i A Time and a Place...: What Are We Worth...

Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Are We Worth...

I can't believe how long it has been since I wrote in this blog.A week! I've been pre-occupied with a couple of things and just haven't taken time to think of anything else.

I heard a comment from someone about how un-important her job is and it reminded me about something that happened to me when I was 14 years old.

When I was about eight years old, my sister married a man who had little education and never had a job that required much more than elbow grease and sweat. However, he was a good worker and did about anything to make a buck.

He located and sold junk to junk yards; he cut down trees and cleared brush. In the right season he and my sister picked peaches and apricots, cut grapes and even went to Washington state and picked apples. He was the best and fastest cotton picker I ever saw.
In short, they worked pretty steadily and made a decent living.

In the winter-time he and my sister and their daughter moved to Phoenix, Arizona. They did this every year. They lived in a trailer house at 40th and Washington in a trailer and tent park of sorts.

One year when I was 14 years old I went to Phoenix with them and helped Clarence with his various jobs.
One was finding abandoned dump grounds and loading his 1 1/2 ton truck with cans we threw up out of the dump and flattened by stepping on them. That paid 13 bucks a ton and we could haul about three tons a day if we hurried. In 1950 40 bucks a day was pretty good wages.

We also bought crushed granite and built driveways with it. That was the hardest job because of the weight of the granite.

However, the job we did mostly was spread fertilizer under the trees of orange groves. We would find a grower who needed the job done and buy a load of fertilizer from a big stock yard and drive through the orange grove between rows of trees and using shovels, spread the fertilizer along under the trees on both sides. Needless to say, it was hot and smelly work.

I have to go to a jam session now but I'll finish this story when I get back. Tune back in and I'll see you...



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