PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM,
RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
"REMINISCENT REFLECTIONS OF 1942-1943,"
AN ADVENTURE OF FAITH
By Robert Lee Ginther
Robert "Bob" Ginther with Nephews Art and Leroy at Home in Sioux Falls During a Visit by the Stadems
A Nudge From the Better Half
This is in reality being written in reply to the request of my wife, as it is Mrs. Ginther's and my opinion that our many dear friends, meaning our dear Christian friends and relatives, would enjoy reading an account of our experiences during a most eventful and interesting year. Also, in this way, it will preserve for our children a record of some of the problems and difficulties which confronted their parents and possibly in future years will be of some value to them when the going gets tough. In this simple way I will endeavor to convey my attitude, and utter dependency upon God for all things revealing my own very personal impressions and reactions from the experiences in what I regard and which was for me, a great adventure of faith.
Days of $31 Per Week For Gruelling Work
On the 24th of July, 1943, it has been just one year since my arrival here in Tacoma, Washington. It was on a bright Monday morning on July 20th, 1942, that I went to the plant of Morrells and there for the last time to give final instructions and advice to the man who had been my assistant and who was now to take over my job in charge of the supplies for the Savory Foods Department. Many of you know that I had what amounted to an Assistant Foreman job there, but very few of you can realize how complicated and involved my duties were, requiring full concentration. My salary was at gross, $31.00 per week, which required such faithful service.
Second Thoughts, Debts, and a Shaky Future
Before I go on, may we deviate from the subject at hand for a little while? Back there a year ago, I was doing some serious thinking, today I was going to terminate my nine years employment at Morrells for some very sound and sane reasons. After nine years employment I was just about where I had started, or, worse yet, I had debts. Here are some of the conclusions I arrived at. When the future seems to hold no possibility for progress, then it is deprived of that special significance with which it should be invested. It is this tangible, yet intangible thing which puts meaning into the future and gives one the inspiration to keep going. Progress is a vital keynote in life and absolutely essential. Sincere and dilligent effort must cease eventually when a person comes face to face with the stark reality that the margin of opportunity is so small that the chances for advancement and achievement are practically void. It is perfectly obvious to me that this unhappy condition, coupled with monotony, are two evils which contribute a great deal toward making life dull and drab, crushing ambition and enthusiasm which must characterize every happy and normal life.
A Man Must Have Hope of Advancement for Honest Toil Given
Please pardon this bit of philosophy, dear friends, but I have learned it during the thirty-eight years of my sojourn here on earth. I feel certain that it is sound in every detail and will stand the test of careful scrutiny and examination. My heart is touched for all those who find themselves engulfed by a combination of circumstances I just described. I think this quite accurately describes my own situation in Sioux Falls, one year ago. I had made no progress at all in a financial way, no security for the future, and what about the education of my children, if things continued this way? I concede, that some of my friends had done better than I, but just the same this did not help me on the day of inventory when I faced the cold facts as they were. I hasten to say, however, in regard to Morrells, I am grateful for the employment there, providing our living during those nine years of monotony and hard toil, years when the management could hold a whip over labor to some extent. If you didn't like it, well, just get out, there are two other men to take your job and perhaps no other job for you to get.
No Place for Even an Animal!
Today, I feel like laughing at some people, who murmur over conditions which in no way compare to those some of us worked under in the Packing Plant. For 7 years I labored in a sweet pickle cellar with absolutely no fresh air, under refridgeration with the temperature at freezing from 8 to 10 hours a day with salt brine overhead. A wet cold old dungeon, no place for even an animal, to say nothing of a human being. I realize that only my friend Ray and a few others will know what I am talking about. How about it Ray?
Those Years Took Something Out
One thing I have always been grateful to my Lord for is the blessing of rugged health. Just the same, those years took something out of me that will never be here again. Imagine, coming out of that cold place into a 100 degree in the shade in South Dakota, after a long day of hard work. What did I do in that room up there on 6th floor those seven years? Well, I have never told but a very few what I shall reveal to you now. It was my delightful privilege to weigh a dog food formula, the famous "Red Heart" brand. It consisted too of pork and beef by-products. Now lungs and livers and bonemeal and barrells of beef blood and kidney also many other by-products are such pleasant things to handle,especially when you recall that it was my privilege to do so for so many years by the countless hundreds, and, yes, thousands of tons. The average day for me meant from 20 to 25,000 pounds of this stuff to weigh besides the duty of keeping my room, scales, and tanks clean in order to pass inspection.
A Plan to Make a Break
Most sincerely now, I doubt if poor old Jacob in the Bible could have stood this a double seven years, even with a sweet young lady at the end of the way as was the case with him. Also, he had the advantage over me of plenty of fresh air and sunshine. In conclusion, after seven years, I did get a little promotion and perhaps the nicest work in the plant. I had a little crew of men who were good, honest workers under my supervision, and it was my job to watch things and keep the men busy, rather than to work myself. Just the same, I had resolved during those seven years that when the chance came I would leave the packing house forever--and I did!!
With God Helping, Fear Does not Stop Taking Needed Action
But let us get back again to our story. You recall that on Monday, July 20, 1942, I went to Morrells for the last time. It was not so pleasant to break all ties with the men that I had worked with for so many years together and to leave the job which had taken me so long to get. However, I soon dismissed these shallow sentimental reactions from my mind as I realized the seriousness of my act and the consequences involved. I had to go on with my plans now and, what's more, I had to make good. But what had I to fear, did I not have the assurance that God would help me? I had deliberated, I had made my decision, and now there must be speedy action.
Faith is More Walk Than Talk
AT 9 o'clock on the Monday morning you have already heard about, I said farewell to some of the men at the Plant and drove to the Airbase where I had the promise of carpenter work if the necessary material arrived. You recall that I had worked on Construction work there in the month of June 1942 during my vacation from Morrells. It was mutually understood by Pearl and myself that if possible, I would work there until our child was born. If not, I had her consent to do as I thought best. Right here may I say that my dear wife is no baby, when it comes to courageous faith, she has it. It is one thing to talk about faith but it is quite another thing to apply it literally. What greater treasure can a man have than a brave, pure and noble christian wife? My wife is all of this and more!!!
One Good Reason for the Vital, Active, Firm Foundation in the Faith of Pearl and Robert Ginther was Faithfulness at First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls; the Other Reason was Their Sharing of Their Faith and the Gospel with the Unsaved and Needy Homeless and Jobless Transients
at the Union Gospel Mission Downtown.
NOW PLEASE LINK TO PART TWO, CENTRAL, FOR MORE OF ROBERT GINTHER'S VALIANT, WARTIME ADVENTURE OF FAITH:
Links to other sites on these Websites
© 2000, Butterfly Productions, All Rights Reserved
THIS PAGE WAS CRAFTED FOR YOU BY JERRY L. GINTHER, WEBMASTER, 2000