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1.) grandpawrichard - 05/11/2013
Growing up in the 1950's and 60's

Growing up in the Skagit Valley was an experience that left it's mark on all of us. We never had lots of money. Times were tough, but they were fair if you put out the effort to better yourself. There were lots and lots of opportunities for employment. Farmers were more than happy to give you a job in the fields or the barns. The Child Labor Laws were much more Lax back then.

I remember picking Strawberries and Raspberries for 10 cents a Flat. I hated those jobs because I couldn't make much money per day due to my eating more berries than I would put into the boxes.

Then I went on to Rouging Spinach. That was Back Breaking work for a whole 15 cents per hour. I didn't last long doing that job. I quit within a few days because I considered it slave labor.

From there I went to work digging tulip bulbs for Washington Bulb Farms. It was a Dirty job, hard work and it paid terrible! I got paid a Penny a Foot to crawl on my hands and knees digging bare handed through the rows of tilled up dirt digging up hundreds of tulip bulbs and placing them in Burlap bags to be transported to the barns to be sorted, cleaned and packaged up to ship to Holland. Rarely ever did I make over $5 per day, but it was My Money and I Earned it, so I was extremely proud of it.

As I got a bit older I went to work for the DeGoede Bulb Farms. Now here was a job I loved and looked forward to doing every summer! I was a whopping 8 years old and working inside the bulb barns sorting the tulip bulbs. I was also making a whole 10 cents per hour when I started. Soon I had proved myself to the bosses and I kept getting raises. A Nickel here, a dime there and more duties and responsibilities.

When I got a bit older, I was given the job as Forklift driver and my pay rate was raised to the massive amount of 75 cents per hour! I was quickly becoming a wealthy man! Especially when they let me work up to 12 hours per day! Hotdang! I was Rich!

I stayed working for the DeGoede Family all the way through Grade School and High School. I had worked my way up from the sorting crew, forklift driver, to Truck Driver and then finally to Barn Foreman and a pay rate of $4 per hour! I had gained the respect of my bosses and I also learned some darned good work ethics.

During the winters I worked for the DeGoede Family on the weekend doing special order packing and shipping. During the week days I worked for the Mount Vernon High School Athletics Department taking care of all of the schools Athletics Equipment. My job entailed checking in and out of the equipment, maintaining the equipment, doing Inventory and also setting up the Football and Track fields for games and meets. It was a lot of Responsibilities and work, but I enjoyed it and I made a whole $30 a month. That paid for my Car Payments, Insurance, Repairs and incidentals that I needed.

We were never rich people back then, but we loved life, we loved each other and we had experiences that molded our character into what it is today. I wouldn't trade any of it for all of the money in the world!

Richard M. (Dick) Raymond Jr.
May 11, 2013
2.) grandpawrichard - 05/11/2013
I forgot to mention one other thing I did:

I also worked picking Cucumbers. That was a job I was very good at and I could make quite a bit of money per day! We got paid 25 cents per 5 gallon bucket. On my best days I made upwards to $35 per day picking pickles! *;) winking*:) happy On Saturdays Mom and Dad would come out to the fields to help us pick the cucumbers and what ever we made those days was our bonus. I remember one day I made a whopping $50!

3.) crookedeye - 05/12/2013
4.) Vortex69 - 05/12/2013
[QUOTE=grandpawrichard;5985].....I also worked picking Cucumbers....[/QUOTE]

Been there, done that for a couple years as a kid... sucked, but I couldn't get out of it (dad rented the farm just for that purpose). Took me over 50 years to put pickle plants in my garden after that. With a 1400 acre lake on one side and a 1000 acre woods on the other, swimming, fishing, and reducing the local chipmunk population, with a Daisy Bee Bee gun, were the priority during the summer vacations.