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My First Job

Story ID:5836
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1935
Person:Chelsea Kansas
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My First Job


My First Job

Before my Pinto Pony
My Uncle Ves had a horse
That I learned to ride
And to saddle it of course.

Uncle Ves got tired
Of stopping everything
When I asked him to saddle
The old grey mare for me.

He rigged a rope and pulley for the heavy saddle
For me to pull up and secure
I would walk the horse underneath
Then let it down on her.

In about 1938, Darwin Putnam asked me
To saddle up the old Grey mare
And go to work for him
To haul water for the threshers there.

I had the threshing crew
The men on hayracks
The bundle men in the field
The men on the strawstack.

With four, one gallon jugs
Wrapped in burlap sack
To keep the water cool
While hanging on the Old Grey Mares back.

One round only was all that I could make
The day was hot and dusty
Back to the pump, to fill the jugs
For the crew I knew was thirsty..

One crewman had a bloody lip
The other men said to me,
Donít let him drink out of our jug
Or youíll be history.

Youíll suffer the consequences
I took this for a threat
One jug was for
The man with the bloody lip.

Dinnertime came, I took the mare to the barn
Came back to wash up and eat
With all the men, about thirty
We sat down to a gourmet meal, what a treat.

Steaks, Chicken, Pork chops
Ice cream cakes and pies
Roast beef and home made bread
I couldnít believe my eyes.

Three neighbor ladies of Mrs..Putnam
Were helping tend the men
I ate and ate until I thought Iíd break
Then back to work again.

I worked for two days
From daylight till dusk, you see
Then we walked two miles home
The Old Grey Mare and me.

Before supper down to the swimming hole I went
Washed off all the dust and dirt
Went straight to bed
Soon Iíd have to go to work.

We made it through one more day,
And when the fields were bare
Mr. Putnam sat in the shade of a tree
And wrote checks for the men lined up there.

For my two days of work
My check was a dollar fifty
I safety pinned the check to my overalls
I thought it kinda nifty.

I started out as a water boy, in Chelsea Kansas
For seventy five cents a day
Ended up in California as a water boy
At almost twice the pay.

Monte L. Manka 06-10-2006