Now, with four youngsters and a marriage that had so many questions, it was difficult for me to focus on the future. My former friends, the ones I had literally given all of my energies to to so that we might succeed, were planning on another enterprise, but like before, most of their ideas were figments of their imagination and so I set out to find another opportunity with little or no credentials. It wasn't easy.
I made a number of attempts. The most promising - in my mind, was to convince others of the promise I saw in marketing cassette tapes being used to carry messages to the people who needed to know that life was what you make of it, by the energies one will employ to make it possibile. I found a source for the tape players and recorders - in Europe and they were eager to provide them by the millions if required. A source for the tapes themselves was much easier. A former customer in Los Angeles had several contacts in Mexico. My first prospect was the area's largest ministry where it was my opinion, they could record the sermons and the music played every Sunday for the thousands of listeners they claimed to have and distribute these cassettes by merely maintaining their mail lists. My contact was eager to get started, but the ministry with a vision had trouble envisioning my proposal.
I had also made contacts within one of the nation's largest manufacturers of washing machines and driers and I thought they were convinced enough for me to fly to their facilities in middle America and demonstrate my proposal. Place a recorder/player in each of their units with a tape that helped the new buyer take advantage of all of the unit's features. I thought they had bought the idea until they asked to see proof that I could deliver as many units as I had proposed.
I returned to the West Coast with a belief I could convince my former contacts within the banks we had used to finance our employment business, but would soon discover they had lost a lot of their money when the IRS closed us down. Unfortunately, my resources dwindled to next to nothing with that turn of events.
So, I hit the streets promoting the sales of a Marketing plan that I had personally used to promote our former business. Along the way, I ran into a former USAF Colonel who had bought a franchise in a temporary help business and was struggling to get it off the ground. To make a longer story shorter, we joined forces and were successful enough to help him envision a string of such offices across the Los Angeles basin. He opened another office with a loan secured on the basis that his Latino wife was a corporate officer and the banks were open to promoting minority owned enterprises. I stayed in Long Beach to operate that facility while he was using the Orange county office as his headquarters.
It looked as though we might become quite successful when I discovered that without my knowledge, my wife convinced my sister - apparently, she needed to get away from me and they moved to San Clemente and before I knew anything about it, they were gone.
With that, I was literally destroyed. Finding an apartment downtown I started to develop new friends among the bar operators nearby and began to visit them rather than taking case of business. Along the way, I began to entertain thoughts of suicide. I never tried, but I lost my enthusiasm to live and things went downhill until I was fired I thought I had reached the end of the line.
I called my wife, wondering if there was any possibility that we might get started again if I moved to San Clemente. For some reason, she agreed.
I found a job immediately, developing a mailing list for a store operator who was importing goods from the Far East. They were barely making it financially, so I found another job, a night job at a local factory, operating a punch press, and then a third job I could handle, cleaning KFC units in the middle of the night. It was not easy and made more difficult by the fact I discovered some of the bills my wife had run up when I wasn't there. The worst case was a store owner who was surprised to learn I was not a Marine Corps pilot who had been shot down in Vietnam.
I thought I had proved my point that I would do anything - legal, to maintain our family, but that we needed a new start. An old friend had offered me a job in San Diego and with the promise that I was done with my drinking and that she would stop lying about some of the things that had happened in our lives, we decided to move and I had hopes it would all work out, some way.