have them made into videotapes with clearer pictures, which turned out very good. Later they were shown at one of the Alumni reunions and Gilbert Courtney had copies made for $10.00 each for anyone that wanted to purchase one. Many watching, were surprised to recognize so many people.
After graduating in 1953, John went to work at North American Aviation in Columbus as a machinist. He met Jeannine Stace July 4th 1954 and got married, by Rev. Courtney, December 11, 1955 and lived in Athens. Not wanting to drive every day to North American, he was hired at McBee's in Athens, which was suppose to be a life time job? While working there his first son, John David was born August 29, 1957. In 1958 John was laid off from McBee's with no plans of being called back.
John did odd jobs for people, worked at selling cars for Mr. Beasley at the Ford garage and worked in a clothing store to make ends meet.
With no bright future of work locally, he got a call from his sister-in-law to come to Northern Ohio where there was work. He was expecting his second child in June, and this was the middle of May so John left for Oberlin, OH. On Monday, he put his application in at Bendix-Westinghouse in Elyria and got the call to come in for a physical on Wednesday.
Planning to move to Oberlin, he brought his wife and son to Oberlin with him to look for a place to live. Jeffrey Allen was born in Allen Memorial Hospital in Oberlin, OH, June 3, 1959, three weeks early. He found a place to move his family too, renting a U-Haul and making 2 trips in one day, moving into a second floor apartment and sharing the bath with the apartment on the third floor!
While working in the machine shop at Bendix, he was offered a 4-year Tool and Die Maker apprenticeship in May of 1960, going to school nights and working days. Day wages then was $1.98, plus, he was paid the same wage for his school hours. That afforded us to move to a house outside of Oberlin.
In September of 1963 we bought our first house in Elyria, OH, closer to his work. In 1965 John had an industrial accident of his left hand loosing part of his finger and damaging the nerves. At first the Emergency Room Doctor said his hand was torn up so badly they would have to amputate. Thanks to the specialist called in, he said it was repairable and would only have to remove part of a finger and repair the damaged nerves. He regained moving most of his fingers and the use of his hand.
While working in the tool room, one of John's fellow workers was a Ham Operator and got John interested Ham Radio. He not only got his license; he began building his own radio equipment and antenna that became one of his hobbies.
John finished his apprenticeship and was ask to go into the management level as a Methods Engineer then onto Manufacturing Engineer. With these promotions, John had to travel to the Bendix Plant in Frankfort, KY, working there during the week and home on weekends for several years.
In 1971 we moved to the outskirts of Oberlin where I still live.
In 1973 Bendix wanted John to move to Frankfort, KY and work. He decided not to make the move, leaving family and friends in Ohio and his sons, 12 and 14 having to change schools. On that decision, he was put into the Maintenance Department at Bendix, which lasted for 2 years working the night shift. That was the price he paid for turning Bendix down on moving.
He finally was put back as a Manufacturing Engineer and started traveling to Mexico working on building a plant in Acuna, Mexico, also traveling to N.C., England and Canada helping build their plants.
During those projects he became a Senior Manufacturing Engineer, retiring in 1988 after 28 years.
After retiring John still was doing his Ham Radio and started doing video of family and friends weddings. He would make videotapes putting music and headers just like you would see in the movies. He loved working on those, plus, started a site for the Chauncey Dover Alumni. He would take pictures at the reunions, put them on the site, plus, the Chauncey Dover Blue Devil. That was another one of his loves thinking of his hometown and the people in it. John was so proud to have come from such a small town and how so many people affected his life.
John had a full life with many friends caring for each one of them. He always told his grandsons, Matthew and Jarad, they can accomplish anything with hard work and determination.
Mrs. John Blackford