Wherever the Road Leads

Random Thoughts From…

… A Working Man

I was listening to Pandora internet music recently when they played “I am the eggman… I am the walrus…” from the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album released in 1967. I thought disparagingly, ‘some tunes are best left in the past.’

It dawned on me, that fifty years later, I am the eggman. Dairy and frozen foods seems to have been my assignment since I started my retail career two weeks ago, and over the Thanksgiving holiday, we ran out of eggs. Large, jumbo, medium, organic, 18-packs, flats of 30, if a chicken laid it, we didn’t have it. A customer asked me how we ran out. I told her that we hadn’t anticipated the size of the holiday demand and hadn’t increased our order sufficiently. But I couldn’t help adding, “Or, y’all bought too much.” I sure hope she wasn’t the chain’s Regional Manager.

I just viewed my paycheck online. While some of the money is already spoken for, covering the cost of non-slip shoes, gardening gloves for working frozen food and beige pants, at $9 per hour, I don’t know how I’m going to spend all that money. Getting a job had a couple of goals. I was bored here in the park doing nothing. I was visiting my cousin, Janice, once a week but beyond that I had virtually zero social life. With not Workamping, I now had a major capital outlay each month for my site rental and electricity… about $420. Ouch.

Nine dollars an hour is a fortune. If I work 20 hours per week, eighty hours per month, that would be $720!! Minus $420 leaves me $300 that I don’t need. Workamping worked out to be around $5 per hour, so I’m in the big time money now.

And, I have interaction with people. Some of the teenagers in the store seem to have adopted me as their grandfather. So I give them grandfatherly advice… stay in school to get a good education so that you don’t end up like me, sixty-six years old and working in a grocery store. One young lady in particular is sweet. A customer asked me where a product was and I had no idea. This young lady was nearby, we asked her and she knew. I noticed that the young lady’s make-up was very well done and guessed her to be about twenty. On the weekend when I was working, she and some friends came into the store, dressed in street clothes… and no make up. I barely recognized this young girl who now looked fourteen.

It reminded me of when I was invited, along with my cousin and her family, to their friend’s home and I had no idea where it was. My cousin’s daughter, Nikki, maybe seventeen at the time, rode with me to give me directions. The first thing she did was to pull down the sun visor to see herself in the mirror, then opened up her make up bag. Although we talked, I was concentrating on following her directions and trying to keep the shiny side up.

When we arrived at our destination about a half hour later, I finally looked over at her. Lord have mercy!! The seventeen year old had turned twenty-seven and stepped off the cover of Vogue. Then later in life, when women age, they use make up to look younger. Although everyone looks young to me these days. Policemen, doctors… my doctor claims she’s fifty but looks a hot thirty to me.

It’s fine for me to joke about my $9/hr job because I don’t need to live on those earnings. But what if I did? I see instances every shift I work of the young customers who dropped out of school, had three kids by age twenty-five and have eaten their way to 300 pounds. Not that weighing 300 pounds isn’t dead easy. Even staying out of the fast food joints, some of these processed, frozen meals could be the death of you.

A year ago, my blood pressure was way out of whack as I had switched blood pressure medicines and they weren’t working. Dawne, my co-worker here at Lake Harmony and a paramedic, suggested that I watch my salt intake. I did, and it reduced my blood pressure significantly even before I could get a new prescription. I have watched my salt intake since.

The other day I was putting up frozen dinners. The packaging and the picture on one brand I had never noticed before – Devour from Kraft/Heinz – looked delicious. I thought that I might try one… until I turned the box over and read the sodium content. Seventeen hundred and thirty milligrams per serving. Lord have mercy. The only place I’d feel safe eating one of those would be the Emergency Room at the local hospital. That’s not a White Cheddar and Smokehouse Bacon meal, that’s a salt lick.


On one of my trips to visit with my cousin, we watched the movie Baby Driver. It was pretty good. I think. I could follow the movie but couldn’t hear it really well. Really soon, I’m going to have to break down and get hearing aids… pardon? I later downloaded the movie and watched it while wearing headphones to be able to hear ALL of the dialog.

Baby Driver is along the lines of Fast and Furious… fast cars and fancy driving. And robbing banks. It’s geared to teens and twenty-somethings. It’s a little idealistic with a boatload of swearing but a fantastic soundtrack that includes the song at the top of the blog. B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas, released in 1966. I have used Youtube many times to record somewhat obscure tunes… Motown included. Typically, the number of views of these videos will run between 500 and 3500. The views of the above video of a long-forgotten tune are at 1.8 million, thanks to Baby Driver.

I learned something while looking into this tune. As you can see, it was released by Stax Records. I always assumed that Stax was a deviation on the spelling of ‘stacks’, as in stacking up vinyl 45 rpm records on a turntable. or ‘stacks of wax’ as the DJs used to say back when music was good. However, it’s a combination of the two founders’ names…Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton… STAX Records.

In sharing my newfound information with a fellow camper who was wearing a Stax t-shirt, he pointed me to this wesite… https://www.bluescentric.com... who have many items from the Memphis Sixties, Sun Records and the vinyl era…

…which the cute sometimes twenty, sometimes fourteen little girlie at Bi-Lo will never get to appreciate.


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  1. Ian W.  November 28, 2017

    I thought you were getting a little old on me Gordon, as I read your blog…especially when you started on the blood pressure but then you turned the corner by mentioning the movie “Baby Driver’ which I saw last July with my eldest nephew…pretty good entertainment and good music.. yeah, I didn’t like all the swearing and it was a little too ‘Hollywood’ in parts, but it kept my interest to the end. Your research on ‘Stax Records’ was great! I didn’t know that!

  2. Jan  November 28, 2017

    So now you are a working man will you still visit? Not limited to once a week but that was to ensure at least once s week! Check you work schedule and see if you can fit us in! Great memories need to keep happening to fill your blog!


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