Friday, October 28, 2005


Dan E. Randle

I have put off writing about the chicken caper for a long time. Trying to remember everything and failing. Thanks for the travel down job memory lane. I still don't remember what they paid us. Whatever it was, it wasn't much. At least you weren't out in the boiling sun, dying of the heat and humidity. I remember the odors and other things left on the ground. You definitely didn't want to fall down while chasing the chickens down. I believe we made catching hooks from old coat hangers to catch chickens. Is that how you remember it Tom? (Yep. I’d forgotten the “catching hooks,” though. –tlp-)

Talking about jobs, I started mowing lawns when I was eleven. I remember going to Mr. James and talking him into selling me a push mower on time. I think it was sixteen or so dollars. I was able to pay it off in the first week. I decided that I could make more money if I had a power mower, so Mr. James allowed me to trade in the mower for the same price I had paid for it and sold me a power rotary lawnmower. It took me three weeks of hard work to pay the mower off.

I really felt I had accomplished something. I walked the town over mowing lawns. If anyone remembers where Dorothy and Billy Anderson lived, I walked out there and mowed a lawn close to them. Mowing lawns became my regular summer job for the next few summers. One summer, Jimmy Fortune and I teamed up to mow yards. He had an old ‘46 panel truck that we would travel around in, allowing us to cover more territory each day.

I remember one lawn in Kensett that we took on. The grass/weeds were at least three feet tall and took us most of the day to cut. We lost money on that job because we thought we could cut it much faster. We should have charged by the hour! After that experience, we never took on another tall grass job.

During my lawn mowing years I wore out three engines. As I got older, I gave up mowing and started working for Dr. Rogers' farms either hauling hay or cutting pasture with a bush-hog. I made the large sum of $4.00 a day six days a week. WOW! $24.00 a week, at least they didn't take taxes out.

(That’s called The American Way. I still say no one can top my collection of jobs in high school. They all had one thing in common: a lack of physical labor, except for hauling hay for my grandfather .. and, of course, “thievin’” chickens. –tlp-)


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