December 14, 1959 is a date where many things happened:
- Life magazine’s cover showed and of course talked about the “Great Volcanic Spectacle in Hawaii”.
- The night before, The Wizard of Oz was shown on television for the second time in three years and with glorious ratings, it has now been decided to be an annual event.
- Test pilot Joe Jordan became the first human being to reach an altitude of more than 100,000 feet, flying an F-104 Starfighter to an altitude of 103,395 feet.
- Sports Illustrated talks about the Watson ski family and asks the question: Who Controls the Big Ten Football?
- Clyde Oswald started his first day of employment at D&B Supply in Caldwell, Idaho.
After 52 years of employment, Dutch and Bud’s first employee, Clyde Oswald, has decided to retire for good from his D&B family. He will be deeply missed not only for his knowledge of everything in the store, but for his friendship to both employees and customers.
His first day of work was a great one, although he did have the choice of going back into the Marines. Clyde was very close to being shipped off to Japan where he would be a Buck Sargent and get to live off base, but he decided to stay with Dutch and Bud and 52 years later, he sure is glad he did.
Clyde managed the Caldwell store for twenty-five years and was the Assistant Manager in Ontario, Oregon for five years where he helped move the store from the original location to where it sits today. He has never missed a paycheck since he started in 1959, even with his three day retirement a few years back. Rumor has it, it was his wife, Carol, that made him go back. Thank you Carol!
Caldwell store Manager, Steve Tatman, says “We will miss him tremendously. You just don’t replace knowledge like that.” His fellow employees were asked how many people it would take to replace Clyde, the average number was ten. Shawna said they would have to double the number of people they already have to fill that kind of information stored in Clyde’s head. Paul (who voted for ten Clyde replacements) has worked closely with Clyde the past three years and considers him his mentor, a friend and a good story teller to boot. Catching thieves is different now than it was in the early 60’s. Paul tells a story of Clyde chasing a shoplifter out of the store and scaring him just enough to give everything back right there in the parking lot. “I can’t imagine being chased by a young Clyde just out of the Merchant Marines.” Thank you Clyde for keeping us safe.
Along with his vast knowledge, his co-workers will miss him for the simple things like taking their breaks with him outside and always being the first one to find the ice cream.
“Extension twelve will never be the same” says Tracy N. who has worked with Clyde for twenty years and says that he is Grandpa to everyone and go-to guy and will be missed more than he knows.
Clyde’s next chapter is spending some time on the road with his wife Carol visiting family and friends all over the country. Although he is looking forward to his retirement he is concerned about not being on a schedule. “I can fix that” was the impromptu answer from Steve Tatman as he overheard our conversation. Clyde responded, “I hope he does.”
The people of D&B have been his family for 52 years, the employees and customers have always been there, just like Clyde. And just like D&B, Clyde is not going away. He says he will visit often just to be around people and chat it up and without hesitation, he even says he would help a customer in a heartbeat, no questions asked.
So, on the road he goes with his sweetheart wife and memories to be made. We will miss Clyde and can’t thank him enough for his time that he has put in to D&B to make it the store it is today. Thank you Clyde!