A strong business is built on a strong foundation. Sam and Helen's partnership provided such a foundation.
Helen and Sam
After graduating from college, Sam began his career in retailing in Des Moines, Iowa, as a management trainee with the J.C. Penney Company. Then World War II broke out. While waiting to be inducted into the Army, Sam traveled back to Oklahoma and found a job at a DuPont gunpowder plant in Pryor, near Tulsa. Bud joined him there, and they found a room in the nearby town of Claremore. As Sam later wrote, "That's where I met Helen Robson one April night in a bowling alley ... I just fell right in love." Before he entered the Army, he proposed. They were married on Valentine's Day in her hometown of Claremore.
Home and Children
By June 1945, when Sam was discharged from the Army, he and Helen already had their first child, Rob, who was born in 1944. Now, with the war over, they were ready to find a place to settle down, raise a family, and begin a new life. Sam knew he wanted to pursue a career in retail. He bought his first Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas, a town he and Helen liked at first sight. There, three more children were born: John (1946), Jim (1948), and Alice (1949).
I always told my mother and dad that I was going to marry someone who had that special energy and drive, that desire to be a success. I certainly found what I was looking for.