It's been a while since I've worked on my "Working Class Hero" series, so here is Volume III. Not long after 4 years of sloughing thru high school (I have an awesome ACT score to validate this) I acquired a job working for Dewey at the Ice Plant. We manufactured and delivered bags of ice to various grocery stores, gas stations, trading posts and other strategic locations. This job will go down in my personal memoirs as one of my favorite gigs ever!
This was a seasonal job that peaked during the summer months. We would work 60-70 hours a week. A typical day entailed coming in at 7am, working until about 6-7pm, then having to go back in at 10pm to bag ice for an hour (lest the ice bin overflow). During the weekend 10pm shifts, we occasionally were blessed by the presence of some of the ladies we had been hanging out with that night! They were typically just curious about an "ice plant".
Working Saturdays was a requirement and though Dewey tried to avoid it, sometimes Sundays needed to be worked as well. You were notified of your schedule at the end of your shift...Dewey would say, "10 tonight, 7 in the morning". We would have to chip the floor in the cold room because ice would build up from the belt above...at times the ice build up would get close to a foot thick. We would use crowbars to crack it then shovel it out. We would have to deliver ice all over the region, including various trading posts on the Navajo Reservation. Once, on a route on the Res, the hood on my truck wasn't closed properly and flew up shattering the windshield as I was driving! Luckily it didn't knock the glass onto me...the window remained intact but cracked into thousands of pieces. I had to drive an hour back to Farm Town on a freeway, looking out the drivers side window because I couldn't see through the windshield!
We became known at the various drop off locations due to our unique product. Often times, upon seeing us arrive with our bags of ice, customers would comment that, "the iceman cometh". We hated this! We developed an "under our breath" response to this greeting, but unfortunetaly I can't repeat it in this forum. We would also get to know the other vendors such as "Rainbow" John...a known drug dealer and driver for Rainbow bread. There was also the Cheetos guy who once wiped out in front of us. This accident triggered the obvious joke from my esteemed colleague with the nice mullett..."It's not easy being cheesy!"
There are many other events and funny stories that transpired during this gig, but I unfortunately cannot recount them on this record. For behold, I have written them on mine other record. Oh yeah, one last thing...I once went to work with the stomach flu and while driving my route, would stop off the side of the road to hurl! Nice!
Wild about my Child
5 years ago