"Life History Of Jim A. Cornwell"
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
The life history of Jim A. Cornwell
Born on January 3, 1951 and raised in Franklin, Ky., and in 1969 graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School, at which point I received a scholarship for tennis, which I used at Cumberland Junior College, in Lebanon, Tn., and continued my education after that at Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green, Ky., majoring as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in hopes to become a Commercial Artist.
But instead I joined the United States Air Force, and was trained as an Integrated Avionics System Specialist at Chanute A.F.B. in Illinois and then at Mountain Home A.F.B. in Idaho, and from there on worked on the F-111 fighter jet with skills in Aircraft Electronics towards the end of the Vietnam War.
With a honorable discharge, I was out of the service in 1976, I headed to sunny California and ended up in Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles. Began working for a pool and water heating company as a spot welder, and within a year I moved up to lead person, then Foreman and eventually a Plant Supervisor in charge of 5 departments and 100s of workers for the next 6 years. A vice president of the company had a predetermined motion time class for all foremen and managers. I aced the test and the VP first moved me up to the Engineering Department to assist in updating all the companies bill of materials and later gave me the position of Industrial Engineer which had recently been vacated due to retirement. I attended California State University Northridge to improve my skills in Industrial Engineering. Also expanded my skills as in Resistance Welding in Los Angeles, Ca. Then trained myself in the skills for NC/CNC Programmer for Machining Centers, Robotics and Peripherals, and Auto Turrets. Then self taught myself Material Requirements Planning: (MRP/MAPICS) for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering because someone had to do it. Then attended a course for Microsoft Basic Programming, in Thousand Oaks, Ca., which gave me a background in computer programming. All this led to myself having a very furtive career with top of the line automation and manufacturing competitive techniques just coming online in the early 1980ís, and resulting in the company winning market share against competitors and improved its profitability. I had it made and married during that time and we had our son, Kyle Richard Cornwell born December 6, 1986. But within 5 years of that marriage, I went through a really bad situation with my wife, who became a hazard to me and our 3 year-old son, Kyle.
It was a hard choice to make, but I terminated my job, and packed up and left with Kyle and drove for 3 days back to stay with my parents in Kentucky in 1987. But then California forced me to bring him back and I suffered paying an attorney an $8,000 retainer and ended up with alimony for 16 months and I lost every right, except to visit Kyle. I then sat down and prepared my own case, and flew to California to visit Kyle and also do my own investigation work while I was there.
Went back to my new Kentucky home and domicile and got my ducks in a row for a court trial in two months. Finally flew back out for the scheduled trial with great faith in God that he would guide me through this ordeal. Using a few pretrial fear tactics of a witness against her, and attempting to get evidence of her mental state in the court, which I never had any intention to get either into the court, we began the hearing. When time came I put my ex-wife-to-be on the stand and asked her specific questions, which no attorney would know to ask (because I did my own investigation), after a few rounds of questioning and making her to answer unknowingly she was refuting her original statements and ended up based on her testimony not answering in such a way that the judge heard was not in the best interest of the child.
Left the courtroom and went to Los Angeles and paid an attorney a $1500 retainer to close my case and dot all the iís and cross every t.
Two months later the judge ruled for me to have custody of Kyle, so I flew out to California and picked him up before they changed their minds. To let you know the odds of fathers to win custody of their children in California is 5 % and the odds of taking them out of state is 1 %, so I did both. So God blessed me that day. I know of fathers who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and got no more than visits. God was looking out for Kyle.
I did well and it was in the best interest for Kyle and we flew back to Kentucky so he could be nurtured in a good environment with 32 known relatives. I let his mother come back to Kentucky and visit in 1990 because I am a forgiving person, but later after she went back in 1992 she died in Los Angeles from an overdose of 5 different narcotics, leaving Kyle motherless and had my parents and brother's family mostly help me raise him.
In 1987 I got a new job in Tennessee as the Industrial Engineer with an Office Lighting Company, where I was helping them so much that the first two years there I was getting 15% raises. So I bought a home in Franklin to raise Kyle and remarried in 1990. The company joined the computer age and as an IE they had me updating the company with new computers and software, servers and networking, including the new automation which I had connections to it all. I even was trained at companies in Nashville Tn. 1997-1998 to deal with Web Development and business on the Internet, along with Win 95/NT 4.0, but things began to change as a new president took over.
Everything was going well until the end of 1998 when the company made some bad decision and was forced to downsize. I was offered a severance pay of $8,500 after 11 years and the company went out of business by 2000.
So after 17 years as an Industrial Engineer I decided to change careers, and was on unemployment for most of that year. I used my severance pay to go to New Horizons Computer Learning Centers in Nashville Tn. and from April 1999 to April 2000 completed the MCSE track for NT 4.0 Core Technologies, TCP/IP (geek training), and SQL Server 7.0 System Administration, which gave me the certification and qualifications to become a Network Administrator.
I got a job immediately in May 2000 as an I.T. Systems Engineer making 10K more than I did as an I.E., so my investment was good. The company did claims adjusting but by December 2000 I was the low man on the totem pole and was let go due to downsizing. So I was on the unemployment line again, but not working 9 hour days and driving for 2 hours a day. To add to it my wife of 10 years and I went through another sticky divorce both of us at age 50. I sold the house and moved Kyle and I into an apartment since I would be moving around anyway.
On March 2001 became employed as the LAN Administrator at a Japanese Company in Bowling Green, Ky., who made fasteners for the automobile companies, and things were looking up as this being a career as I was in charge of all and did it all as to the network with the latest in Windows 2000 technology. But then of course there was this dotcom bomb and economic issues which turned out to affect the automobile industries which affected this company and by March 2002 I was on the unemployment line again due to downsizing, as they had my manager take over my job.
Went to work in Nashville, Tn., again in September 2002 as a Senior Technical Support at Dell Computers, which was not the greatest job in the world, but paid the bills, and then on May 2003 Dell downsized a whole group of Tech Support personnel and sent the jobs to Bangladesh, India where they make one-sixth of the income we do in America.
Back on unemployment, I remarried again in 2003 to a very young wife Amy age 27, and Kyle went off to college and at present a successful car salesman and appraiser in Louisville, Ky.
From that point on I searched for jobs, and did not age myself in my resume, and would get called in for job interviews due to my skill set. But for some reason did not get hired after 4 interviews with jobs I was very qualified for. Amy got a job as a child care worker in a daycare at a hospital in Paducah, Ky., so in Oct. 2003 we moved to Ledbetter, Ky., and rented a house for her son, and us to live in. I continued to get several more interviews, but no takers and the last interview that I had made me realize that I was not getting hired due to age discrimination.
So I made a change of course before my unemployment ran out, and registered with the state to work at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Ky., influenced by my wifeís father who had worked there for 20 years.
I was called in for an interview and hired on July 26, 2004, and went through the Basic Academy for Kentucky Department of Corrections, Division of Corrections Training in Louisville, KY., in August, 2004, and started a new career as a correctional officer.
I have been there to date, and had not made below 30K a year in over 30 years, but happy at what I do, it is the easiest job I have ever had in my life, and I plan to put in 12 years and retire in 2017, with a high social security rate, and 35% of what I make when I retire from the state.
I have worked hard all my life and I think God put me where he wanted me to be for now. I am even planning on writing a book about my prison experiences in the coming years as I have worked every post, including deathrow for two years even during executions, and all the segregation units.
We moved into our new house on June 26, 2007 which means I hope I am settled for a long time. Also God has blessed me as Amy and I have had two new healthy baby boys together, Ethan Patrick Cornwell, who was born on December 6, 2007 and Evan Flynn Cornwell born on October 21, 2009., of course this is a handful for me.
Jim A. Cornwell
This file created on July 15, 2010, updated on January 18, 2013.
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