Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 3

[June 3, 2023]   Summer jobs, side jobs, and odd jobs.  This article is my latest update to letters to my granddaughter.  Growing up in the 1950s was good for me.

By now, you know that we were rich (by local standards), and that meant my parents were married, my dad had a steady job on the railroad, my mom stayed home and helped other wives, our maternal grandparents were nearby as well as aunts, uncles, nephews, and a great aunt, and we went to church services every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.

 Our family had enough essentials like a used car, a rented house, and clothes for school and church.  But, like so many kids my age, we didn’t have our own spending money; our independence depended upon it.  So, my friends and I did things for extra cash.  Since there were no stores to work at in town (only adults had real jobs), we had to figure out what to do for some spare spending money.  And it wasn’t any “job”; we had to do what we did properly.

I had many jobs, but that’s not what I called what I did.  I never worked directly for an hourly wage until Junior High.  In Elementary and during summers, I worked odd jobs for local families, mainly on the south side of the railroad tracks, the tracks splitting the town from north to south.  If we kids had an extra penny, we occasionally put it on the railroad tracks right before a train came by.  If lucky, we found the flattened penny and showed it to our buddies.

The earliest money-making scheme was to find clovers, tie them into a necklace, and sell them for a nickel.  I could easily make 50 cents a day.  I spent my money on candy at the local general store.  I was 4 or 5 years old.  Only later did I figure out a better scheme: collecting used Coke bottles.  I would get 2 cents for each bottle.

You could earn a few dollars if you were lucky, thoughtful, and would work hard.  Was I privileged to work these odd jobs?  Yep!  No one ever asked me to work for them or do a job.  There was no minimum wage or guarantee you would get paid, even if you worked.  Sometimes you did work to do the right thing by someone who was part of your town. 

I was always busy.  If I wasn’t running around “playing army” with my friends or watching baseball on television, I was working.  My school grades suffered, but I was too busy enjoying my labor’s fruits.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Letters to my Granddaughter: No. 3

  1. Linux Man

    Wonderful letter. I might just begin doing the same. The collection will something to treasure for generations.

    1. Patriot Wife

      Same here. This is one way to connect with your children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. Who knows how for in the future what you write today will be read again.

      1. Jab Malcolm

        Please don5 stop. Keep this series going, Gen. Satterfield. We are loving them.

  2. Harry Donner

    Welcome to Gen. Satterfield’s great website where he tackles issues with leadership and being a better person. For those new here, get a copy of his two books, read them, make comments here and on Amazon, and learn from the best of the best, Gen. S. You will never regret it.

    1. Wild Bill

      Harry, good comment. We also want to encourage others to make comments here. That is how we learn and can test our ideas in public without worry of ridicule.

      1. Doc Blackshear

        Right ……………………. 👀👀👀👀👀

      2. American Girl

        That is why I’m always trying to get more to visit this site. I tell my coworkers about Gen. Satterfield and they are amazed and many are here.

        1. Peigin

          New here. Like what I read. Great to be on this discussion forum.

  3. Liz at Home

    Gen. Satterfield, you should consider turning this into a book. I know that you’ve written no more books, I think you wrote that, but compiling such a set of great letters from you and perhaps your wife would be something amazing, not just for your granddaughter, but for all of us. I know that others have done so and published, so you might as well do the same. Thank you, Gen. S.

  4. Emma Archambeau

    Best of the best with Gen. Satterfield. “Letters to my granddaughter.” How appropriate to let her know what is going on to make you such a great granddad.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Yes, and now I’m going to do the same for all my grandkids.

    2. Gil Johnson

      Got that right Emma. Now, I’m in great anticipation for more.


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