The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Original artwork created by Alex Mashett.

Ray was an

First thing in the morning you'd go down to 10th St.  Eventually, a guy would come out and read names from a clipboard.  If he called your name, that meant you had work for the day.  If not, you came back the next day.  Same thing.

One day I got sent up to Horn and Hardard, one of those restaurants where the meals are all in little glass chambers.  You'd put a special brass nickel in, crank the knob, and the glass door would lift so you could reach in and take your food.  It was sort of like a vending machine, I guess, except imagine a human being also being inside it, replacing the items one by one as they're purchased.

I'd be in the back mostly, washing dishes in the big industrial machine.  The hot water would make your hands burn, but it was a good job because in addition to your wage, you got two meals.

Later, during WWII, I worked the dry dock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  While everyone else was taking lunch I'd push a cart around selling chocolate milk and pretzels to make some extra cash.

Working During the Depression & WWII

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