Thursday, December 06, 2007


There is a nice A.P. story on all of the Presidential candidates and the jobs they hated most through their careers. It was a story that really humanized them. Bill Richardson hated laying sod in Cape Cod for a summer. Hillary Clinton didn't like gutting salmon in Alaska. Barrack Obama augured ice cream at a Baskin Robbins.

It got me to thinking about some of the jobs I had in my youth. My first job was as a busboy at the Village Inn Pancake house when I was a sophomore at St. Pius X High School. You haven't scrubbed until you try getting syrup off tables.

I then worked in a door making factory in the North Valley and then delivered the goods to the construction sites. Those things were heavy. I also kept inventory on parts and learned how to match keys and lock sets.

I joined the Air National Guard and went to basic training and then to Photo School. I had always loved photography and the military provided me with a great opportunity.

I made money taking wedding photos after that to help with tuition expenses.

Also, while a college student I worked at a dry cleaners and laundromat. I worked at the old First National Bank in the mail room and as a courier. It was a great job. I was eventually promoted to be a Trust Auditor. I hated that job and it convinced me to not become an accountant.

I then got activated into the Air Force in 1968 and was sent to Phoenix. I wasn't allowed to do photography but was assigned the interesting job of sitting in F-100 fighter jets every night and shooting their 20 millimeter cannons at a target. My job was to make sure the gun camera was aimed at the target to correctly record the hits.

After being mustered out I returned to work at the bank, got my degree, but was then called by my friend Dick Knipfing and offered a job as a news photographer and reporter at Channel 7. I continued that work for 7 years and then got into politics when I signed on as Governor Bruce King's press secretary.

I can honestly say I learned something from all of these jobs, but the only one I didn't much care for was the busboy thing. I watched some of the older guys having to work in the restaurant because they had no education and it convinced me that a college degree was a must.

1 comment:

Rodney said...

How I wish there were still full service gas stations. Those summer days spent on Route 66, filling tanks and cleaning windshields, changing oil and fixing flats, meeting people from all over the country and the world, are some of the best memories I have. Much better than many of the jobs that followed, from drilling oil wells to sand-blasting pipelines.