Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Campbell 66 Express Reunion

Last night my husband, Bruce, attended a dinner with former employees of Campbell 66 Express. Campbell 66 Express was a freight company that was headquartered in Springfield, MO. Bruce had a great time visiting with people he had not seen in years. He was surprised that there were almost 200 people there. It was held in a local Golden Corral, and the group completely filled the back area
Bruce loves the old Campbell 66 Express company, especially all the people who worked there; they were family. The people were what made the company successful. He was happy to visit with so many Campbell people in one sitting, to share stories of the “good old days”, and to remember those no longer living. They all worn name-tags, but he said he recognized several. Of course, there have been other get-togethers through the years, however none this large.

He was delighted to see some of the “girls”. Remember in the 40’s-60’s we did not have equal rights in the office place. The women were called girls, the men “Mr.” or by name. Bruce was in management; he was called Mr. Crim. (And he always wore a business suit, white shirt, and tie.) Last night he got hugs from the “girls”.

One of the women was excited to see him and after the hugs and "so glad you came" talk ask Bruce a question. She said, "Do you know you've been googled?" This brought laughs, then she explained she had googled his name and found among other things our daughter's blog. To read the blog and see the photo, click here.

Bruce retired from Campbell 66 when it closed in 1986, one of the last officers to remain. He had been with the company for 30 years, starting work immediately after his Army Reserve basic training days. He likes to tell the story about being in training in HOT Louisiana when he got the letter inviting him to join Campbell 66 in its management-training program. He thought that sounded like a better career path than 2 years in a pup tent. (He served in the USA Army Reserves for 6 ½ years, plus 2 years ROTC while in school.)

After finishing the management training, Bruce became the manager of various terminals, moving as needed to different cities. Finally, he was transferred back to the home office here in Springfield, MO and later he became VP of Sales-Marketing.

Campbell 66 Express had offices across the country. Several times when we travel, we look up the old Campbell locations and go back to see what is in the building now. Sometimes the building is gone, but several are still used for trucking terminals.

Bruce has a very large collection of Campbell 66 Express collectibles and is always looking for more. He has donated several items to the Springfield Library Station for a permanent display. He wants to get a website started, has one page so far. Campbell 66 Express

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