Stephen Palmer Story

My name is Stephen Palmer. I was born September 26, 1955, at Community Hospital in Freeport, Texas.

I was raised in Angleton, Texas, with my Dad, Mom, three brothers, and one sister. I was the youngest. To know me is to know my family.

As a child, my life was a mixture of love and protection. My Christian Mom taught me a multitude of values and morals. She also taught me the value of cooking, picking vegetables in the country and canning. She taught me how to respect my elders and have faith in God. She shared her love of music by playing the piano.

In fall 1960 at First Baptist Church in Angleton, Pastor John L. Sheppard preached a fire and brimstone sermon. The Holy Spirit stirred me to walk down the aisle of that church as I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at the altar. Shortly after my conversion I had a vision. I saw myself from behind walking down the aisle. This was confirmation that Jesus saved me. Jesus gave me a voice to sing.

At the age of ten I was singing in musicals at church and school. At eighteen years I had sung in the high school choir for three years and five years in church choirs.

My Dad grew up in the community of Beckham, just north of Sulphur Springs. He was a high school graduate, served in WWII, and became a self-educated business owner/operator of 3 service stations. He moved his service station business to Angleton, Texas.

My father taught me three values: a man's word, how to think smart, and business ethics. His favorite business argument when talking to customers saying: "Son, you can sheer sheep once or twice a year; but you can only skin em once."

Our family worked together for my dad at his Texaco service station. I can recall my mom and dad fussing about the price of gasoline jumping from eleven to thirteen cents per gallon. By the time I attended the third grade, my dad's business had expanded across the street into a vacant feed mill store. This was an ideal location for his future Goodyear tire franchise.

In 1963 the old store was torn down and a new metallic building was erected. This new Goodyear store included a showroom floor with a variety of General Electric appliances.
While working for my dad in high school, I learned to operate our service truck and became a seasoned field repairman. After high school, I was hired on fulltime for several years and saved my money. I continued my calling as a youth director. I attended Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. Several years later I became Vice President of the newly formed Palmer Tire Company, Incorporated.

After 20 years in Angleton, my family purchased two more Goodyear locations. One was in Lake Jackson and the other in Freeport. In 1985 we had an economic crisis and we lost approximately $150,000 dollars in just eighteen months. By 1992 our once proud business was suffering slow death.

My beloved downtown became antiquated, new modern businesses were on the move, and positioned to overtake the current established businesses. Corporate America could afford to expand with franchises into every city in the United States. By 1992, our once proud business, barely hanging on, was suffering slow death.

When my dad passed away, our corporation ceased operation. We closed 3 Goodyear stores in May of 1994. All of the property and equipment was sold at auction; but there is a brighter side to my business life.

I started a new career as a printer in Austin, Texas, and moved to Commerce in the fall of 1996. By May of 1997, I had decided to go back to school and get up-to-date business skills as a professional printer. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media from Texas A&M University-Commerce in the summer of 2002.

To this day I love printing. I wish there were more opportunities for us older guys to once again use their printing skills.

By 2004 I was commissioned by KBR to head up a tire maintenance task force in the middle of Iraq for 28 months. I supported fellow tradesmen and troops.

After Iraq, I became a field representative in vehicle marketing and data management for Dealer Specialties in the southern district of Houston including Galveston. I processed pre-owned and new vehicles from a laptop computer.

I have learned to follow God’s leading and guidance and receive His provision.

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