... how I made a living
In a previous article I explained my business of an egg route which went on until I graduated from high school in Melrose, class of '48.
After that I worked for Charley Clayman at the Melrose Supply Company for a year.
The mountains beckoned in 1949 so my pal, Dick Eames, and I took work for the Appalachian Mountain Club in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. That was a great experience but after one year I came home and attended Burdett College for one semester. By then the Korean War was heating up and since I was in the Naval Reserves and not very enthralled with school, I volunteered for active duty. When I eventually got my honorable discharge, I managed to get a job as a salesman for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. The first five years with them was fun but after the cigarette business started changing due to the cancer scare, the job went down the ol' tubes. In 1960 I quit smoking cigarettes and a year later I was fired as the division manager and I failed to cut it.
Getting fired was no fun but was probably the best thing that could have happened. Soon, I took a job driving oil delivery trucks. That was fairly easy and the pay was fairly good. After a couple of years they sent me to schools and allowed me to assist burner mechanics in the summertime. Eventually, I took the State exam for oil burners and got a mark above 90 while all the others taking the exam failed. The examiner was so happy with my mark that he issued the license on the spot and made it absolutely unrestricted.
That meant I could legally work on any oil-fired heater, furnace or boiler in the State. For the next 25 years I worked as an oil burner serviceman. It was not all peaches and cream by any measure but the pay was good as were the benefits. I also felt I had served a good purpose in life by rescuing many heating systems and chilly people in time of need. The ol' self respect stayed intact. After that I retired and I earned every day of that!
January 4, 2002