Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Running a small business takes a village!

Andy and I quickly found out we had some talented friends who would be more than happy to roll up their sleeves and help us in areas where we weren’t as skilled! One of the friends I would like to introduce you to today, is Josh Schmucker. I’m not sure how many of you have seen this crazy fella doing an impersonation of Steve Irwin on our Facebook videos, or heard his voice on the radio… but CRIKEY, once you meet him, he is bound to make a positive impact on your life!

Josh has no problem acting a little crazy in front of a camera to get people’s attention or whip up a radio ad to help with sales. He is one of a kind! He truly has a talent for public speaking. Some other interesting facts about Josh are:

  • He has a love for Notre Dame Football, Grace College Basketball, Chicago Cubs and Tiger Woods
  • Josh has a MASSIVE Pez Dispenser Collection
  • He also has a love for the 1980’s
  • He used to be “The Jellyman” on WRSW and is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to music.
  • He has a beautiful wife named Holly and together they have a blended family including: Alyssa, Elias and Dagny. We also can’t leave out their two dogs, Phinnaeus and Mitzi.

Josh hasn’t always had an easy road and I guess that’s why he positively impacts so many people. If you’re up for a good read, he would like to share his testimony with you. And also, take a listen to some of his work below. He just released the Boggs Automotive Spring Commercial on our local radio stations.

JOSH SCHMUCKER TESTIMONY

3/29/2019

My name is Josh Schmucker and I am a recovering alcoholic, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, from about two decades worth of alcohol addiction and abuse. I don’t really see myself as anything special or different from anyone else. Just a guy who’s made a ginormous amount of mistakes in my life. My problem with alcohol began shortly after high school. I didn’t really see it as a problem at the time though. It was socially acceptable and about everywhere I went. All my friends drank and most of the time we spent together or the things we did, alcohol was present. I got a job working in a factory when I was 18 and really didn’t care for it. So I thought I would pursue another passion of mine, radio and music. I began working at WRSW in Warsaw, Indiana, as well as the factory, when I Was about 20. That career started with changing church cassettes on Sunday mornings and reading the news. It then transitioned to Sunday evenings, playing an oldies show on cd. Which all I did for that, was switch tracks and play commercials while I hit the next button. Eventually, I worked my way up to the full time 3rd shift DJ position and quit working in the factory. The 3rd shift job was awesome and I loved it!

Along with it, came a lot more drinking. Some of the listeners were in bands, a few others I developed friendships with and spent a fair bit of time in bars partying with them or listening to their bands. It seemed fairly harmless at the time and actually went with the territory of classic rock music and the lifestyle. Or so I thought. One Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I left a private party and was arrested for DUI number 1. Didn’t really think too much of it, nor did it really change anything I was doing. Fast forward about 6 months later, and I was arrested again for DUI number 2. I had been to a Ft. Wayne Komets game with some friends and when we got back to their house, I chose to leave. Didn’t get too far down the road, when it curved and I didn’t. Wound up hitting the tree stump, of a very recently cut down tree. Had that tree still been standing, I probably wouldn’t be here telling you this story.

Now having 2 DUI’s on my record and no driver’s license for a year, I somehow managed to work my way up to the afternoon dj slot in the midst of everything, and even quit drinking. For a while anyways. I stopped for about a year and then picked right back up where I left off. The drinking and driving did however stop, at least until it got too expensive and inconvenient trying to find rides and pay for taxis. My drinking picked up very heavily in my mid 20’s and it picked up so much so, it eventually cost me my dream job at the radio station. Drinking had become more important than doing anything else and was really all I wanted to do. The Summer after I left WRSW in 2007 was mostly a blur. Spent in a drunken haze. In October though, it caught up with me again. I got two Public Intoxication charges within about 3 weeks of each other. Both times I was arrested I was immediately taken to the hospital with BAC’s of .49 and .51. Not something I’m very proud of and probably should’ve killed me to be honest. I share only to let you know how dangerous my habit had gotten. It still wasn’t enough to convince me I had any kind of a problem with booze. I was however, forced to move back in with my parents, having no job and having not paid my rent, I had no place to live.

Sometime in November of 2007, I got a job at Explorer Van. It was a temporary job, but one that I’d hoped would get me back on my feet and back on track. For the most part it did. I did alright not drinking, as long as I kept my humility at a low point and my confidence level was low. But the minute it got back up and things started going well, the arrogance came back and the drinking picked up. In February of 2008, I lied to my parents about where I was going for the weekend, went straight to the bar and spent the evening there. Realizing I’d forgotten my phone charger, I went back to their house and hit a patch of ice pulling into their driveway and sideswiped a pine tree in their front yard. It caused more damage than I realized and flattened my front, passenger side tire. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I’d got about a mile down the road and stopped to put air in my tire. That was a very moot point, because the tire was so damaged, it wouldn’t really hold any air. Being in the condition I was in, I didn’t really care. I did however decide I probably should just go home and park the car and deal with the consequences and come clean to my parents in the morning. Never made it. On February 8, 2008, I was arrested for DUI number 3. You’d have thought that would have gotten my attention, but it did not. I spent about 6 months in a work release facility, where I managed to get a very good job at a floor covering place. I started as their warehouse guy and worked my way up to a part time marketing position and even dabbled in a little sales. Things were starting to go well and that confidence I referenced earlier, came soaring back. I got my own apartment before I got out of work release, so I had a place to stay after getting out and was really hopeful for the future.

Less than 2 weeks after getting released from work release, I got picked up for yet another public intoxication charge, walking to a taxi cab. Also being on formal probation, that violated that. In July of 2009, I found myself back in work release for 90 days. Deciding while in jail that something had to be done with my life, I figured it was time to give sobriety a decent go. I managed to stay clean for about 16 months and then picked right back up where I left off. I had a really good job working for my dad and things were going well. But, as the arrogance level grew, so did my desire for wanting to stay sober. My drinking habit went from once every few weeks to once a week, and grew from there. Around that same time, my daughter was born. She was born to a dad who was really in no shape to be a father at that point. I left her mother about 9 months after she was born and began drinking daily and living in the Days Inn. That would eventually cost me yet another job, and prevent me from seeing my daughter on a regular basis. I did manage to kinda get myself in a little bit better spot and stayed with my friends Andy & Julie Tuinstra and leave me with no funds to pay for my hotel room. Starting a new temporary job with the Sportula division at Wildman’s, I stopped drinking again, began counseling and must’ve done something for Wildman’s to want to hire me full time. Unfortunately, with the new position, back came that arrogance and the boozing. Julie’s mother owned a catering business in town and I was also washing dishes part time, but decided one evening that going to the bar was more important than going to work. Long story short, Julie & Andy kicked me out of their home, I lost my job at the catering business, but was still holding on barely at Wildman’s as a secretary. I found myself back at the Days Inn, as I really had nowhere else to go and didn’t have any intention of following anyone else’s rules that would have me in their home. I did end up running into an old friend at Wildman’s and his situation at his house, was one where he had room for me and didn’t want me to continue to spend money staying in a hotel. An unfortunate incident there with his step son, left me couch surfing for a while and still drinking heavily. I ended up completely homeless, with nothing but a backpack and a sleeping bag in February of 2013. All in all, I spent some very cold nights outside in zero degree temps and lots of snow. My days were spent hanging out at the barber shop to keep warm and trying to figure out what to do next.

All this while God had a plan for my life and He kept putting people in my path to help me out. One day while sitting in the barber shop, an old friend came in, who’s parents just happened to own a business and needed employees. Some other very good friends took me into their home for a few weeks during a transitional period and then shortly after, another friend was gracious enough to rent me a month’s worth of time, at a hotel behind Papa Johns. It wasn’t even a week after I started my new job and had my new place, that the drinking picked up and picked up heavily. I did manage to keep my job at the factory for about 2 years, before the drinking got the best of me and I missed too much work and got fired. I wasn’t out of work very long before I did get another job at a different factory and my confidence back. Mind you, this was after showing up to another interview smelling horribly of alcohol and didn’t get that job. Jesus kept trying to provide me with the resources to better myself, I simply chose to bury myself in my addiction and try to do it on my own. In August of 2016, after several calls into the main office of my factory job at that time, due to always smelling like alcohol and missing work. I was fired from yet another job. At this point, I was drinking about 2 fifths of whiskey and a 30 pack of beer a day. Having to drink Everclear straight out of the bottle to quit from shaking and vomiting.

Finally on August 7th, 2016, after trying to wean myself off the booze and do it on my own, I gave up. I couldn’t stop vomiting and shaking and research the previous week, told me that one can die from alcohol withdrawal. I went to the hospital emergency room at about 10 a.m. and gave it up once and for all to Jesus. Laying on a hospital bed, I was so fed up and exhausted from fighting, it was the only consistent thing I had in my life. My faith had always come through for me. Amidst everything else that had gone wrong, Christ was always there. I prayed “Jesus, this is all yours. I have had enough! I’ve tried it my way, and failed miserably. Let’s try it your way.” I walked out of that emergency room with an unexplainable peace. I am now a little over 2 and a half years sober, married to the love of my life, Holly and have a relationship with my daughter, that I thank God every day for. We own our own home and, outside of a slight hiccup with a back injury that’s an entire story all of it’s own lol, our life is very blessed. 3 beautiful kids, 2 dogs and God has been very good to us. I’ve repaired my friendship with Andy & Julie and their family and am currently doing Josh and Steve “Crikey” videos and radio commercials for their business Boggs Automotive. Sobriety has by far, been the best choice for me. Next to my relationship with Jesus Christ and my wife, it is the most important thing to me. Life is a very short and precious gift. One which we take for granted daily. I sure know I did. We can’t do the past over, but we can learn from it going forward.

 

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