As I Remember, Chapter 24

This entry is part 24 of 39 in the series Ted Bio


      All my life, I had always driven a nice car. For the last several years, it was Hudsons. A new one every couple of years. I put a lot of miles on them. They were great cars. The last one I had was a Hudson Hornet. At the same time, we had a Jet. A cute, little car. Helen drove it a lot. Then in the spring of 56, I traded in the Hornet and bought a brand new Golden Hawk, Studebaker. In it was a big souped up Packard engine. It was advertised as the world’s fastest stock car. And I guess it was. The speedometer registered up to one hundred and sixty. Just exactly a hundred over the state speed limit.

      Of course our few stock holders would growl about every time Dell or me bought anything. Compared to us, they only had a few bucks invested. But they sure could complain. I guess we finally got fed up. We handed in our resignation to our secretary. “Give them a copy each.” We told her. “Let them run it for a while.” Besides, I was getting sick of this town. We found a nice little house over in South Boise. We rented a truck and moved over. Dell did likewise and started building a house of his own, out on the Boise bench. Our marriage had not been a very happy one lately. I was in hopes that it would improve. At least I would get my wife out of Pop’s cigar in Emmett. But, I didn’t know it until after we had moved in. Around the corner and down the street about a half a block was an old street car that had been built over into a beer joint. The place was called The Trolley. Before the sun set that first day, Helen had found it and moved in. I guess she just plain liked places like that.

      I immediately began working on our new project. The Kitty Kat Sand Kit, was the name we finally settled on. A few blocks from where we lived was a railroad siding. Off to one side was a cinder block factory. Here, they made white cinder blocks. They looked like concrete but much lighter. These white crushed cinders were bought in by the car load. I stopped at the factory and picked up a sample. I wondered how they would work instead of sand. In the Kitty Kat box. This material weighed about a third as much as sand . It was like a crushed sponge and very absorbent. And the cats loved it. Not only would it cost about a third the price of sand. It was like a crushed sponge and very absorbent. And the cats loved it. Not only would it cost about a third the price of sand but our shipping costs would go way down. We still had a lot of empty boxes left. We would give this pumice or cinders a good try. They worked out better than sand. We were tickled pink. Someone suggested that we put in some sort of a deodorant. Something that would keep the smell down. Dell knew a druggist in town. We went to him for advice.

      It didn’t take him long to come up with an answer. He handed us a big box of powder. “This,” he said “will not only do the job but it is very inexpensive. Chlorine, used in purifying water. Kills all the germs. A table spoon of this in a quart of water, will make a product equal to Clorox. I would suggest about a teaspoonful to each of your boxes.” Well that problem was solved. We thought.

      We ordered a truck load of cinders delivered to a building we had rented. We boxed up a bunch of the stuff and went to many of the local grocery stores. Also the pet shops. Most all of them said that they would give it try. We would were now confident. We ordered ten thousand boxes with a master crate that held twelve of them. It took only about a week to box the material and put it in the master crates. Then by truck, we would send it to Portland Oregon. Our stamping ground. No need of starting in a little place like Boise. Think Big. We contacted a truck line and sent all of it to a bonded warehouse in Portland. In a few days I would follow up in my Golden Hawk. I would start the ball rolling.

      About a week later, I arrived in Portland. I was as usual, alone. I rented a room in nice motel and went down to the warehouse and picked up several cases of the product. The next morning, I would get busy. The following morning I had breakfast and started out. My first destination was a large pet shop on Burnside. I pulled up in front of it and stopped. I would just take in one sample box I decided. I opened one of the cases, then pulled one out. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. Instead of a bright yellow box, with a big black cat on it and gay colored trimmings, I was holding a faded thing with only the faint outline of the big cat. I dumped the rest of them out on the seat. They were all alike. Then the odor of chlorine filled the air. That deodorizer was also a very good bleach. And those ten thousand boxes in storage, absolutely worthless. That afternoon, I hired a truck to haul them to the city dump and headed for home.

      Weeks later, we turned the deal over to a group of men who wanted to give it a try. From each package, we would receive a royalty. As far as I was concerned, no longer would I be The Cat Shit Kid. Which was the name all my friends called me. I had had enough of this. Us putting chlorine in those boxes, was about as stupid as brother Ray agreeing that that was a BAIL OUT LOAN. Well, you can’t win them all.

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