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''Mr. Statford''

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''My neighbor next door, 'Mr.Staford'' and his family were great neighbors, we got along well, I was their yardman, I lived with my grandparents , so I had old fashion values instilled in me, and I paid attention too everything, especially grown folks conversations, I overheard ''Mrs.Statford'' telling my grandma, ''Mr.Statford'' helper quit without notice, my wheels started spinning in my mind, I'm going for it..........

Other / Humor
Age Rating:



Living with my grandparents, ″Pop and Lena″ they had their pound cake home based business, 927 Broad street small A-frame , 2 bedroom house and I’m 14 years old, I had a few yards I would cut, but, I wanted something, else, I had several jobs that I quit including huge paper carrier route, with the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel and at 5am every week day, during the Summer months until the school year my schedule weekend, was Saturday, Sunday, rain or shine, and especially those cold mornings. I lived across the street from ″Oliver's Cleaners″ a place where I intended too get a job, when I turned 16. ''

This paper route was huge, it covered sections of Washington Park Community, Broad Street, Academy Ave, Gloria Street and Cascade Ave,, approximately three hundred residences, keep in mind this is'',

1960′s you have morning and evening papers, and one Saturday and Sunday paper''

The Sunday Edition, couldn’t be wrapped in the famous tightly tucked wrap, where most throwers, take the time too neatly fold each newspaper , for those long throws from sidewalk too porch most of my customers, were White and only a few even spoke too me, and of course it was this one idiot that would, try too push my button, complaining about his paper not being on the porch, or I hit his storm door, and almost broke the glass,

″I probably did″

and many times this clown would be standing on the porch when he sees me coming down the street, I would kindly walk up too him and hand him his paper, thinking too myself,

″you better be out here tomorrow, too″

this job, started too get under my skin, especially time too collect, I had too deal with, barking dogs trying too get at me from inside the house windows, people not answering their doors,

'' I see, the curtains moving, damn'',

it’s only $9 dollars, some would, claim they didn’t get a paper, I tell them too call the office and ″keep it going″ people playing cat and mouse with, me, many times, I could look back and see, the curtains move again, ″shake my head″, you will not get another paper, cross through your address and name on my list. This job was simply not for me, ″I quit″ and landed a job, with my neighbor, on his Milk truck, always wanted too try this, I was already his yardman, so,

''here we go, another, 5am job'',

winter morning of November, it is frigid in this rattling, ″Ice Can″ exhaust fumes, and the refrigerated. section, of the truck, average 34* degrees he seems too have a slight attitude, barely speaking, good morning, this bastard barely speak above a whisper, however, I, only, had too deal with Mrs. Stafford, she was a sweet fine lady, an I remember when, I got the nerve up too ask Mr. Statford, for this job, an in my mind, always remembering , my dad, saying these words too, me

″Be careful what you ask for″

......″WTH″, was I, thinking, all the time too myself, how she dealt with this, MF, I’ll never know, he was worst than ″Scrooge″ I’ve never seen Mr. Stafford, laugh out loud, only half smile, ....

″ Good Morning″ Mr. Stafford, he would only, nod, he was all business, he has the clipboard, on the dash in front of him, and verbally checks off, the address''

and tells me the order for each stop, so, every morning, I...hop in the passenger side, tighten up my shoe strings, adjust my work cap flip the seat up, stand an be prepared too jump out, get the crates filled with ordered choices of milk, chocolate milk, buttermilk, or Orange Juice.....hit those flights of steps, bring back the empties an onto the next house, no money exchanging, no needed communication, ''

get your ass, back on the truck, let’s go''

and as I’ve said, Mr. Stafford, is my next door, neighbor, I’ve seen, him, struggle with his lawnmower and cussing himself, before, I ever, started cutting their lawn,

″Bless his Heart″,

I, respected him, a very hard working man, and a very hard man too understand, and me, being in my early teens , a lot of things I didn’t exactly, know how too adjust too, such as yelling, and I’m standing right next too you. in the cab of the truck, and this particular morning, fresh out on the route, he rub me the wrong way and I was tired of his attitude and I yelled, back, .

″oh, hell no″ this aint gone work, sir.″ you can just take me back home″....″oh, and you can get somebody else too cut your grass from now on, too″

he dropped me off, at home, and that was the last time we spoke for awhile, I did however, continued too mow his lawn. Mrs. Statford, was so, nice I couldn’t let her down completely, I don’t hold grudges, he seem too be nicer since, I’m not working with him, and I can see, why, his last helper, quit without notice, you can’t treat people any kind of way, your attitude can ruin what could have been a great relationship, when I first told my grandma, about, the yelling and raising his voice, she didn’t believe it, so, I never mentioned it again, let it slide once too many, by this time in my life, I’ve quit every little, job, I’ve had, from shoe shine too wood truck, too egg truck, paper route, and now, I’ve quit the Milk business, ''

maybe it’s me, yeah, I need too reevaluate myself, have a little talk with myself, and it would probably sound like this,

″ok self, ″huh″

we gone be a better listener, we gone be a better communicator, we gone be a better employee, and we gone continue too have zero tolerance for craziness. I work better when, I’m treated with respect, even at that age, I knew I wouldn’t work under any stressful conditions, I’m a young teen being around my grandparents, I have an old spirit, I only will take but so, much I’m a Church, teenager and I’m well in tuned with how too be respectful when it comes too me, ″I give what I get″ and that’s so, easy too do because I trust in God, but I invest in me.

″Whitaker Park″

1970 . I had my sites set on getting inside this Plant , most talked about place in the City, main topic of every Barbershop, Men Restrooms, Street corners, and it appeared working in Reynolds would enable some too live in nice communities, we gone

″Keep it Real″

in this precious memory. Whitaker Park is a 220 acre manufacturing complex donated by Reynolds American to Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, with the potential too generate thousands of jobs. This is a redevelopment project to Re-purpose a manufacturing campus into a mixed use employment center including laboratory space multi-family residential technology manufacturing and training and education enterprise. The Whitaker Park cigarette facility was built in, 1961 this was considered the

″Mother Ship″

of Reynolds Tobacco Company this place was huge, 851,250 square feet employing over 2000 people ..I have my license now, I gotta work and buy me a car, I landed a job,working part time for Zaboo Food Services, contracted inside the R.J.Reynolds, Whitaker Park Facility, it’s huge dinning hall. I had already visited the plant area few years ago, where guides take you on a tour through the manufacturing process departments, oh, yeah, I saw the most talked about on the streets, area, known as the packaging area, also, known as,

″Hanging Trays″

Department, ...this is brutal looking, you constantly hanging cases filled with cigarettes, on this carousel type of spinning machine, non-stop, and word on the street was this was the entry level job, and if you can make it in here, you can make it anywhere in Reynolds, this is boot camp, in my eyes only a group of ten of us, we all whispering, and amazed we also, toured the the loading dock, area, and this was ″poetry in motion″ how synchronized these forklift operators, moving at high speed, going in and out of trailers, barely missing one another, I was fascinated it’s probably 30 trailers being loaded, and the driver’s of the trucker, were parking and docking with so, much precision, tractor, trailer mirrors, were in a straight line, perfectly probably, eight inches apart, I, had a couple friends that drove for Reynolds, trying too see, if I could spot one of them, so, now the tour, has come too a close, and the guides, gave each person a carton of Salem’s or Winston’s, ....

''the rumor has always been the only way too get a job, in Reynolds, you must have family already employed, and it was probably a


however, I applied many times, too no avail, but I did, get a job, with, Zaboo, through a friend, and I thought this would get me hired, but it didn’t, I tried, and I continued too work for Zaboo, washing these big ass, huge pots and pans and trays, these folks in Reynolds, eat damn good, for very little cost, all day, morning and lunch,

''K&W Cafeteria , aint got ″$#!+″

on Reynolds, these employees have the best of Both Worlds Great Benefits and Great Pay and Great Meals, however, .... Reynolds the most talked about Company all over the World, and many of it’s employees, had this arrogance about themselves, they knew they were under the strongest umbrella money can buy, there own Healthcare Facility, and their Own Credit Union, and Businesses and especially, Car Lot Salesman, first question after greeting you,

″Do you work for Reynolds″,

you say no, they get this smurk expression, like ″oh, really″......''

well, feel free too look around, I’ll be back in the building if you, need me'',

Car salesman, were a trip, back then....even .growing up in the 50s an 60s,...we enjoyed the simple things in life, like, going too Church as a Family, going home,, eating at the table an the conversations, and loading up in the car riding through Winston Lake, an stopping by the Zesto., Liberty Street, even after I got older in my teens, I still frequent these areas , .....I remember how me and my GF, would park in front of the Water Fountain at the Whitaker Park Plant , and just watch the different formations of the water fall, I also, remember trying too get hired at Reynolds it was the talk of the town , the Pinnacle of making the best money around anywhere,...I was never even interviewed after numerous attempts, word on the street I’ve said, was you had too have Family currently working there. Or you have zero chance of getting a call, one particular night, I was sitting at home and had this thought of pouring a box of detergent in the Fountain, I bought a box of Fab powder detergent , waited until around 11pm when no cars were lined up , which was a ″Lover’s Lane″ I waited until, everyone had gone, ...''

''I poured the entire box in the Fountain and left, road by a Lil later, suds were all on the grass......I sure, did.''

I really thought coming into Reynolds through, a contract service would put me in a position too get hired in the Plant, and it never happened, and I was resentful, towards this Company, I had so many friend’s working in several operations of Reynolds, they were living the ″Good Life″ material wise, again, many had these arrogant attitudes, but this was not gonna be me, if I ever, landed a job, in Reynolds, my goal was too make management once I get my foot in the door, I had the confidence, and the smarts, however, it came too pass, a door would open elsewhere, and I ended up in the Textile manufacturing , and I made the very best of that opportunity as well, still in school, I was apprehensive about taking on any full time job, however it would come too pass, my dad, had other plans for me and that’s how i ended up, in textile manufacturing, making minimum wages, unlike the wages Reynolds was forking out, almost double in wages, but that’s manufacturing cotton mills , tobacco, paid the big money, Export Leaf, Piedmont, Brown and Williamson , Reynolds and of course, Lorillard, in Greensboro, I guess, it wasn’t in the cards, and I never made any more attempts too seek employment for R.J.Reynolds.....″No Regrets″

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