Thursday, December 08, 2005

And the subject is...

Let’s see…the subject is work and so far I have mentioned only one job that paid and one that I didn’t perform all that well. Searching my memory, I can also come up with a very odd job for a boy growing up at the beach; feeding a pig. It was probably 1948 and we lived on Center Street. The neighbors to the rear of our house kept a large pig in a pen. I was offered the job of feeding that pig for a fee of 25 cents a week. But there was an ominous warning from the owner…don’t put your fingers through the wire of the pen, the pig might bite them off! Feeding that pig was nerve wracking and I soon found a reason to quit.

Another early job…mowing lawns. That was the standard job for all boys back in the 1940’s. If you weren’t mowing your parent’s lawns, you were expected to take the family lawn mower and go to your neighbor’s house and ask them if they wanted their lawn mowed for a slight fee. Usually, 25 cents for the front lawn and 50 cents for a larger lawn in the back. Edging was included. The mowers were all the simple push type, no gas mowers in those days.

At this age, between 8 and 10, it seemed that all parents were involved in a conspiracy to force the work concept into their children. I would ask if I could go to the show on Saturday and the answer was, “Sure. But you will need to earn your own money for the admission.” What? How could I make any money? The answer was always, “You know, you could always mow lawns…why don’t you ask Mrs. Brown if she needs her lawn cut and edged?” How had this happened? My parents went from being kind and generous to cruel and stingy in a matter of days! Could I have some candy? Sure, mow a lawn! A kite? Same answer.

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