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Three score and ten or more

Friday, March 31, 2006

High School and College Jobs

My memories of the years of high school and the first two years of college are not all clearly chronological. To try to even out the chronological and the non-chronological I will group experiences by type rather that by year. (That might not work out, but it is a thought.) I guess that the first experience type might be the various jobs I had during this period. I have already mentioned setting pins in the bowling alley and caddying for the golf course. I really didn’t do much of these after I entered high school (I don’t think) though it seems like I might have, just because I almost always had a job, and until the end of my junior year (at least) I didn’t drive a car or have a driver’s license. That affects the “when did I do this?’ factor because a lot of the jobs I had involved driving. Jobs I particularly remember are: Working for the “City of Alameda”, (said city was absorbed into Pocatello after I became a missionary); working for Idaho Concrete Products (I think I already explained, how I got my driver’s license while working there); working for the Union Pacific Railroad as a Boiler maker helper , working for the Union Pacific as a Pipe fitter helper (also already described), working as a short order cook at a dairy queen type store (not a Dairy Queen but that type of restaurant, I can’t remember the name but it was on South fifth opposite the Idaho State Campus. I think it might have been called the Polar Bear), working as a fill-in announcer (this meant that when the permanent guys showed up drunk or otherwise incapacitated, or didn’t show up at all, they called me in to work) at Station KSEI in Pocatello, working for a short time as a DJ or announcer at Radio Station KWIK (also in Pocatello). I also taught Ballroom Dancing at a studio upstairs over the Paris Store in Pocatello (actually I went there as a student for six weeks, and then worked there three nights a week for another six weeks. I think I was filling in for someone, but they paid me and that’s what counts). I also sang in saloons (which I couldn’t legally even go into, for part of the time I worked there.) After I started college, I also worked as a cataloguer in the Idaho State University Documents Library, I was the advertising salesman and Business Manager of the Idaho State year book _The Wickiup _ (I think) for two years, and for one year, I was the voice of the Political Science Department’s weekly radio broadcast “Mr. Chairman” (This last was an unpaid gig, but it took a lot of my time and was a great experience.)

One of the really great things in this period was getting a job with a group that called itself the College Housecleaning team. I really can’t remember the names any of the guys who were in charge of the team when I was recruited. Most of them were Korean vets, and we had the opportunity to work, more or less as often as we wished and to drop out for awhile if things got tight in classes. This time period I remember because I worked with the team off and on for most of my sophomore year at GSU. We owned a trailer, a lot of housecleaning implements including an industrial vacuum cleaner, mops, soaps and wall-cleaning dough, and we purchased them out of the income and more or less shared in what was left. We worked mostly on weekends and I made pretty good money, along with everyone else. Everybody on the team graduated except me, so I ended up with all the “stuff”. Around the end of my sophomore year I mentioned this stuff to Arlo Luke who was a fellow student at Idaho State, and whom I talked to at the LDS institute. When I went off on my mission he and another friend, Don Aslett, ended up with all the “stuff”. By the time I got home from my mission three years later, Don and Arlo had organized the “stuff”, made contracts, hired multiple folks and had turned it into what became, ultimately, a multi million dollar company. It goes to show you the difference between putting yourself through school and seeing the real possibilities in a situation (I was the first type, they were the second)

Somewhere in this period, I also sold Lifetime Stainless Steel Cookwear, went to work for a couple of weeks at a place called Signal Mountain Lodge up near Jackson Hole, sold advertising for Perry Swisher’s muckraking weekly (which, I think, was called The Idaho Enterprise), and joined a co-op called SanJay enterprises making radio commercials. We all chipped in money and bought stock, and worked on the commercials, and I don’t think we ever realized a cent in payment, or if we did, I never saw that cent. The final jobs I have to fit into his period included a summer traveling around Southern Idaho and the areas of Utah, Montana, and Wyoming that abut southern Idaho, building all steel (corrugated steel with steel frames) buildings, and a fairly extensive period carrying hod, (and for a brief time even laying brick) for a masonry company, as well as laying sewer pipe and driving a dump truck for Rupert Sorenson Construction Company, (only a short while, but I can remember his name so I had to put it in.) Roughly counting, that is about twenty different jobs fitted into six years, so it is obvious that some of them overlapped and some were really short periods of time but all of them were interesting, and left strong impressions. I will try to discuss each of the jobs above, (and maybe a few others as they come to mind) in the next few posts. Who knows, in spite of my resolve, I may even talk about something political


At 8:32 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

You have done more jobs than me. Ballroom Dancing? What's that? Just kidding - my dad taught me the waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and I loved it so I took lessons - tango etc. You've inspired me to reminisce a bit too. It's so much more rewarding than getting into the daily drama - political or other - seeing the bigger picture. It's also a way to count your blessings and be grateful for life.

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Davo said...

far too many people 'think' about things. Do what you do best, laddie (and avoid politics.. heh)

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

Your mother did not raise a slacker! I think a wide variety of life experiences teaches a person what is really important in life.

I look forward to the next installment!

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Wouldn't life be dull if we all held just one job for the rest of our lives? I'm working on around job number ten in my life and I have some good (and bad) memories of all the previous ones. It is that variatal experience that gives life such a good flavor.

Glad to see you back blogging old timer. I was getting worried.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

It must've been SO much fun to teach ballroom dancing! I've always wanted to learn. And I've also always wanted a set of cookware like the stuff you sold. But tell me the truth; did it really make that much of a difference?

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

Hey, does anyone remember the waterless cookware?

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Saur, the cookware did make a lot of difference. After I disposed of my samples (I was preparing to leave for Finland) I wished for a similar set for years. My wife finally bought a similar set about twenty years ago. (Salesman did a demo at the school where she was teaching) and we have loved it, but it wasn't quite the same. I am always buying and experimenting with cookware (Calpholon, Analon, etc., I also love cast iron, gut not for the same things.)

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Kathleen, that WAS waterless cookware.


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