The question: If you could make a living doing anything, what would that be and why?
If I could make a living doing anything, what would it be and why?
I made a living doing anything, because it was there.
I needed the money.
I couldn’t stand another week out of work, so I took what there was.
I made the best of what I was given.
I bloomed where I was planted.
I up and quit.
I stayed on because I needed the health insurance for my kid.
I worked because I needed a paycheck.
I had jobs.
Notated and filed cards at a Continental Illinois Bank.
Tested electronic parts for quality control.
Wrangled carrots, peas and cauliflower for Stokely Van Camp.
Ran two miles a day, buffed hallways, wrote intelligence summaries and rappelled down cliff, crossed a rope bridge as an intelligence analyst in the 66th MI Detachment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Cracked crab at Dinghy Dave’s Halibut House.
Clerked in Juneau at the university bookstore.
Worked at greenhouses, transplanting seedlings, picking orders, loading trucks and driving them.
Put a lot of time in as a truck driver.
Worked for eons as a grocery store as a bakery clerk and manager.
And here I am now, broken and spent.
In the mid to late 1990’s in Louisville, Kentucky, Jeffrey Lee Puckett offered the opportunity to write (and perhaps publish) for the Courier-Journal.
I’d been driving bands around the country throughout the 1990’s, earning the nickname ‘Driver Jim’ from Tara Jane O’Neil on the steps of the Rocket House where Jeff Mueller, Jason Noble and John Cook once stood. Tracy Gordon took over a storefront for Artswatch, where Liz Nofziger filled the space with Peeps, where musicians including Elizabeth Mitchell, Dan and Miggy Littleton and many others filled the space with sounds. Mitchell sang “You get a line, I’ll get a pole…” and first my daughter and now my son has heard that song every night for each of their ten and six years. At Artswatch, I filled the space with typewriter noises and papered the walls in the same color as the stormy sky that everyone witnessed that night.
From driving bands around the country into the early 2000’s… June of ’44, Victory at Sea, the Rachels, there are stories about bands and crocodile ladies to write, stories Puckett might still publish.
The stories are still in mind and the Courier-Journal is still in print, while I continue to sing one song to my son.
NEXT WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you believe peace is possible?