Biographical Notes re

Charles A. (Chuck) Stone

Page 1 of 4 Pages, of Chapter 11,


While visiting my sister in Park Rapids, Nell and I went car shopping. We didn’t need much, but we did need a roomy mode of transportation. We found a well-broken-in Ford sedan and bought it on the spot. Now, where would we go?

During my military career, I had discovered I was not as dumb as some of my high school teachers and I, myself, had come to believe. Picking up A’s and B’s while taking university level courses at the Universities of Nebraska and Maryland, going to night school, had done a lot for my self-confidence. For a number of years I had been planning to go back to school after military retirement and see if I could get a teaching degree. I realized that my health was still a question mark, but I wanted to be striving to move forward while seeing how my body and mind would respond to civilian life. Over the years, since 1964, the balance system in my right ear learned to carry the load. I had learned to live with a variety of other strange goings on in my body that I won’t bore you with. Whatever question marks remained, I was determined not to be caught standing around waiting to fall apart.

For a number of years I had tentatively planned to have my family retire to Bozeman, Montana, with its university system, then changed to Northern California where they were building a cluster of college campuses. By the time we actually did retire, my sights were set on Flagstaff, Arizona, the location of Northern Arizona University. In years past, while pounding through that area in a C-54 or B-25, I was always moved by what I could see in and around Flagstaff. At times, when I would look down, I could feel as though I was seeing my own future, almost a spiritual experience. No, maybe I was just striving to make that premonition come true. But Flagstaff was our destination.

We dropped our daughter, Sandie, off at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport and she departed for Richmond, Virginia, where she had been accepted as a university student at Virginia Commenwealth University. David, Nell and I set sail for Flagstaff. In a few days travel, with only one speeding ticket (earned while picking up speed on a long hill in New Mexico) we drove into Flagstaff, all of us for the first time. We rented a room in an old hotel and began looking for a place to live.

Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, August, 1968 Sandie offers some advice on how to behave as she prepares to enplane for Richmond, VA, and the rest of the family heads for Flagstaff, AZ

Within a few days we had found a rental cottage south of town and began to do some serious house hunting. We found a house at the upper end of North Beaver Street that had been custom built for another retired military man who had unexpectadly found a job as a deputy sheriff in another county and no longer needed this house. [Note: He was later shot to death while involved in an arrest situation.] When we went to the bank for a loan, they would not qualify us based solely on my retirement pay. This inspired me to look for temporary employment. My plan, all along, had been to get and hold a job for one year, while I was getting squared away as a civilian and putting my relationships with the VA Rehabilitation Training Program in order. After digging a few dry holes, I was hired by a Janitor Supply Company as a traveling representative in a good chunk of Northern Arizona. I thought it would be a good way to get to know the country and the people.

I was soon checked out on my various routes and began practicing my skills as a salesman. Our loan was processed, we signed the contract, and called for shipment of our family goods that had arrived in an eastern port from Naples and the stuff we had in storage at Washington. When we unpacked the stuff stored in the Washington area, we noted that some neatly closed and marked boxes were as empty as they could be. The people that had packed us in Washington had made their selection of what to steal as they were getting ready to load up. That seems par for the course and we moved on with getting settled. David was lined up to start the fall school semester as a Junior in High School. Reports from Sandie indicated that she was getting settled in and was registered and ready to start school in Virginia on schedule. For the first time we had a house- buying break, the price of houses in this development jumped about $5,000 a few days after we closed on our contract.

My eleven months as a traveling salesman went well. At one point, the business owner, realizing I had a military retirement income, decided to cut my commissions because part of my income was coming out of the taxes he was already paying the government.

A winter view of our home
on North Beaver

Winter view of San Franscisco
Peaks from across the road from
our house. At 7,000 feet, we
learned to expect some snow
from September to May.
The winter of 1972/73,
we had 207 inches.

When I realized what was going on I told him he was being unethical and that I would not work for him under these conditions. He had three salesmen, including me. He had periodic sales contests to promote sales growth. Since I had started, I had won every sales contest he had conducted. He apologized, jacked my commissions back up and things moved along OK. I had some scar tissue from that experience that left me somewhat spring-loaded in the pissed-off position where he was concerned.

As we approached mid-summer of 1969, he began to take more seriously my plan to quit soon to begin the fall semester at NAU. I had worked out all of my arrangements with the VA. They had upgraded my disability claim from 10% to 30% and I had proven my eligibility for Rehab Education Training. When my boss realized I wasn’t fooling around, he called me into his office. He said I was his best salesman, one who always spoke the truth, and he wondered if I would take over management of his company so he could start to retire. I told him I would let him know within 24 hours. I went home, already knowing my decision, but wanting to have Nell share in it with me. We were agreed, she was as disenchanted with the commission shaving as I had been. The next day I told him that I would not accept. He asked me why? I told him that the only way to have a job that would be satisfying was to have a proper balance of responsibility and authority. I told him, further, that, because of his nature, he would give me the responsibility and keep the authority to himself and I could not tolerate that situation. He scratched his head and said, “Well Chuck, you just may be correct!” We parted as friends.

In December, 1968, Sandie had flown back to Flag to spend Christmas at home. While there she looked over NAU, had expressed concerns about certain elements of her school environment in Virginia, and more fully realized the money she could save the family by becoming an Arizona resident and attending NAU. She chose to finish her semester and move to Flag, making our family whole again. The was fine with us.

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