About Claude Barber
For many years Claude Barber was not only the President/Owner of PMW but he was the foundation of PMW. Over the years people have told family and friends of the great person that Claude was and the many wonderful things that he did to help people. We would like to hear your story and experience with Claude Barber.
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1. Tommy Seybert’s Story of Claude Barber
My name is Tommy Seybert as Claude called me back in 1980 when I first arrived in Baton Rouge. I was told by Ted Williams to go see a man named Claude at a shop near the airport. Actually I think he told me to call him Mr. Barber. Right next to it was trailer set up as an office. Inside I found a several folks going about their morning duties, and Claude sitting in an office on the phone. I told him who I was and that I was looking for a job. He looked at my resume, and said he had an idea.
He asked me if I wanted to take a trip to New Orleans to see a friend of his at Prager Gear. As we went down toward N.O., he explained to me that if I wanted a job for them he didn't mind, because I had some gear making experience or I could work for him. Either way, he didn't mind.
At that time in my life, I was 20 years old, and not much experience in life in general, I found it real easy to trust and believe in Claude. After the interview at Prager, Claude took me to lunch and we talked about it. I was offered the job on the spot mostly due to Claude's recommendation. I had asked for a couple of days to think about it. But I knew right then, that Claude was certainly the right choice for employment. A day I never forgot. The man put his day aside and took me in, he made sure I was taken care of. Loaned me a 150 dollars to make sure I was eating and had a place to stay. That was only the beginning of the many things Claude had done for me, and I had witnessed him do innumerable good deeds for others.
To this day, I still think Claude gave me the most crucial part of my work ethic and customer service skills. He truly knew how to communicate with all walks of life. I credit him with my success in my current career, even though it is far removed from what I had done while at PMC.
Over the years since leaving Louisiana to come back home to Michigan, I had made several trips to and through Baton Rouge. I had last seen Claude in the summer of 1999 while taking my daughter to Louisiana for a week before she went to college. Rhiannon, my daughter was born shortly after PMW moved onto the Blount Rd. facility. I have many great memories of Claude and Linda in the 2 1/2 years I was there. And I did take the opportunity in 1999, to thank him for all that he did for me in person. It took several years for me to realize exactly how much of an impact he had on me and it was 100% positive. I regard my time at PMW with Claude and the rest of many fine folks that worked there as one of the most influential and enjoyable experiences I have had.
Since the internet has become such an important tool in today's industry, I have over the last several years looked at your website from time to time. Although, regretfully not lately until today, to find out that Claude had passed on. I can’t say enough about what a tremendous human being he was to me. Thank You Claude once more. I will have a shot of scotch for you when the opportunity arises. It was in the front kitchen area, that Claude offered one to me for the first time. And after that an occasional trip to Benny's bar on Plank rd.
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