Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Red Clay in the Sunset

Ok, Tara Dawn. I will cooperate with your tag, but I will do this in installments, making you work hard for the information, reading through post after post to finish it up! ~ smiling ~

Part One of 4 Jobs I have had:

Brick Cleaner: First job; approximate age 9

Coated with white cement, thick in places like hardened icing, these red bricks had been used as part of some structure somewhere else, and my father wanted them cleaned for the new patio he was having laid. I was assigned the job of cleaning the bricks for the wage of a penny a brick.

I was obsessed with these bricks, young entrepreneur that I was. "...Money makes the world go around, the world go around..." I derived the most pleasure from my painstaking efforts to clean each one smooth, knocking the white cement out of the 2 holes using a chisel and a hammer, and then cleaning the edges of each brick carefully so as not to break the clay. Over and over I hammered, hands becoming rough from my labor. I worked tediously at this job, each brick gleaming once again in its newfound red glaze.

Proud I was, standing by my pile of bricks, beaming when the day's count was made and the money changed hands. Counting as I cleaned, it was easy to decide how much longer I would work each day - I liked to be paid in dollar bills, big money for a young child in the '50s, so my goal was usually 100. Sometimes I made the count in two days. I didn't work 40 hours a week in those days, but I was, after all, doing hard labor – and I was a child of 9.

First jobs are important milestones. If life had just remained so simple...


tara dawn said...

What a great entry! Leave it to you to bring a wave of creativity to the "tag". It just shows more of your brilliance. I look forward to reading more. And I love the beauty you found in the simplicity of this work!

Wenda said...

You took me back to one of my own back yards where my brother used to haul bricks for my father's projects, though I don't think he was quite so well paid. Thanks for this little glimpse of the child you were.

I'm all for breaking up these memes into big deep and rich pieces, too. Way to go.

WarrenBoroson said...

At the age of 9! Wow.