Jim Stark Blog

Bar Le Duc, France

My wife, Michele, was born in France in 1942, in the middle of World War II. Even as a toddler, she has memories of hobnailed boots marching through town and having her home taken over by German soldiers, who, incidentally, left a thank you note after taking the good china and silverware. Twenty years earlier, […]

Celebrity Friend

My celebrity friend, Jack Laurence, was named Jack Greenspon in his earlier life.  Jack changed his name after he became a radio announcer working in Washington D.C., and New York. In 1965 Fred Friendly, president of CBS News, made Jack the youngest correspondent in CBS News history. He was 26 years old. Laurence volunteered to […]

Smoke Detectors

Opening our first electrical supply branch in Columbus, Indiana in 1972, presented me, a novice at understanding electrical products, some interesting challenges. Fortunately, I had a lot of support from our home office in Lafayette and had the wisdom to bring an experienced assistant manager with me when we opened. Our main product line was […]

A Funny Thing Happened … on the Water

During my early Navy years, I had a four-week assignment in a nuclear weapons school in Norfolk, Virginia. The training was top secret, so no training materials were allowed to leave the base. Most of my friends spent those free evenings at the officer’s club, but I decided it would be a wonderful opportunity to […]

The First Sale

When I first joined the family electrical supply company in Lafayette, Indiana, I didn’t know a volt from a watt. The language of the business with its single-phase/three-phase, motor starter, and load center terms were a complete mystery to me. It was thought that the best way for me to learn the business was baptism […]