What was your very first job?
Dad had an interesting and very Biblical concept with regard to jobs! “As long as you’re putting your feet under my table, you have a job–because,if any won’t work, neither shall he eat!” There was a certain amount of job security in that….cows to be fed and milked, chickens to be fed, eggs gathered, and the yard mowed.
When I first talked dad into letting me work away from home, it was a stocking job at a Perry’s Five & Dime store in Orange, Texas. I wàs in the sixth grade I think…
#2 Gas station attendant
In high school, I worked for Brother Kendrick, one of the elders in Haynesville, La., pumping gas at his Esso gas station. I remember gasoline cost 10 to 17 cents a gallon back then (1956).
#3 Dry goods stocker & Clerk
Next job was working for Mr. Nobel Shaw in Nacogdoches the summer of 1959 as a freshman in college. Got my first car that year also, a 1950 model flat head 8 cylinder engine. All that freshman year, I had a job leading singing at the Mound & Starr Church of Christ. They paid me! 🙂
#4 Grocery clerk
In 1960, my brother Eldred prevailed upon me to move to Fort Worth, live with them, attend TCU in the fall, and lead singing at the Southside Church. To help make ends meet, Eldred got me a job working for a friend of his, Jack Moulton, who was the manager of one of the Buddies Supermarkets, a grocery chain in Fort Worth.
#5 Piggly Wiggly assistant manager
In the Fall of 1960, after the Fort Worth plans didn’t work out, I found myself moving home to Dad’s in San Antonio to attend San Antonio Jr. College. He told me that, no matter what, my bedroom was always mine; but after age 18, living at home I had to pay a boarding fee (help with the groceries I consumed). I went to the Piggly Wiggly store down the street from the folks lived and applied for a job. My experience with Buddies payed off. Before long, I’m the assistant manager in that store…which payed off for me the next year, when I moved to Madisonville in 1961 and got my job with Mr. John Dean Carter.
(A LITTLE SIDE NOTE)
Just up the street from the PW Store in San Antonio was the Jefferson Church of Christ where Uncle Paul, Aunt Eunice, and my cousin Mike attended church. Their preacher (who I met frequently in the store) was named Frank Dunn, who often had his cute little teenage daughter shopping with him. Mike worked with me and introduced me several times. I encountered the name Frank Dunn again in 1967, when Clyde Thompson (EX 83) told me the story of his life. When Clyde was in prison, he was baptized by Frank Dunn, who was the preacher for the Huntsville Church of Christ. He also married Clyde and Julia,and–to top it all off–that little girl following him in the grocery store was named Holly…the same girl who wrote ‘Daddy’s Hands’ while she was a student at ACU. Pretty cool…don’t you think?