When I was nine, my allowance wouldn’t cover the items that I wanted to buy out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Monticello only had two small grocery stores. The only place we could shop was in a catalog, and we could only shop with our eyes.
I thought a lot about how I could come up with the money to buy a croquet set and a pogo stick I wanted for summer. The only option that I could see was to look for a kid’s job. We lived a mile out of town on the way to the mountains. A lemonade stand just would not work for my entrepreneurial spirit.
I kept my eye out for a kid’s job I thought that I could get or create. It seemed like every time I went to the grocery store, there was a young boy stocking the shelves. I know that when my mother brought her groceries home that it was my job to stack them on the shelves. I decided that stacking items on shelves was a job that I could do.
I picked the day that I would ride my bike to town and go in and ask Mr. Adams, the store owner, for a job. After all, he knew my parents and I hoped that would give me an in. When I got to the store, I went in and asked his assistant if I could see Mr. Adams. As he came to the door, I bent my neck back to look up to him as he was 6′ 4”. When I looked up I began to wonder what I was getting myself into.
I did my best to blurt out the words, “Can I have a job stacking cans? He looked slowly at me and smiled. Then he said, “you are far too young.” I felt dejected and did not know what to do but to go home. I got on my bike, and as I rode the one mile back home, I passed a small stream that went right by our house. It was our prime spot to dig worms for all our summer fishing trips.