Monday, November 17, 2008

Having found my niche in the athletic arena, I was still in need of money; how could I afford to take my girl to the movies? I did odd jobs around the neighborhood: leaf raking, car washing, snow shoveling, grass mowing and the like. Still, these jobs were intermittent and didn't provide the steady flow of cash I wanted.

One of my neighborhood friends, Donny Powers, had been offered a job with a local farmer doing some haying during the summer. The farmer, Ernie Rufa, asked him to find a friend to help and Donny asked me. The paper route was replaced with farm labor.

Around the same time a family friend, Fr. Leduc, a priest at our church; Notre Dame, asked me if I'd be interested in singing at 0600 mass every weekday for a modest stipend. I'm certain now that this was a ploy to get me interested in the priest hood, and it almost worked, but hey, who cares, A dollar earned is a dollar earned. I was already singing in the Sunday choir with my dad, so his offer wasn't a total give-away; he knew I could carry a tune. A chance to sing and to get paid for it? You betcha Father! BTW, this gig also led to my being asked to sing at weddings, one of which was when my Employer Ernie, married Anne Kiah.

So there you have it; my high school years consisted of: singing 0600 mass Mon.-Fri., football, wrestling, and baseball, farm work on weekends and through the summers. I did study intermittently, because a passing grade point average was required on a weekly basis to be eligible to play in athletic competitions every week.

Beginning my senior year of high school I heard about a program available through the local Naval Reserve unit. High school students, with their parent's permission, could enlist in the Navy reserve. They would attend meetings at the local reserve center one weekend a month, and go to a 2 week boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Illinois during the summer. At some point over the next 6 years you'd be required to do a 2 year active duty hitch.

This opportunity appealed to me on two levels: The Navy paid you real money for attending the meetings. Also, in my mind, being a sailor carried a pretty impressive image to heighten my stature with the ladies...... Two birds, one stone; money, girls! How could a guy lose?
October 1st, 1962 I enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Yes my senior year was busy; school/studies, singing, athletics, odd jobs, farm labor, Navy obligations and lastly, there was even some time for girls and dating.
I say lastly, but as we all know, the girl thing was really at the top of my priorities, (remember that word from the last post? testosterone.). Money from gainful employment, athletic prowess, and a Navy uniform; for what,if not to impress the ladies?

Listen here:

Next: A dreamer bounching off the walls of reality.



Blogger bonniew said...

Wow, Fr. Laduc! My parents were very good friends with him. I remember going to Trout River to visit his parents. Have you kept in contact with him? Last I knew he was married in Tupper or that area. Thanks for the memories!

7:40 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Love your motivation! ;^)

9:47 AM  
Blogger Tammy Brierly said...

A singer, brawny, responsible and athletic? Quite the catch Rel.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Imagine how different your life would have been if you weren't trying to impress the ladies.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

Can you believe our days of impressing the opposite sex are almost days of old????? oooops....not for me...Im still impressin em! else would I have got such a lovely diamond? hahaha

5:30 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Ah, a man on a illustrate that very well, Rel.

9:05 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

again the musical accompaniment could not have been better... must rush off to read the next install......

9:30 AM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

If dreamers bounce off the walls of reality far enough, do they extend reality to new and far off reaches?

They must... or we'd still be in the dark ages.

Bounce away, dear friend!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

3:43 PM  

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