Holy Grail # 7–Part Time Jobs

“Welcome to putt putt. Would you like to play all of our courses today? We have three 18-hole courses, and you can play all three for just $1.50. That is three for the price of two.” I pitched this line to our miniature golf customers. Jim Loudermilk hired me for this part time job at Putt-Putt golf on S. Campbell. It was the summer before  my high school junior year.

“Attention putt-putt golfers. The next person to make a hole-in-one with a red, yellow, blue, or green ball will win a $.50 discount coupon. You can use this coupon toward the purchase of your next game.” Jim was a master at marketing his course. We had “Super Saturday”, from 9:00 to noon ($.75). In addition, Mondays were “Dollar Days” from 9:00 to 5:00. Both gave you unlimited play plus other fun and games.

One month I took a few of our younger regular customers and we hung free game placards on doorknobs. Jim paid these youngsters $0.03 / card, which was great money for someone in Junior high. Once, after a particularly successful day distributing 500 free game passes we celebrated with a trip to Dairy Queen. They later confided they threw away one package of 100 cards in a dumpster.

Daily Putt-Putt Jobs

I completed several jobs each day in addition to selling tickets to new customers. These included:

– Blowing leaves and debris off carpets
– Cleaning rest rooms
– Washing and waxing golf balls
– Stocking soda and candy machines
– Updating the marquee

Kmart Sporting Goods

“Attention Kmart shoppers. Your flashing blue light is now in the sporting goods department. For the next 10 minutes pick up a Rabble-Rouser fishing lure for just twenty-five cents.” Announcing “Blue Light Specials.” was just one of my Jobs at Kmart sporting goods.

I was an avid sportsman during my college years. I camped, hunted, and fished. Therefore, I could not ask for a better job. I always knew when essential gear was going on sale.

Interestingly, Kmart paid it’s employees in cash. I remember traipsing to the office, punching my time card and collecting my cash envelope. Subsequently I would return to the sporting goods  department to buy that week’s specials.

High School – My Sweetheart, Jobs & Guitars

She wrapped her arm around my waist while I pulled her shoulders close. In this manner we walked the hallways of Kickapoo high school before our homeroom class. Just days before my dream girl, Kim Herbel accepted my homecoming invitation. I was clearly out of my league. She was a petite 4’10” cheerleader with tiny waist, big boobs, and a spunky personality. I on other hand was a nerdy, skinny senior. My only athletic accomplishment was making the golf team as an alternate. Our romance lasted until shortly before Christmas.

I got along well with her mother. Mrs. Herbel was manager of a store in Battlefield Mall that sold musical instruments. I took advantage of the employee discount to purchase my first guitar. This nylon string classical guitar served me well. I never took lessons and taught myself since YouTube was not available in the 1970s. One of the first songs I learned was Blackbird by the Beatles.

The Beatles, also known as “The White Album“, is the ninth studio album by The Beatles.  It was released on 22 November 1968. A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text otherThe Beatlesthan the band’s name embossed.  This was a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band’s earlier Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. No singles were issued from The Beatles in Britain and the United States, In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked The Beatles at number 10 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

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6 Responses to Holy Grail # 7–Part Time Jobs

  1. Jennifer says:

    Brought back so many neat memories of part time jobs. One summer job for college money was packing a diet candy called Ayds. We would eat a few squares, then no longer be hungry for lunch. That temporary factory job made me realize I really needed to complete my education. Perfect Beatles selection, too!

  2. David Simpson says:

    Really brought back my own memories of part time jobs during the summers! Can’t imsgine you calling out blue light specials 😅 Terrific song selection!

  3. Janet Love says:

    When I was ready to start my junior year in high school in 1963 our family moved to Topeka. That summer I got a call from Mrs. Kirkegaard who lived down the street. She was my first part time employer. She asked if I (and my sister) would be interested in babysitting her 3 children who were probably 2, 3, and 6 and doing housecleaning. So I did that while I was in high school and college. Mrs. Kirkegaard was half way in age between my Mother and me. She was a college graduate, had a career for a while, was a wonderful mother and became involved in the community. She went back to get her Masters in Education when she became a single Mom and supported her family. She was a role model and friend for 55 years. She lived with Parkinson’s for many years. But that never defined her. Her 2017 Christmas cards showed painting she had recently done. She was always learning something new. The Celebration of her Life will be next weekend. She lives on through her children and grandchildren. Thanks to her for giving me my first part time employment opportunity and ongoing lessons for a lifetime.

  4. Brandy says:

    This is a great read. Brian said that putt putt was his babysitter.

  5. Bert says:

    In addition to always having a number of yards to mow, I too had some fun summer jobs with great memories. Putt-Putt was certainly one of them.
    Great song choice from that album ! Blackbird is a favorite in my family. Even now, Hank insists I sing “the song about the broken wing” at bedtime.

  6. Brenda says:

    Smiling the whole way through, Brad! Wow, taught yourself to play Blackbird? That’s not an easy song to play! You really took me down memory lane, today….

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