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My First Job

By Marilyn Jones,
Schoolcraft’s Poet Laureate

Back in February, 1942
I was an inexperienced fifteen,
Naïve, slender, lithe and strong
And thought I could do anything
Know what I mean?

I saw an ad for “Help Wanted”
A chance to earn a little money,
At 60 an hour, I was enthused
(I got 10 an hour for baby-sitting)
The boss said, “You’re hired, honey!”

I showed up promptly at 5 o’clock
After wading through slush and snow,
We walked everywhere in those days
Life wasn’t easy, I want you to know.

I wore slacks, a sweater and saddle shoes
A narrow board, was where I could sit,
Very soon, I learned to pull my legs up
Still…once in a while I got hit.

The noise was like a freight train
Rumble, rumble, rumble, CRASH!
Then I jumped down, and set ‘em up
And threw that heavy ball down the chute
Darned hard work for a little cash.

Over and over, up and down
This wasn’t any fun at all,
Bending, stooping, squatting, lifting
I trudged home at eleven, wanting to bawl.

I managed to stick it out for three weeks
There was never a moment to dally,
Yes, before electronics took over
I was a pin-setter at the bowling alley!

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