We are a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization inspired by the life of John Henry Adams, Junior (John Jr.) our father. He lived a long industrious life. He was born in Hiawatha, KS in 1918. He died in 2018 just shy of 100 years old.
He grew up in Kansas City, KS during the '20s at the time of
The Great Depression. Times were tough and jobs were
scarce. He helped his family by learning from his dad how to
run movie projectors. They were considered skilled laborers.
He helped his father do lawn work in well-to-do suburban
neighborhoods too; collected old newspapers and glass bottles
as well. Families did what they had to do to survive.
John Jr. liked swimming, gymnastics and boxing. This self-described
"bookworm" took solace in academics offered in segregated
junior and senior high schools of Northeast Junior and Sumner High
respectively. Education was considered a path to success. It was
something that couldn't be taken away from you. He and others had
great supportive teachers you typically saw at church on Sunday. They
lived, prayed and worked in the same community as their students.
John Jr.'s education would bode well for him after being drafted
and entering the service in 1942. His testing qualified him for the
Army Corp. of Engineering topographic drafting group. A stateside
injury sidelined him from departing with his group overseas. He
read a recruitment notice about Army Air Corp 99th fighter squadron replacements being needed and applied. Dad was waiting for deployment when WWII ended. He left military service in the fall of 1945.
John Jr. entered the service as a buck private and left three years later as a 2nd Lieutenant having earned his wings as a single engine
combat pilot graduate. His
only regret was not going
John Jr. returned to Kansas City, KS, his family and fiance', Barbara Jean Harris. They married in 1946. Four brothers were born unto this marriage. Mom and Dad were together for fifty-one years until her death. We saw the example they and their contemporaries set coming out of the Great Depression; living with social and economical constraints placed on people of color. They were focused and kept their eyes on the prize; a quality of life not yet obtained by past generations. We, like others are standing on the collective shoulders of previous generations.
The Great Depression left an indelible impression on him. John Jr. had a drive that came from
growing up without an economic safety net due to hard times and family issues. Sometimes bills
didn't get paid and utilities were turned off. He was fueled by curiosity with a solid education that provided an aptitude for just about anything. He was a small businessman: DeVry certified electronics television repairman, rubber stamp vendor, lawn service owner, graphic and portraiture artist. It was about putting food on the table and much more.
His work ethic was mind-boggling at times. Dad always had two jobs: He kept a "steady" job as a postal carrier for over thirty years on the same Kansas City, KS mail route and worked evening shows; all while finding time for other pursuits.
He mastered aeronautics, technology at the time, engineering, obtained two
degrees in Fine Arts and received Series 6 Certification to sell financial instruments to
the public all by the early '60s; roughly sixty years ago. It's called STEAM today.
September 18, 1946
September 18, 1996