Growing Up in Wheeling: Employment in Woodsdale

When I was young there was a strange concept floating about. Children worked for money, it did not fall out of the sky as is currently the case. My first income was from selling trash. In the old days God did have a provision for all people. God put pop bottles in the hedge down by the school. These bottles could be collected for money. Even God thought kids should work in those days. If God really loved you he put the big Seven Up bottles in there. To show how nice God was in those days, he put the bottles fairly close to the drug store, where you could cash them in for five cents and get a candy bar. In the old days there were all kinds of jobs going door to door. Shoveling snow was a big money maker. Old ladies would sometimes pay you five bucks to shovel snow. It was so lucrative that people form way outside the area would come to Woodsdale to clean up, so to speak. In the summer there were lawns to mow. I remember pushing mowers that had no engines. You could pull weeds for my grandfather at a penny a weed. I even sold vegetables with my brothers and sisters door to door. When I went for a swim at Oglebay Park, we always had to dive to the bottom of the pool and pick up enough change to get back in the next day. There were not a lot of free rides in those days. Kids did everything in those days. We put up hay, and did whatever it took to make a buck. And of course there were paper routes.

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One business we used to have was painting numbers on curbs. After you got a customer you painted a white square on the curb. A few days later you came back with a stencil and put the number on.Once I reached high school I worked at the Burger Chef dishing out tons of grease. Dad did not just buy you a car automatically in the time of the dinosaurs.