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A Small Town Country Boy Trying To Survive In Todays World

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Starting Young

Was talking with a friend today and the subject came up about working when we were kids. I started at a very young age (11) where as they did not start until they were 14. The difference was that I lived in the country and they lived in a city so if the laws were the same they were not enforced here.

My first job was working on a farm changing hand lines that they used to water the crops with. We were paid 5 cents a pipe and if we stayed all summer we got a 1 cent per pipe bonus. If we did any hourly work the pay was $1.75 per hour. so on a good day I might make 5 dollars, but back then that was good money for a kid.

Well as the years went by I got paid more and I was able to change more pipes so my daily income rose. Also with age I was able to do more tractor work so there was less down time.

I always had new motorcycles and nice cars nice clothes it was great but we worked our butts off doing it. One year my brother and myself and a friend decided we were going to make a bunch of money that year so we took on more work at other farms in the area. Well everything was going fine until my brother hurt his knee and could not work for 4 weeks.

I will never forget that 4 weeks. We would start work at first light and if we had a good day it would not be totally dark when I got home at the end of the day. So we were working 14 to 16 hours a day 7 days a week. Made good money for that 4 weeks but had no life at all.

So I started working on farms when I was 11 and stopped when I was 18 so spent 7 years changing pipe. Kids around here now a days would not even consider doing that kind of work, it is beneath them.

The first farmers I worked for were two old bachelors who were both in their early 70's at the time just could not give it up. Quite the characters they were and actually made work kind of fun. They did not throw anything away they had barns full of junk and their houses were also interesting. When they sold the farm and we helped them move there was news papers in their houses 20 years old.

Well I could go on for quite some time on this subject but won't. I do believe that kids should be able to work as it will instill good work ethics in them.

It is what it is



HermitJim said...

I agree with you...I started working at 12 and never regreded it because it taught me a lot about handling money and about responsibility.

Good post. Brings back a lot of memories!

Rod said...

Hi Jim
One part I did not put in there was that we did not have TV so I was going crazy had to do something so might as well work.


Lydia said...

hey Rod, I agree also! Teaches kids responsibility. The law around here is 14, and you have to have working papers from school. It was the same for me also. But almost all places will not hire anyone under 16, and even 16 is tough.

Nice post.

Rod said...

Hi Lydia
Yeah it about the same here now. There are some places that will hire them when they are 15 but very few.


Carol Ayers said...

Sadly, the generations behind us seem to have no work ethics at all...
Now I'm thinking about the 2 barns of crap I've got to somehow get rid of before I die so somebody else doesn't have to go through it....hmmm, I'm smelling yard sale!

Rod said...

Hi Carol
Thanks for the comment makes me smile because when we moved to town it took us 3 months to get rid of all of our 20+ years of prized possessions.