Mike Brewer - While I was a student at Bolivar High School, I worked part-time at Newland's Dry Cleaners. I started working there during my sophomore year. I would get up around 5:00 am each morning and ride my bike, or later, drive my 63 Corvair Monza, to Newland's Cleaners and start cleaning the filters and getting the dry cleaning machines ready. Then, I would put the clothes, that I had brushed and prepared the night before, into the cleaning solvents and start up the machines. Then it was off to school to make that first class. Later, after school and after any football or track practice, it was back to Newland's where I pressed coats and brushed clothes out for the next morning, before sweeping the floors and locking up. I also worked at Newland's on Saturdays and I did this until I graduated from high school. Back then, I was paid $1.00 per hour and was working around 20 hours each week and this gave me enough money to buy my clothes (at Braithwaite's) gas for my car, and the extra money I needed for expenses like my letter jacket and dates out with some of our beautiful classmates. Those were not easy years for me but they were some of the best years of my life. I never talked about my working at Newland's and outside of Thomas Ball and Emery Davis, I am not sure if anyone else knew it. I was at Newlands for three years and never got a raise. Is that crazy? I liked John Newland a lot. He was almost like having a dad. John was a WWII guy and he had a lot of war stories. He was a private with the Normandy Landing and the push into Germany. Came back to Bolivar after the war and opened up his Dry Cleaners. The business is still there in the same old building. His brother, Randy, owned a Conoco Gas Station in Bolivar during the same time and I got to know Randy pretty well also. John's wife was "Frenchy" and she was the "boss". If I didn't do something the way she wanted it, she would take it out of my pay. I didn't have a father, so it was cool to have John and Randy to go to when I needed to. After high school, I started working at the Truck Harbor Truck Stop just south of Bolivar on Highway 13, but that's another story.

David Hampton - Before moving to town when I was 14 my brother Dennis and I mowed yards. We lived about five miles west on highway 32 in this old farmhouse. Our closest yard was about a half mile away and the furthest was about two miles. We would push the 19" mower down highway 32 to the yard jobs. We learned to take plenty of gas with us. In town I worked as an illegal grunt on Lonnie Jump's Coke truck pushing a dolly and sorting bottles at grocery stores. He paid me cash out of his pocket since he was not supposed to have a helper. Then I worked as a bagger and stock boy at Wade's Super Market. Evenings I was a car hop at the Penguin. Allen Hines and I were the first males to work as hops there. Ken Bruce, (the owner) thought guys would be better since the previous girl hops kept getting hassled by the clientele. Danny Steinshouer was the short order cook. Ken later sold the Penguin to Orie and Hazel McKinney. Hazel was a checkout clerk at Wade's when I was there. Then I worked at Rexall as a soda jerk, yeah right, and stock boy. I replaced Mike Stephens in the position. Bob Woodfill, the owner, was my baseball coach. He could be kinda gruff at times and I wasn't sure if he liked me, but unbeknownst to me he went to my father and asked him if it would be okay to hire me. He wasn't grumpy at the store so I guess his previous attitude centered around my skills at baseballšŸ˜‰. I remember teammate Kris Richter use to step out of the batter's box when pitched to, so one day at practice Bob put a railroad tie behind his feet. When Kris tried to step back he fell on his butt. Problem solved. Bob and his son John Mark groomed the young people they hired to enter a career in pharmacy. That of course is what Mike did. My life took a different turn, but ironically, I married a pharmacist years later (Terri). I worked early mornings before school on Garretson's trash truck (boy was that fun), and later got my broadcast license and worked at KBLR radio. During this time I also hauled hay during the summers for two or three cents a bale. I blew most of my money on comic books, clothes and my little HondašŸ˜‰

Billy Copeland - I started working at age 12 driving a truck. Ok it was only in granny gear in the hay fields because the bales were too heavy. So I got a half penny a bale. But the next 2 summers I got a penny a bale for tossing them on the truck bed. I didn't eat much on those hot summer days but at lunch I would down a whole giant liter bottle of Dr. Pepper. Then my dad and my Aunt, a maid at the Polk County Bank, got me a job mowing the Dunnegan brothers yard, flower bed & orchard. It took 5 1/2 days to mow it all, then start over again, all summer. $.75/hour. The second year Mr. Victor Wainscott, bank VP called me in to his office to say the spinster Dunnegan sister wanted straight lines instead of the curves I did around the trees, and he would call me if they needed my services again. He didn't say it but I figured I was fired. I was a car hop at the Penguin for Orrie and Hazel McKinney, and a surveyor's assistant till finishing high school. Dad came through again with an electrician's job ($1/hr) at Polk County Electric on the square, just up from Jesters. John and I did everything from farm field pole lights to wiring house and business buildings. He was a wonderful gentleman who refused to work out in the rain after being out in Philippine typhoons in WW2 (as my Dad had done). He also taught me his habit of checking for electric current with a finger. True story. I learned enough to ace the Air Force avionics test, and went in a week before my draft notice came, then worked on fighters, bombers, tankers, cargo planes and helicopters. Yes, Vietnam Vet. The G.I. Bill made it possible for me to realize my dream of an MS in Engineering.

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