This is a true story about during World War II, when times were hard, money was short, and it took the whole family working to survive.
At 10 years old, I worked and bought a used bicycle by going door-to-door, and soliciting yard work while using their push lawn mower if I could, and later went looking for a permanent part-time job. The only thing I knew to do was to operate a push lawn mower and a little yard work.
One day I was told that the G.I. Sports News, located on Staples and Kenny, needed someone to deliver papers once a week plus a little grunt work.
Early one morning I stopped by Gabe Garrett's printing company, as Mr. Garrett was a good friend of my dad's. He told me he was a friend of Jim Rucker, the owner of G.I. Sports News, and he would put in a good word for me. Mr. Rucker was an old veteran running a one-man newspaper, but what he failed to tell me was he loved the bottle as much as his newspaper.
As I walked up the stairs, I could hear him from the second floor talking to a customer in a loud voice on the phone. He was sitting at his desk in his office with an artificial leg from the knee down, which was positioned across the desk, and an artificial arm holding a phone. Close by was a fifth of Old Crow and almost a full glass of whiskey in front of him.
He looked at me and in a loud voice he said: "Well what the hell do you want, boy?"
I backed up a little and quickly said: "I am looking for a job."
"What can you do?" he said.
"Most anything," I told him, to which he said: "Sit down and let's talk."
He thought for awhile then he told me that if he did decide to hire me, this is the way it would be: Once a week I was to take his newspapers to the printing shop and later deliver his papers, which usually consisted of one or two pages each, with mostly ads. I was to then put them on parked automobile windshields, and then clean up his office. I was never to ask him what he was doing, or I would be fired on the spot.
My salary would depend on the amount of ads he sold, and if he didn't sell any, I would have to wait until the following week. Being desperate for a job, I agreed.
Tune in next week for part two, when Jim tries to teach a 10-year-old, the newspaper business from a bottle of Old Crow.