Rushville Republican

Columns

November 12, 2013

Five dollars a day to start

Recently there was an article regarding teenage jobs and the wages paid to teens and school students. They were discussing what life was for a school student in their youth and frankly I found it interesting. My first job came about right after I managed to get my drivers license. Prior to that time I mowed yards for a few dollars starting out in about my 8th year. As I grew older I also raked leaves in the fall and put up hay in the summer. Raking paid better than putting up hay but we took what we could get. We were paid a penny a bale from stacking on the wagon to stacking in the barn, a penny a bale and we thought it was good pay. Hard work, miserable work at times, but the money we got was enough to keep our interest. When I was younger, dad would give me a 50 cent a week allowance. For that I was required to place flyers under the wiper blades of all the cars parked downtown on Saturdays telling of the game of the week on Philco Television and radio at Ward Sales and Service.

When we moved to San Diego I found it very difficult to find much of any kind of job unless you could drive. I got my license and the school helped me find a job. Sterling Routhwaite was my boss and he owned the Pacific Beach Paint and Wallpaper store. I was paid $5 a day be it a one hour day or a 10 hour day. And I was really glad to have it and enjoyed driving the Crosley station wagon they had for a delivery vehicle. We also had the telegram franchise for Pacific Beach and I would receive, tape, check and deliver telegrams too. And that part, the delivery, was at times very interesting. I delivered a telegram a week at the minimum to a young man in our area. I wondered out loud one day about his frequent and different telegrams. It seems this handsome young man made a living being a gigolo which was something new to me, a hick from Indiana. The next time I delivered a telegram I asked just how business was. Thankfully he was a nice guy and did not take offense to my inquiry. Good thing because I think he could have wiped the sidewalk up with me easily.

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