Memoirs of a Navy Brat






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Odd Summer Jobs  




Though summer was the most anticipated time of the year for school-age children, it was also the time when we had no regular allowance. But this did not pose a problem with us. My friends and I had several ways of making a few pesos with our odd summer jobs.

One of the odd jobs we did during summer to make some money was to work as pin boys at the base's bowling center. Automated bowling was not yet in existence at that time , so we had to put up the pins and send the balls back manually. The enlisted personnel in charge was hesitant to let us work, fearing that our parents might find out, but persistence and persuasion eventually made him relent.

Another summer fun job was sidelining as tee-boys or caddies at the mini-golf course. Aside from being able to observe at close range how the game is played, I also got to eavesdrop on some official and personal matters. Ha ha ha! Seriously, caddies can be sources of some confidential inside stories unheard of outside the golf course. [Look for a copy of Caddie Confidential: Inside Stories from the Caddies of the PGA Tour]

Of all our odd summer jobs, scavenging for brass, copper, and lead, and selling it at the junkyard shop in the city, brought in the bigger amounts. The base was the former ship repair yard of the US Navy, and it was, and still is, the repair yard facility of the Philippine Navy. So it was not totally surprising to find brass metal tubes or fittings, copper wires, lead, and even spent ammunition shells or casings just lying along the sea shores, especially those nearer the repair facilities. Yes, folks, there's money in junk, and it can be big business!

My friends and I kept these odd jobs we did on summers from our parents, though there was nothing bad or illegal, or something to be ashamed of, in what we did. We did not steal money from anybody. Besides, I was not used to bothering my parents for money as I was well aware that they had barely enough for all of us.

[Learning To Swim In The Open Sea]



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