I have always tried to tell my children that everything we do in life can have an impact on others. Somewhere, somehow, the chain that connects all families can be hurt or be helped by the actions of one person within that family. That chain extends to all people and the actions of one person toward another can actually change the course of lives.
I know that's kind of deep, but the actions of one couple in town has changed the course of my life for the good.
I have told you stories in the past of my memories of Main Street Tomball. My memories are from the mid-60's to the 70's and several buildings in town have always had special meaning to me. One of those locations is 710 W. Main St.
During my high school days, this location was a hamburger and fast food location. It was owned by a wonderful couple named Margie and Ernest Isbell. Mr. and Mrs. Isbell were middle aged when they started the location and they had experienced a lot more of life than I had, as I was simply a high school kid with no experience in the real adult world. The world of bills and taxes, business and home maintenance and all those things weren't even part of my thought process at the time.
Mrs. Isbell hired a young lady to work at their location. As time passed and through other activities, this same young lady caught my attention and soon my heart was wrapped up in this girl.
We both attended Tomball High and like most kids during those days, we had to earn our own spending money. Since I was about ten months older than her and had started school when I was five years old, I was two classes ahead of this gal, so I was an "older man." I had the responsibility of paying for and maintaining my own truck and since I was a guy, I was also responsible to pay for all dates. I also enjoyed playing pool up at Mrs. Alice's place on SH 249, so making money for our dates and for my after date pool games was very important to me.
I have been pretty much self employed most of my life, with just a few jobs ever working for others. I spent a year or so working for Herb Kleimann at the meat market on Tuwa. When not working with good people like Ruby Vogt, Lighting, Canuto and others inside the place, I was Herb's outside maintenance man. I have mowed many acres of land in this area for Herb and have moved a lot of cattle from place to place.
I also spent time raising tomatoes to sell to Mrs. Goodson. I tried worm farming and I also sold sassafras tea one summer. I cleaned dozers at TT Construction and I even tried selling barbeque, blackberries, cane poles and scrap metal. I welded barbeque pits and I built trailers, I did mechanic work for Clement Patzke and Johnny Reeves, worked at Lamberts Grocery and mowed freeways for Johnny Bonds. I hauled hay behind guys like Homer Hildebrandt, along side Mike Reist. I raised cows, pigs, rabbits and chickens all hoping to make a buck. I have worn many hats in my young career. I even sold fencing for a company and tried my hand at carpentry work prior to and during my high school days.
My self employment allowed time at odd hours of the day to go to Isbells for refreshment, but the truth was I simply wanted to spend time near the new love of my life. Looking back, I can see now that my being at their place of business where this girl worked probably hindered the work flow in some manner, but not once do I ever remember Mr. or Mrs. Isbell asking me to leave.
I soon developed a taste for the nickel cup of coffee, only because it was the cheapest thing on the menu and I would spend a lot of time drinking coffee or simply loitering at the counter to talk sweet nothings with this girl. My heart was love struck and by all rights Mrs. Isbell could have asked me to leave, but she didn't. I am sure that deep down in her heart she knew she was seeing a new love develop before her eyes. I would even guess that sometimes she would go home and have a private chuckle with Mr. Isbell and discuss the issue of Clifford and the hired help, but not once did she discourage me or run me off. She allowed her employee and I to spend time swooning over each other on her clock.
That was more than forty years ago and I am proud to say that I now wake up each and every morning looking into those same blue eyes of this girl that I used to spend time with at Isbells. You may wonder who this fine lady is? Well, she doesn't like her name in the paper too much and I will simply call her my sweetheart.
Thank you, Mrs. Isbell. Thank you for your patience and understanding as you saw this young love develop. Your actions have created new families and touched the lives of many.