Or do I say “occupation” or “profession” or “work” or one of so many descriptions of what we all do to earn money, our livelihood if you please! It is necessary to live and I’m one of those strange persons who loved all of my jobs (at least at the time I was doing them) and I firmly believe it is an attitude or “frame of mind” that makes one happy or in this case to like his job! 🙂
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”~Confucius
So did I just “choose good” or am I “just lucky?” Again I think it is all in your head and that you can determine to be happy in anything you do and of course that will help you to do your job better and be better rewarded for it! Or to be more successful!
I’m going to list my jobs chronologically in the order they came into my life, sharing only bits about each, both the good and bad or maybe just the main thing I remember about each one. In some ways I could be envious of the person who has just one main job his whole adult life, but then look at all the adventures I would have missed! 🙂
Adventure isn’t hanging off a rope on the side of a mountain or living among lions. Adventure is an attitude to experience everyday things.~John Amatt
And with that attitude, each of my jobs was a unique adventure! Really! They were!
- Circa 1953-55 – Janitor at Duggar Department Store, El Dorado, AR, working for my Dad, sweeping out the store with that red, smelly, oily sawdust and using a squeegee on the front display windows. I felt important and needed and received a little bit of money.
- Circa 1953-55 – Very briefly with my Cushman Motor Scooter, delivering groceries for our neighbor’s corner grocery store in El Dorado. A dozen eggs in a paper bag did not last on a bouncy motor scooter and neither did this job last long. 🙂
- Circa 1955 – Paper Route – I think it was my last job in El Dorado before we moved to Tulsa and don’t remember much about it. I did this two more times in life (college & as a married adult needing more money).
- Circa 1955 – Vendor at Baseball Games for the “El Dorado Oilers,” a training team for the New York Giants. I sold drinks and snacks walking through the stands. Repeated this at the University of Oklahoma too! 🙂
- 1955-58 – Sacker & Checker in Sipes Food Market, Tulsa. I worked after school and on weekends all three years of high school. In some ways my first “real job” which I repeated twice during my university years. Briefly at a supermarket in Norman, OK and all summer at one in Seattle, WA while a “Tentmaker Summer Missionary” there in 1959.
University of Oklahoma Student Jobs
- 1958-59 – Houseboy in a Jewish Fraternity House at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. I had tried earlier to work locally as a Supermarket Checker, but they couldn’t work schedules to match my class schedules. The houseboy job was quite interesting and eye-opening for this shy, conservative boy as I learned how rich boys lived.
- 1958-59 – 1959-60 –Vendor at Football Games, selling hot dogs, popcorn, Cracker Jacks, etc. for a percentage of my sales. It was my best-paying part-time job, just limited to games. And of course it was like one of my Junior High jobs, just a bigger stadium and more people!
- Summer of 1959 I went with my BSU friends Willis and Gary as a Tentmaker Summer Missionary to Seattle, WA. Tentmakers, like the apostle Paul, had to earn our own way. I did that as a full-time Supermarket Checker in a Seattle supermarket, continuing my high school days vocation. 🙂
- 1958-59 – Early morning Janitor of the Journalism Building at OU.
- 1958-59 – Early morning Paper Route in neighborhood near the university.
- I think I did my first semester without work using up my savings. Then I worked the other jobs my other two semesters at OU, often two jobs at a time.
Ouachita Baptist College Student Jobs
- I worked all 5 semesters at Ouachita with the first semester job as a Cafeteria Worker, serving food to other students on the cafeteria line and washing dishes afterwards. It was a little like being a Fraternity Houseboy at OU but here serving literally everyone! 🙂
- Then the summer after my Sophomore year was completed at Ouachita I was again a Tentmaker Summer Missionary, this time in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Triangle of upstate New York. And my required summer job in this position was as the Night Motel Desk Clerk in a motel in Albany. I traveled between the three cities on the old bicycle my home host’s grown son had left there. 🙂
- During the 1960-61 Junior year at Ouachita I was an Assistant to the School Nurse in what was called the Infirmary. I of course did whatever Nurse Venable told me which included cleaning the building and equipment, bringing food from cafeteria to bed-ridden patients, making beds which is where I learned to tuck sheets in with “hospital corners” at the foot of bed, something I haven’t been able to teach my Nicaraguan maid here to do on my bed. 🙂 There were 2 of us assistants in the Infirmary, me and a girl student. Having earlier ambitions for a medical career, I liked working with the sick, but not the menial jobs the very bossy nurse had us doing. I was there two semesters and like other campus jobs, my earnings were credited to my school account which eventually had to be paid off with a dreaded student loan arranged before graduation.
- That 1960-61 year I was also the volunteer (no pay) Youth Minister at Third Street Baptist Church, a poor white people church literally “across the tracks” where one of my Religion Professors, Dr. Blackburn, was the part-time pastor. I loved it! That is where I really got into youth ministry as an early profession. That previous year I was a volunteer Junior High Boys Sunday School Teacher at FBC which also was moving me into youth ministry. 🙂
- Then the second summer, after my Junior Year there in 1961, I stayed on campus and was a Painter and Farmworker, painting the insides of buildings, mostly that summer the Cone-Bottoms Girls Dormitory that was empty for the summer. On the school’s farmland we mostly harvested hay which was sold for cattle feed to nearby farms. It was an interesting summer but I wouldn’t want to be a painter or farmworker for life! 🙂
- Then during my last year at Ouachita, starting in the summer of 1961 through May 1962 I was the part-time, weekend and Wednesday night, Pastor of the Third Street Baptist Church in Chidester, Arkansas, about an hour’s drive from the campus and down the road from Hope, where Bill Clinton grew up. 🙂 I preached there every Sunday morning and night plus Wednesday night, was ordained there, and did one wedding, one baptism and two funerals. Most of the deacons called me “son” and one was trying to get me interested in his daughter. 🙂 It was during this year that I decided God had not called me to be a pastor and registered for the seminary in Religious Education with emphasis on Youth Ministry. 🙂
- The summer of 1962 after I graduated from Ouachita with a BA in Sociology I resigned the pastorate and worked all three months as Camp Chaplain, Campfire Leader, and Senior Patrol Leader Instructor at Camp Quapaw Boy Scout Camp near Benton, Arkansas. At the time, it was the most enjoyable job I had ever had with training provided at BSA National Camping School before summer camp began and Woodbadge Training at the end of summer as the Boy Scout Council in Little Rock was trying to talk me into professional scouting, which I seriously considered, but when I realized what a big part of my job would be fund-raising, I lost interest. 🙂 If I could have run a summer camp year around I might have been more interested! 🙂 Thus at the end of that summer, I continued my earlier plans as a student of religious education at the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
Southwestern Theological Seminary Student Jobs
- Almost immediately at Southwestern I became the night-time motel desk clerk at a Fort Worth motel like I had done with my Tentmaker Summer Missionary job in Albany, New York. Yes, I could study on the job but not suppose to sleep and that was hard. So I soon found a part-time job more to my liking as the:
- Swimming Pool Manager at the Fort Worth Boys Club. I did that much of the fall semester until I was given the opportunity to work in my new chosen profession as the:
- Youth Minister at the Beverly Hills Baptist Church in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas.
Church Minister Jobs
- Church Jobs from Above while in School:
- Third Street Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, AR – 1960-61 – Volunteer Youth Minister
- Chidester Baptist Church, Chidester, AR – 1961-62 – Pastor
- Beverly Hills Baptist Church, Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX – 1962-65
- Miami Springs Baptist Church, Miami, FL – 1965-67
- Hillcrest Baptist Church, South Oak Cliff, Dallas, TX – 1967-69
- Bethany Baptist Church, Dallas, TX – 1975-77 -Minister of Education & Administration
- Harpeth Heights Baptist Church, Nashville – 1978-79 – Part-time Minister of Education while at Publishing Agency below
- Belmont Heights Baptist Church, Nashville – 1979-81 – Part-time Youth Minister, while at Publishing Agency below
- Brotherhood Commission, SBC, Memphis, TN – 1969-1975 – Pioneer Royal Ambassador Consultant and Department Director
- I also served as a Consultant in the Publishing Agency job below, though considered a secondary role.
- Bethany Baptist Church, Dallas, TX – 1975-77 -Minister of Education & Administration
- Sunday School Board, SBC, then LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, TN – 1977-99 – In multiple positions:
- Church Training Youth Editor & Consultant
- Church Training Marketing Coordinator
- Church Services Product Development Coordinator.
- International Service Corp Missionary to The Gambia, West Africa – 1999-2002
Nature Photographer, Traveler, Blog Writer & Retiree
- From 2003 to 2008 I slowly started developing a retirement hobby of nature photography into a small entrepreneurial business, first in Arts and Crafts Shows and then in a few galleries and online, selling a lot of photos but always in the red because of the many expenses of doing business, which is why I quit trying to sell in 2008. Now it is just for fun. I don’t even try to sell, though occasionally someone buys one of my photos from my online gallery or one of my photo books from my online bookstore – not many! 🙂 And my markup is just $1 profit on each book or photo. I don’t consider it a job, just a hobby! I give away a whole lot more photos & photo books than I will ever sell! 🙂 Which is okay! Pura vida!
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”~Robert Louis Stevenson
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