Saturday, March 26, 2016

Job Up In Smoke




In high school I think I always had a job.  I was mostly a sack boy at the Big Apple and Kirks Supermarkets.  But I was  from time to time a laborer at the Minute Care Wash.  The car wash did not pay much, $5 for a  eight or nine hours on Saturday and Sunday, a half day for $3.  On Saturday, at the car wash they also bought us lunch which was a small  Krystal or White Castle - like burger and a drink .

I was getting more sociable and needed  more money.
I always admired the pin-boys at the Larry Bell Park Bowling Alley.  They would sat out of the way of flying bowling balls and wooden pins and when a set was knocked down then you hopped up and arrange the pins and send the bowling ball back.  They looked so smooth and authoritarian  when they jumped into action.  And not only that it paid well..  It paid more than wiping down cars or carry out groceries. 

Of course bowling pin boys is another job lost to automation.

I went to the bowling alley which was in the basement of the Larry Bell Auditorium and asked the manager for a job.  It is a vague remembrance, but I think Orville Curruth  who was a pin-boy put in a good word for me.  It pays to have connections.

The manager, I forgot his name, looked me over and asked me to  help him clear off some brush on some land  off Macland or  Villa Rica Road Road he just bought.  He said he would pay me well.  He also  enlisted a few of my friends:  Like brothers Billy Joe and Jack Royal, I, and Jimmy McEntyre.

We all met on the land the day we were told to.  There were already  brush and limbs scattered all over.  Our first assignment was to drag all the sawed limbs and brush and put them in one big pile. Which we did efficiently. 

Then the bowling alley manger/property owner brought a 5 gallon can of gasoline and doused over the edges of the pile and some splashed more towards the center.

Then he lit it.

WHOOSH!

 A giant flash of fire shot up high.

Our boss started running, he was smoking  and on fire.  I think it was Jimmy McEntyre that knocked him down and rolled him.

That was before cell phones and 911, and far from any house we knew of.   We put him in a car and drove him to Kennestone Hospital. 

That was the last time I saw the man.  I don't know what happened to him.


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