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.


Robbie said...

I tried to leave a comment yesterday wishing you well on your move but I couldn't remember my log in to Blogger. Clearly, I have not been blogging enough. Ha ha!

Great story and photo. I too babysat for spending money. I started a bit earlier though. I was 10! I was a mature 10 though. Ha! Oh my I had some royal terrors too. I sure hope they mellowed out as they aged.

Nelle said...

Oh Mary the babysitting stories I could tell. Yes that fifty cents and hour (and I got seventy-five cents after midnight) really added up. I had a steady gig with this family who had two adopted children. The parents were older, lovely people. The girl Lori was a real hell raiser. She once threw my shoe into the backyard where I spent over an hour trying to find it. I was so glad when I got a job at a five and ten counter and could give up that job! Funny times though NOW.