Carole Wilson was truly a pioneer when she started her own roofing business in 1958! Her son, Brice Wilson, a senior sales representative for Johns Manville, recently shared his mother’s story with us.
My mother, Carole, and my father, Jack, returned to Florida in July of 1955 from Cherry Point, NC, where Dad did his basic training in the USMC. They brought me home with them, as I had been born on the base in March of 1955.
Once they got home Dad returned to his job with the Florida East Coast railroad and mother became a full-time mom with my brother Vernon soon joining us in 1958. It was at this time that they started their “part-time” roofing business, which only required a county registered license back in those days. Most all the counties of North Florida would reciprocate with each other and they were ready to roof all over the First Coast.
In 1963 the Florida East Coast Railroad union went on strike, and shortly afterwards mother knew this part-time business was going to have to be more than that, as my sister Lynn had joined us by now, and we were all pretty used to eating regularly. So Mom started advertising in the yellow pages, on local radio stations, and she became active in most every club from churches to sports, always sponsoring the local teams.
There is a little bit of discussion among the family if the first Johns Manville warranted job was done at the Lightner Museum, Flagler College or at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, but we all agree it was a 5GIG, two layers of perlite and the gravel was double slagged.
The best way to get in shape for the upcoming high school football season, was to get a job with Mrs. Wilson that summer, those double slag jobs, especially carrying the gravel up the ladder in 50 lb bags would get you in shape.
Mother knew she had the great fortune to have Johns Manville as her manufacturer and supplier from Kim Miller when she started, until Joseph Smith when she retired. She never had any go backs on her applications.
Carole’s 30th descendant will be joining us any day now. We hope little Mr. Lincoln Wilson is a tough fellow as he has seven sisters and cousins who are all girls. It would be great to see the girls follow in their great grandmother’s footprints, and maybe Lincoln will find out why a double slag and a JM 5 ply BUR are still in use, the ones his grandmother and grandfather, great grandfather and great grandmother installed.