As Ernie’s Van and Storage notches its 80th trip around the calendar, it’s a good time to reflect on how it all started. As with every business, you can trace the beginning to one individual’s hopes for a better future.
Ernie Sowell grew up in the Red River Bottomland of Tennessee. He wasn’t satisfied with the hard scrabble life of sharecropping, and he dreamed of doing better for his family. He found the opportunity by going West. He found a factory job, and he saved enough to buy himself a truck. He started by hauling pianos and eventually opened a moving business, Ernie’s Express, in Berkeley. It was 1935. Ernie was 23 years old. The nation and the world were in the throes of the Great Depression. What a great time to start up a business!
While Ernie and his crew were moving goods throughout the Bay Area and beyond, big things were happening that would forever affect Ernie and his business, as well as every business and every family. Here are a few of the highlights from that year:
- On August 14, FDR signs the Social Security Act into law. It will provide protection against impoverishment for millions of elderly Americans. About four months earlier, legislation funded the WPA, putting millions to work repairing and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure to support economic recovery.
- Canned beer hits the shelves and a man named Bill W. is delivered from his addiction to drink through a powerful spiritual transformation. He starts a world famous organization called Alcoholics Anonymous.
- The King of Rock and Roll is born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8. He’s not the only one with great pipes to arrive. Julie Andrews makes her appearance on October 1, eleven days before the arrival of Luciana Pavarotti.
- Hitler is Chancellor of Germany, Persia changes its name to Iran, and Toyota begins making automobiles in Japan.
- The Sultan of Swat sends a final shot over the wall for a career total of 714 homers.
- Average annual wages are $1600. Monthly rent for a typical family is $22 and a new home costs $3450. A gallon of gas is 10 cents.
Obviously, the world is a much different place today—from the people who inhabit it to the cost of living in it. However, I like to think some of the really important things never change. Like having dreams for a better future and working hard to achieve them. Ernie’s has always been about that, for us and for our customers. That’s what makes “a very good year.”
If you are ready move with a company who has rich history and a passion for moving you and your belongings, give us a call at (800) 949-7836, or contact us directly in Grass Valley or Rocklin. Or get a free online moving quote!