My first paying job was picking and chopping cotton (and chopping soybeans). By hand. I must have been 12-13 years old when I started earning money for it. Until then I think I just got in the way. With my cotton money I bought my first and only bicycle at Wright’s Store in Lafe. My mom wanted me to wait and go into Paragould and look around, but the money was burning in my hand. It was a good bike though; I kept it for a number of years and rode it everywhere.
After that came sporadic mowing of lawns, work in Ben Franklin’s Five and Ten, the old Kroger’s store and a local restaurant. My first job after college and marriage was the real sustainer — barely — of our new life together: telemarketing, commission only, with a company that sold coupon booklets. (Remember those?) I did so well selling (but not earning), they offered to set me up with my own team of people, but that was that last thing in the world I wanted.