My First Mentor Was, African American

My mentor and friend.

The Jazz Man

When I began working at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale on October 10, 1978, I knew no one and no one knew me.  I could not believe my good fortune in obtaining a civil service position at the University.  The position of Building Service Worker I in the housekeeping department, Building Services, had over 700 people on the test register.  I truly believed that there must have been a mistake and that, in short order, I would be notified that my services were no longer required.  As I traveled to my assignment of cleaning the Accounting building, Thalman Hall, my supervisor asked me if I had met the foreman, yet?  I responded that I had not, and he assured me that, Jim, would be over sometime during the evening.  As I became engrossed in my work…I suddenly heard a loud voice calling out, ‘Brooks’, and I stopped to see the…

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