Summer of 62 Job Home
In the summer of 62 my dad got me a job at Cullinan Construction in Tremont. Mr Cullinan was a member at PCC and provided a lot of work for Chink athletes. My first day I went to work on a curb and gutter crew. All day I hand tamped dirt down to get the area ready for a concrete pour the next day. The tamper weighed about twenty pounds and was about a four inch diameter metal tube with a one foot square metal plate on the bottom. By lifting up and letting it drop down while helping it along the dirt gets compacted. Today it is done with a machine. Lifting that weight all day was the most exhausting thing I had done in my life to that point. When I got home around six pm I just went right to my bedroom and fell on the bed without taking off my clothes. I didn't wake up till the next morning for work. My dad thought it was funny and was needling me about going to bed so early.
The next back breaking task I remember was loading the metal curb and gutter forms onto a flatbed truck with Bob Easter, a Illini football guard who had graduated from Washington High School. He tried to run the Chink into the ground but I kept up with him.
One day I was told to go pick up a wheelbarrow full of concrete from the concrete truck and bring it back to the finishers. The truck was about a ˝ block up the road. When I got there the wheelbarrow was already full – and I do mean full. They had set me up. It would be near impossible to get that back to the finishers without tipping it over. But I gave it a shot and it was tipping this way and that and it nearly tipped over several times but I finally made it. I guess I was going through the initiation.
One of the finishers was an old man named Jerry. He would get to talking about all kinds of subjects and one day he got to talking about how hard it was to live with a woman. He said that every morning when he gets up he tries to suck his cock and he hasn't made it yet but if he ever does he'll get rid of his wife so fast it'll make her head spin.
One day I was working with a tall kid who had a basketball scholarship to some Illinois University. We were riding on the back of a flatbed going to pick up some forms. The driver was an rolly poly old man named “Rowdy” who looked more like a bulldog than a bulldog. He had jowls that would flap when he would talk. My companion used to love to get him mad so he would start yelling and watch his jowls flap. While Rowdy was driving and we were standing on the flatbed against the cab he would pound on the top of Rowdy's cab until Rowdy would get so mad he would yell “Goddammit I told you not to pound on my roof!” Then the kid would just start yelling “Dont get rowdy Rowdy!” Rowdy would be so mad by the time we'd get to our destination he would get out and start flapping his jowls at us and the kid would just laugh and he'd get me to laughing where I could barely stop.
I spent most of the summer with a shovel in my hand shoveling concrete or setting up and removing and handling forms. It was a rude awakening for a boy who had grown up on a golf course who hardest job was caddying, cleaning clubs, and minding the pro shop.