75 years ago today…
Today, 75 years ago, Allied forces hit the beaches of Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe in the greatest amphibious assault in history.
Today is also the day we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of George Reed, Inc. for it was on this day, the 6th of June, 1944 that my Grandmother Rose, doing the books of the newly established company, deposited the very first payment for road oiling that my Grandfather, George Reed had done that summer so long ago. The 1st ledger entry in Rose’s exquisite cursive penmanship was an entry for $2,463.71 in cash from Pacific Packing Company, grandfather’s first job in their newly formed business. It was for oiling Pacific’s packing yard with a cutter asphalt oil. There are other entries during the same week of $58.25 from a Mr. J. M. Duffy, $63.39 from Mrs Irma Dooley, $29.52 from Mr. G. O. Hollingsworth, and $63.80 from G. R. Trent, for farm roads in the Modesto vicinity. 4 days later payment check #1 was cut to A. M. Hedgecock for $150.00 with the notation “grader work” and another to Frank Oldham for $41.20 for hauling a roller and Standard Oil Company for the weekly oil bill of $583.53. Old Modesto names of John Beard, N. Sciabica, and C B Rumble were among George and Rose’s first clients. Check #22 was to George’s older brother C. E. Reed for $510.00 for the monthly rental of an old Fageol oil spreader truck. Each week Grandmother would cut a check to Standard Oil Company for the oil and another check to Hedgecock for the week’s grading. Grandfather had suggested that Hedgecock and he become partners but Hedgecock turned him down and just wanted to be paid for work done weekly. It was not long after this that Grandfather was turned in to the State Contractors Board for not having a license by a competitor, Standard Materials. The Board agent visited Grandfather whereupon the agent gave him an application and a book to study to take the test. Shortly thereafter Grandfather, at age 46 with only a 6th grade education, had his license.
That first year George and Rose grossed $18,650.71 and netted $4,020.15 while taking a salary of $1,481.72. Today we honor their sacrifice and memory and the start of our Companies and also the thousands of employees and families who have helped build and nurture, through good times and bad, this enterprise forward in building a better future. Thank you.