I have no idea why I was thinking about my very first job recently, but I was.  It was a kind of unusual job.  I peeled chittem and dried and it and sold it to the local feed store.  You’re probably thinking to yourself, “huh?”.  So let me explain.  Chittem is the bark of the cascara buckthorn tree and it’s used in making some laxatives.  I was around 11 or 12 years old and would go to work with my dad (he was a logger, a timber faller) and ride his ATV through the woods peeling the bark off of these trees and carrying it on the back of the ATV in burlap sacks.  Then when we got the bark home I would lay it out on the shingles on the roof of the house and let it dry for a day or two and then put it back in the burlap sacks and take it to the local feed store to sell it.  I can’t remember how much they paid me for it.  Thirty five cents a pound, I think it was.  Something like that.  But I do remember that by the end of that summer I had the grand sum of FIFTY dollars in my savings account.  I just quickly did the math and that adds up to just under one hundred and forty three pounds of dried bark!  That’s a whole lot of bark.  And it would have been more except for the fact I spent almost an entire day peeling the bark of  lovely maple trees… the wrong kind of tree.  In my defense I was young and the two types of trees do look similar.  So, now, what was your first job?

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