Words of Wisdom:

"fred vinall likes it up the chuff" - Angelicagates

Life on the Blueberry Farm

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:07 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.8 
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      Being a New Jersey public school teacher for thirty-four years meant that I had to find summer employment to supplement my mediocre yearly income. Since schoolteachers are “contracted” employees they are not eligible to collect unemployment benefits during their ten-week unpaid summer vacations.   In fact teachers don’t receive paid vacations at all! My job predicament allowed me to find and explore many different alternative occupations that I wouldn’t have dabbled in if I had been in a profession that demanded a twelve-month -commitment and a corresponding twelve-month-remuneration.

    In 1965 and 1966 I worked on my father-in-law’s four hundred- acre fruit and vegetable farm on the White Horse Pike (Route 30) in Elm just outside Hammonton, New Jersey. I drove a forklift, loaded tractor trailers, spent many hours in the packinghouse’s cold storage and generally helped manage the growing, harvesting and shipment of peaches, nectarines, apples, sugar plums, zucchini squash, corn, peppers and tomatoes, for they were the principal crops raised on White Horse Farm. My father-in-law was a tough Sicilian taskmaster and we often didn’t see eye-to-eye in regard to personnel management and our colliding philosophies pertaining to ordinary day-to-day operations were often at different ends of the thought spectrum.

    From 1968 to 1981 I co-owned and operated Dealers Choice, an amusement arcade doing business under the Atlantic Hotel at 410 South Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. People (mostly tourists with money to burn) would come into the establishment and play poker machines that were activated upon the drop of a dime into a slot, and if they obtained a hand of “Jacks or Better” the customer received a coupon of different values depending on whether the hand was a pair, two pair, three of a kind, a straight, a flush, a full house, four of a kind or a fabulous straight flush. If a rare Royal Flush occurred the player was entitled to “Choice of the...

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