Jul 7 2008
08:20 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, The mail keeps pouring in about the jobs that we had growing up in Rockwood. One thing about the 50's and early 60's, things were booming and we could always pick up a couple of dollars.

Chester Taylor, (Class of 1960) always kept busy as a youngster. Here is an email Chuck sent me about his younger days in Rockwood. Chuck wrote," I had a few jobs as a kid. I used to pick blackberries and sell them door to door. I mowed yards. I mowed most of the yards at Evans Heights. Most people that lived there did not have mowers. First of all, there was no where to keep them. No one had sheds or garages to keep them in. I also sold corn on the cob door to door."
"A lot of us used to catch chickens at night," Chuck continued, "There would be hundreds of them in the long sheds they kept them in. We would catch them at night. You would carry them out of the sheds and put them in crates on trucks. It usually took most of the night. They would almost kill you flapping their wings and trying to peck your legs. They were bad enough, but the turkeys were really bad. You would get one in each hand and they would flop around and kick up so much of a fuss, that you could hardly walk. You would look like you were drunk, weaving all over the place."
"We picked peaches at several places", Chuck said," We sold Rockwood Times also. I worked for Miss Carrie and Miss Kate Rogers. They had a farm down on the lake. We worked on the driveway that seemed like it was a mile long. We filled in holes, trimmed brush along the sides, mowed the yard, planted tobacco, cleaned out the sheds for drying the tobacco. We also worked at their house on Rockwood Avenue. There we mowed the lawn, washed windows, pulled weeds, painted everything that did not move. We even cleaned the wall paper in the house. We used a large ball of clay, like modeling clay. You would swipe it down the wall and you could see where you had swiped the clay, because it took the dirt off the wall, then you would work it like working dough. I think we cleaned every
room in the house. I also worked at the Peggy Ann. I thought I was rich when I got my first pay check. I don't remember how much it was for, but it was more money than I had ever had in my hand that belonged to me. Those were the GOOD OLD DAYS." "I will tell you the story about the sardines at the Rogers farm some day." Thanks Chuck, sure was good to hear from you, and I am sure all of us remember the Rogers sisters, Miss Kate and Miss Carrie. I KNOW that Bill Wilkey does...
Bob Archey told me that he had a few jobs. Bob had this to say," I had a few jobs such as working with my dad with J.A.Jones Construction Co., and the Coca-Cola Company in the later years. Like most of the kids, I sold the Rockwood Times, and worked for Allen Sheets as a cook, and did what was necessary to make a few bucks. However, the best job I ever had, helped me understand what it meant to be my own boss at the ripe age of 10 - 11 years old. In those days, Rockwood was a thriving small town and had five or six Mom and Pop restaurants such as Brown's Cafe. I had a little route selling Polk to them. I made fifty cents for a five pound bag, for a net pay of $2.50 a day, plus whatever I could drink, and whatever they would give me for a tip. Man, I was a proud little boy, and got an early start on the next Saturday movies. Bob Archey." Thanks Bob, I always enjoy hearing from you.
And after reading "Moose" Morris's and my own experience with a buffer, Walter Evans sent me this idea. Walter wrote," Ray, you should do a survey of all the people who went into the military and had their first encounter with a buffer. I never knew they had such a piece of equiptment until I was assigned Kitchen Police, (KP) duty at my first permanent duty station at Robins AFB, Ga. Normally I had no problem doing the pots and pans, but when they assigned me to do the floors, it was a disaster in the making. At least it was only tables and chairs, occassionally the wall, that caught the weight of the buffer bouncing off of it, or knocking the chairs and tables across the room. Until I learned how to control the chaotic motion of the buffer, by lifting the handle, or having someone unplug it, did I learn to appreciate modern equipment. The old mop and bucket were the mainstays of the GI parties we enjoyed weekly. Today's military members have it made, carpeted floors, air conditioned rooms, modern furniture and almost private rooms. Those open bays with 30 to 40 people sleeping in the same area, and latrines that had about 12 to 20 commodes all lined up, are history. You would think we were serving during World War I or II but this was the 50's. " Walter Evans, Class of 1956.
How about it veterans, tell us about your first encounter with a buffer. If the President is really serious about winning the war, just arm some us Rockwoodians with a buffer and turn us loose. We could wipe out the enemy in no time at all.
Thanks Walter, Bob, and Chester...and thanks to all of you who sent emails. Next week we will continue with more, about our teenage years...Until next week, Ray

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.