Saturday, May 24, 2014

First Jobs--Leo

I'm beginning a new series, First Jobs, in which I ask people about their first work experiences.

Today, I am talking with Leo. He tells about an early job he had during the 1940's. 

Tell me about your first job or an early job that you had.
I'll tell you about the first one that I got paid for. That was when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Before that job, I earned money by picking blackberries at the old gravel pit. I sold them door to door and would pick just enough so I could get money to go to the movies.

So, what was the job that you got paid for?
My friend and I helped with installation a septic field. After it was dug and the gravel and tiles had been put down, we laid shingles to close the top between the tiles. We also hauled cinders to put over the tiles.

How long did the job last?
The work lasted about a week during the summer. At that time, WWII was going on and my father was lost at sea. Also, my younger brother had recently died from an accident so my mother was preoccupied with things. She was happy that I was doing something productive for a little while. I made 10 cents/hour.

Did you think that was much money?
No, I thought I got ripped off. Even though I was a kid, I thought I deserved more. However, as I look back on it, I realize that he provided us with sandwiches every day. I guess that was considered part of my pay.

What did you spend your money on?
I think I spent it on movies and Cokes. That was what was important to me at the time.

Another time, we will learn about some more interesting jobs Leo had when he was in high school.


  1. I grew up in easier times than Leo did. It was probably helpful to his mom that he earned his own spending money.

    1. Leo says that even though times were tough for him, he never felt underprivileged in any way. Some of that was because he didn't know any differently and some of that was because of a positive attitude.


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