Ascending

Being the forever obsessive one who was very frustrated because he couldn’t find his niche I fell into many things that seemed at the time to be my ticket out of poverty, anger and frustration and to fulfill the “prophesy” that I was going to be “successful”. I was introduced to Amway, which may have been through an advertisement. I went to Gene Lewis’ houses to see what this business opportunity was all about. We sat in his kitchen as he gave me the plan. I had never heard of it before. I bought the inventory and set-up my own business. I don’t remember if I did that on the night I heard the plan or shortly thereafter. It sounded good. It sounded doable.

We attended weekly meetings and I bought and was given a lot of PMA (positive mental attitude) tapes. These tapes were so awesome. They inspired me as well as the meetings. (They were God-less.) I think he took his down line to Florida for a conference. I can’t remember exactly where it was. I do remember the bus trip however and a bit of the conference. It was a “pump you up kind of thing” and I was pumped. On the way back we had a testimony time in the bus. I got on the mic that was set-up and began to talk. Folks were laughing and really enjoying the little speech. Gene’s wife said she knew something good was going to happen to me and had an idea of what it was, but she would never tell me. I asked her few times, but she would not tell. I think it had something to do with my oration that day, I’m sure of it.

We began attending church at this Southern Baptist church in Monroe. It is where most of the Amway guys went from Gene’s group. Gene was a deacon I think. It seemed to be a good idea. Almost everyone in the Sunday school class were distributors. I remember one time when some visitors came in and we were seeing who would get them to show the plan. I’m sure these guys talked about God and maybe were even believers, but I was not. It was just another context to fulfill my dreams. This was not amazing to me.

We eventually stopped doing Amway. We made no money, bought a lot of product and ran ourselves into nothing real quick. Sometime later I heard of Forever Living Products. It was the same as Amway, but with Aloe Vera products, which had a health twist to what they did. I began drinking Aloe juice. It was horrible, but I reasoned that was a good thing. I was somewhat successful with this program. We moved to the top real quick, made some cash, but not much. I held my own meetings at a YMCA somewhere. I recruited a black lady named Katie Williams. She was fat and poor. See did well in her community and that was good for me. I think her husband grew some hair or something by using the product. She was very good. For some reason we gave up on that as well. We became managers, but seemed like we could do no better.

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