Sunday, April 12, 2009
Girl For Hire
Advertures in Baby Sitting
My first form of employment was babysitting, which was the way for most of us Baby Boomers. I worked for fifty cents an hour! I suppose this was fair. A pack of cigarettes cost 25 cents at the machine in Wilson Drugs. It was positioned discretely by the front door so us kids could slip our quarters in the slot, pull the knob and be out the door unapprehended and unseen. So, fifty cents and hour = two packs of ciggies at today's (Kentucky rates) = $10.00/hour, so it was all good back then.
The important things for a 12 year old making fifty cents an hour were modest and worth saving for. Coupled with my allowance, which was also fifty cents a week, I was able to save and purchase record albums (The Beatles, Motown, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Monkees)which were about $3.50 back then. A 45 single was 99 cents. A 16 magazine was 25 cents, Tiger Beat about the same!
So, if I worked two nights on the week-ends, I was rolling in the dough on Monday.
Less the dime I would put in the offering envelopes for the collection at church on Sundays. And more than likely, less the money I could spend at the local store at the end of the street next to ours, Giles Grocery. The Pepsi machine at the front of the store sold soda's for one thin dime.
I baby sat a lot of the local kids, besides my own brothers and sisters (which I was not paid for, included in my allowance) and remain very friendly with their families all these years later. I did not realize how young these couples actually were! Newly graduated from college and beginning a family in "Mayberry". I recently went to a funeral for one of them and confided to one of the sons that I babysat for them and he replied, "And you came back?? I hear we were the holy terror of the town!" and I blurted out, "No body was as bad as WH!!" I realized where I was and very likely he could be standing behind me!! Time has a way of changing a four year old into a late 40 year old! But after a stunned silence (for my part) we laughed.
I think WH was a hand full at school also. I think he may have been expelled. If I also remember correctly, I was their only baby sitter! I was requested by this little demon! Maybe I was the only one who could tolerate, I mean handle him.
He was a handsome cuss, even then.
My babysitting ended when I began to go out with my friends who had cars and we began "Riding around". I had no time for baby sitting then. And fifty cents an hour was not cutting it any longer.
I graduated to other things.