120704 (102) Linda & Ron sm3

Sparky was born in 1941 in Los Angeles and then lived on 52nd Street with  his proud parents, Alice and Harold Phillips. He was the first born and four years later, his brother, Alan, was brought into the world, they were raised in Lynwood, California.

At around seven years old Sparky had a shoe polishing route earning twenty five cents to clean and polish a pair of shoes the owner left on the front porch.  He’d arrive with his little wooden box filled with various shades of polish, a couple brushes and old rags and plop his little butt on their steps to do the best job possible.

At age ten his Dad fronted the money for a mower and edger and even though he had to pay the loan in full for the gas powered equipment,  Sparky still had a lot of coins in his pockets to share a bit of candy with his friends.  While his mom wanted him to save some, his dad said it was his money.   Sparky wishes he had followed the habit his mom had planned for him rather than spend it all.  A habit of saving would have faired better in Sparky’s life.

At age twelve Sparky started delivering papers on a seven mile route traveling via his three speed, blue bicycle, complete with saddle bags.  On Sundays his Dad drove the pickup truck and Sparky threw the papers from the back while Poncho, their Airdale dog wagged his tail.  Each Sunday they would pretend to drive off without Poncho and Poncho would go crazy, but they never left him behind.  Today that freedom is gone you can no longer be in the back of a pickup.

During the time Sparky delivered newspapers he also earned a buck per hour helping his Dad remodel homes they moved in and out of, sometimes just next door or across the street from one another.  As a matter of fact, the family moved nineteen times around the neighborhood during those years.

Working for dad wasn’t always the happiest of times, Sparky felt his Dad was too demanding about how much time he wanted him.  Sparky realized later in life how much his dad influenced him on being competent, punctual and responsible.  In his later years he found himself thinking of his dad and thanking him for giving him the foundation he had.

By age fifteen Sparky discontinued the paper route and worked full time for his dad working after school and on weekends to accumulate $500 on paper.  His dad kept the money for him saying it would go to buy him his first car.

Dad was very knowledgeable when it came to buying and selling cars and he purchased Sparky’s first car.  It was a well maintained, dirty brown in color, 1951 Mercury.  To Sparky’s surprise after many hours of cleaning and polishing, the Mercury turned out to be a beautiful maroon color.  Sparky was proud to cruise the streets of Lynwood, Compton, Downey and South Gate and on weekends shoot up to Mulholland Drive in Hollywood to park.  Do you remember parking?  Signal Hill was another great spot in Long Beach.  Hmmm, if mom and dad had known, or, did they?  That Mercury was a three speed on the column stick with overdrive on the floor.  How many people remember that?  Sparky could hit 55 mph in first with overdrive which won him a $5 bet from a friend, Art Trexler.

Sparky ran cross country and track in high school but girls occupied his mind more than sports or school.  Therefore straight “A’s” weren’t that important and as as long as he got average grades, Mom and Dad were happy.  However, if he got less he had his Mercury taken away and had to walk.  He won’t admit to how much walking he did but I’m sure if his shoes were around they could tell a tale.

While holding a full time job, Sparky attended junior college for a year but then quit.  Looking back he feels he would have faired better if he had continued on in college.

About a year later Sparky joined the Air Force and went to school for nine months  to become a ground power mechanic .  One day while in the non commissioned officers’ club he heard the 1st sergeant say he needed a draftsman.  With several classes of drafting behind him in high school, Sparky said, Hi, I’m your guy.   He then became the squadron draftsman and after a few months the 1st sergeant had his classification changed.  Sparky worked totally alone had lots of free time and he loved it.  Started going to the gym and working out.  Went to 205 with a 32″ waist and at 6’2″ he was a big guy.

Towards the end of the hitch in the Air Force Sparky married his first wife, Nancy Cook, a very pretty girl who lived in Lynwood, California, who insisted on meeting mom before any dates, Sparky didn’t hesitate, ten minutes later Hilda and Sparky were talking.  It appeared Nancy had no choice but to date, her mom liked him.

They married in Las Vegas while Sparky was on leave from Whiticha, Kansas.  Shortly after Sparky was discharged.  The first year of marriage he held seven different jobs without missing a day of work.  The following year, 1962, he starts a painting business, and seven years later was the largest redo painting contractor of privately owned homes in Orange County, California.   Sparky’s first and only child  Wade,  was born in 1969.

Wade is now living in Texas and followed both his dad’s footsteps by being a painting contractor of privately owned homes.  He and his wife gave Sparky two beautiful granddaughters.

Two years after Wade was born Sparky hired Linda and she is his present wife.  A divorce and bankruptcy followed with many sad and emotional times.  Nancy married Larry a long time friend of Sparkys since seven years old.   Nancy forgave Sparky and allowed him to remain a part of her family.  What a great person she is for without her family at the time Sparky barely had a family and he really liked hers.  Sparky looked up to Bob Cook, her dad more than anyone.  Now nearly fourty years later Sparky is still a part of the family and when Sparky and or Linda go to Texas they stay with Larry and Nancy.

Sparky started another painting business and while it monetarily more successful than the previous, but it never larger than single digit employees.

1980 Sparky was diagnosed with cancer and told he would be dead in six months if he didn’t use orthodox medicine like chemo and radiation.  He did allow surgery and has a 12″ cut on his neck, however, after three radiation treatments, he found natural medicine and was cured of cancer with homeopathy.

It was during this time Linda’s sister Diana moved in with them at age 17.  Before she made it from Indiana to California Sparky, in his mind and heart adopted her as his daughter.  She had spent many summers with them in the past.  Diana had two boys and they call Linda and Sparky Grandpa and Grandma.  In Sparky’s heart he has a son and a daughter and four grandchildren.

Sparky was told the cancer was the result of stress so he quit painting.  He then went to work as a manufacturer’s representative for B&J Manufacturing.  For ten years he and Linda traveled the entire United States plus parts of Canada in a RV trailer pulled with an Italian made Iveco truck.  As a representative he made his contacts with a motorcycle.  Sparky was a long time rider for most of his adult life and with this job ended up with nearly 250,000 motorcycle miles.  He went to retread shops and had the opportunity to ride many of the secondary and country roads across America.  In that ten years he saw the United States like most would only dream of.

When B&J dropped their retirement program, Sparky and Linda attended school to learn how to drive a big truck.  Talk about a lifestyle change!   Travelling with U.S. Express as a team in a big rig pulling a 53′ trailer, the days and nights just rolled into one and after three years, it was time to slow down.

Sparky’s was diagnosed with cancer once again, he was fifty, the year was 1990.  Once again the doctors stated he had six months before death.    Not going under the knife or radiation again Sparky chose alternative medicine under the guidance of Dr. Robert Broadwell from Fountain Valley, California, who saved the day and Sparky, 23 years ago.

After leaving the long haul truck driving Linda and Sparky chose a slower pace of driving with FedEx Custom Critical.  With FedEx they drove a mere 110,000 miles a year instead of a quarter of a million miles.  Life was much easier and they continued with FedEx CC for fourteen years in a smaller 40′ truck with a beautiful, large sleeper carrying high end dedicated freight from one side of the country to the other.

The beauty of this job was Sparky got to meet up with Linda’s family, which he fell in love with on first contact.  Indiana folks make you feel like you are just coming home, they put together a big family meeting the food ah the food.   Linda’s mom and dad were a joy and her younger brother, Mark, became a best friend.

At 65 it was time to retire.  They lived in their home in Southern California for three years, then moved to Salinas, Ecuador for two and a half years and currently live in Cuenca, Ecuador.

An important note about Sparky’s life:  he was involved with white magic for a period of ten years in the class, “Nature of the Soul” in Fullerton, California, which can be googled.   His son, Wade, brought him to Christ approximately twenty five years ago.  Thanks to Wade, Sparky’s  views are based around Christianity, he loves the Lord and knows He went to the cross for us.  Sparky doesn’t belong to any religion, he simply belongs to Christ.  Sorrowfully, Sparky forgets this sometimes, gladly Christ doesn’t.

Linda needs to re slice and dice this page for Sparky made some changes.