I have been interested in business for most of my life. My four most interesting jobs as a preteen were:
- Wire Sorter for wiring the boards in EMA machines for my father’s business. My dad would effectively “program” IBM card Sorters and Collators, etc. by plugging wires from one hole in a board to another, much like the old telephone switch boards. As I recall, my job was to match wires of the same color, which were by definition of the same length, and bundle them in groups of 20 for easy access by the wirers/programmers. It was piece work and I can’t recall how much I was paid per bundle.
- Paper Route. I was one of the youngest paper boys for the Seattle Times. For the first year I did it, I had to have it in somebody else’s name; someone older. The Seattle Times was delivered in the afternoon, expect for Sundays. Going to the paper shack in West Seattle in the dark on Sunday mornings was a great experience as a little kid. I know that I smoked my first cigarette there and I’m sure there are other firsts that somehow escape me.
- Strawberry Picker. In the summers, we would go to the Fauntleroy ferry dock to Vashon Island and the strawberry farms would pay your ferry fare to come and pick. If you didn’t pick at least two flats, they would not pay your fare home. Again, this was piece work and they paid by the flat. I never took the work seriously and my biggest struggle was picking the initial two flats before we would cause trouble and get fired. I think there were girls involved. It did provide the opportunity to put one dime in a newspaper dispenser and take out all of the newspapers to sell to people waiting in line for the ferry. This is an activity of which I am not proud.
- Musician. I was fortunate to be one of a small group of classmates at Holy Rosary Grade School to form a rock and roll band. Our first band was called ‘The Young Generation”. It included my cousin, Brian Hughes, on drums, Mitch Caddy on keyboards, Ricky Novito on guitar, I played bass and I believe “Peanut” (Bobby Gagner) sang. We were not very good. In fact, as 7th graders, we came in 2nd in the talent contest in the miscellaneous category. The first prize went to cheerleaders. However, we were blessed to have Ms. Bill Eisiminger, who had been a serious Seattle musician at Garfield High School and after, as our new, young P.E. teacher at Holy Rosary. He was also doing concert promotions and took a liking to our band. He managed us and kept us working. He got us gigs at a variety of parties. At first, we weren’t too good and had a very limited play list. Fortunately, most of the parties were college parties at fraternities and the crowd would listen to our first set and be drunk enough for the second set to not realize that we were playing the same songs. Also, we made up in cuteness for what we lacked in talent. As we entered our early teens, we were less cute but by them we had been playing steadily for an extended time and were getting pretty good.
Bobby Gagner and Brian Hughes left the band and we added Bart McLaughlin as a drummer. I could tell many band stories, and perhaps I will dedicate an entire page to expand on the story of our next band, The Midnight Sun.
On the Professional side, it was somewhat serendipitous that I became both a CPA and an Attorney. I had always imagined becoming an attorney, but probably didn’t know what a CPA was until I was in college. Holding those two licenses has been a tremendous blessing and made many things easier in my life.