Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking for a little college money

As my senior year of high school ended, my homeroom teacher offered me a job.  He wanted a dishwasher and handyman at the camp he ran for girls.  It was an upscale camp in New England and it had been founded and run for years by his parents.  It was a pleasant summer.  He invited me to return after my freshman year of college and I did.  But by then, I had a relation developing with a lovely young thing I met at college.  I got her a job at the camp, too. 

I guess I spent too much time with her and in situations and places that did not meet approval because neither of us was invited back.  That was ok with me.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to spend all my remaining summers at the place.  I had already worked at a large Boy Scout camp for two summers and now had spent two summers at the girls camp.  I thought I would look around for something else.  Another friend from college had a job in an ocean resort town.  I think he was a waiter or something but I was too young to handle alcohol legally.  I went with him to the town and tried to find some I was qualified for.

I did.  A photography business was looking for young people to wander up and down the board walk with a camera at the ready.  Snap a good shot of young lovers or older vacationers or their cute kids, get their name and have them pay for the developed shots to be mailed to them.  I was to get a cut of each sale. 

I had never developed the habit of examining how much I would be likely to make and how that amount compared with my likely expenses.  Also, I was very naive about actual arrangements for pay, taxes, rooming, etc.  I think I was offered a bed in a small room by the man who ran the business, along with one or two other young men.  I did not have a sales personality and spent a couple of days wandering through the crowds with very little to show for the time.  It was probably at the end of the second day that the business man happily offered us a paper bag with Garrison Keillor's grease stains indicating freshness.  The bag contained cooked breaded blue fish, which he told us was delicious. 

I don't remember much about the whole adventure but I clearly recall my reaction to luckily getting something to eat from an anonymous paper bag.  I knew I would be on my way back to the big city the next morning.  I was.  A different person might have had a lovely summer by the sea with that job but it didn't click with me, even a little.

I found a sort of make-shift job teaching boxing at the local YMCA.  I had no training, no aptitude, no skill and a poor body for boxing.  I hope none of the boys I "trained" ever needed boxing for sport or defense.  I kept looking for something else at the Y that might be more up my alley and was moved to teaching archery, which I did know a little about.

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