Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Career Path, Continued

There wasn't much to do in Louisiana and I didn't have a lawn mower so I couldn't go around cutting grass. Back in those days there weren't any aluminum cans. Everything came in bottles, and they were recycled. When you bought a bottle of pop you were charged any where from 2 to 5 cents deposit. Most people were too busy I guess to take them back to the store and like the aluminum cans of today people would just throw them out the car window. That's where I come in. I found another use from my wagon of many colors. I would tie it to the back of my bike. Then I would hit the road picking up bottles as I went, by the time I got to the store I had enough for a couple of dollars.
Then my folks got the idea to move out into the country, twenty miles from town. We lived on a farm with cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, and homing pigeons. The rabbits and pigeons were mine. My buddy who lived in town gave me a few of his birds when we moved. I had two beautiful pure white fantail pigeons. By the time we left, we never stayed any where more than a couple of years, there were over 180 birds in my flock. I started out with two rabbits and before I knew it I had twenty of them. I didn't know how fast they would multiply. My dad worked at the mess hall on base. He was a cook for the Army and he would bring home these big boxes that the eggs came in. I would fill those up with cow dung and sell them on the side of the road going into town along with the rabbits. I would charge $5 per box or rabbit.
In the summer my teacher, Mr. Jetters had a tractor and a hay baler. He would go around to the local farms and cut their hay and bale it. The cutter would cut the hay and pile it in the center of the tractor in a neat row. Then after it dried he would come around with the baler attached and scoop it up and bale it into a three', 12” by 12” bale. The tractor didn't do so hot on corners, that's where I come again. He would pay me to go around to all the corners and rake them into a pile for the baler. When that was all done we would throw these bales weighing about 60 pounds onto a flat-bed trailer and haul them up to the barn and stack them inside. One cutting would fill this huge barn they had.

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