At the age of 12, during the winter months, I worked for my father who owned a coal yard. My specialty was emptying railroad cars with a blowtorch and breaking wine lock to allow the coal to come out of the bottom.
At the age of 16, my older brother and I designed and built over 10,000 small Cauffiel engines used for lawn mowers and garden tractors. I personally started the first Clinton engine in Clinton, Michigan, which became the world’s largest small engine company.
At the age of 17, I graduated from Libbey High School with the highest score in mathematics.
From the age of 21 to 23, I worked for Ford Motor Company, River Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan as a senior production process engineer directly under the vice president of the engine and foundry division.
At the age of 23, I went into business for myself and started Cauffiel Machinery. My mother answered the telephone.
At the age of 24, not knowing too much about religion, I married someone who was deeply entrenched in a religion called Christian Science. I thought this was a scientific religion, only to find out that they do not believe in doctors or medicine. In fact, I could not get my wife to go to a doctor, and I delivered my son at 3 a.m. This was one of the most frightful experiences of my life. I always took my wife to her Christian Science Church on Collingwood and Bancroft. After a few Sundays of listening to their hypnotic philosophy, I told her I was going to try the Unitarian church across the street. I said, “I will see you back here at noon.” I became fascinated and soon recognized good philosophy based upon reason, compassion, and a continuous search for the truth in an ever changing world. After eight years, my wife left me because, as a Christian Scientist would say, “I was bad air”.
One of the reasons that I continued going to the Unitarian church was because I took my son with me to keep him away from the Christian Science church. My son and daughter and I usually went horseback riding or visited cultural places in and around Toledo. So I raised my children the best I knew how on the weekends.
I became a Unitarian because it gave me fresh air and a free mind so that I could create and grow while building a very competitive business. It gave me the appreciation and love of nature, art, and human nature. It also helped me find and convert a beautiful young lady, my wife Phyllis. Phyllis and I have been married for over 35 years.
I recently sold my company of 59 years, and I am still working for the company I started. The Unitarian faith has allowed me to employ and deal with all religions. I sell to companies of many cultures all over world. I feel at home with everyone.
I started an organization called Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), which has changed child endangerment laws throughout America. We even helped modify the Christian Science Church so that they could not pray over sick children. Sick children cannot be healed with prayer. Many Christian Science children have died or became maimed or crippled while their faith healing religion prayed over them. These laws have been changed throughout the country because of CHILD.
I helped start Maumee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church about 30 years ago.
In 1989, I started Students for Other Students (SOS). I am very well-known throughout the educational world for paying children to tutor other children. My program has tutored over 20,000 children during its 23 years.
My machines will carry my name after my demise. They are all over the world. I developed a company that will carry my name long after my demise. This is my way of being a good Unitarian. This is my way of life after death . . . my form of immortality.
And that is Why I Belong.