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Category: Work, Employment / Topics: Personal Stories (Biography/Autobiography) Memories Work

Valuing the Workplace

by Dan Seagren

Posted: October 11, 2015

How our past shapes our future…

Western Union messengers, 1938

We recently relocated to a Retirement Community. After about twenty moves in our married life, this may be our final destination. Hardly novices, we are sorting through our accumulations to determine what tags along, what we toss away, and what to do with the rest.

In the process, some memories rekindled others. Let me share one page in my memory bank: some of my earlier jobs. My first payday came early in life when I inherited a magazine route. In a good week, I made fifteen cents, better than my nickel allowance which disappeared. That was followed by a paper route but I didn't have to do the collecting. A neighbor across the street invited me to work in his shop after high school. We made jigsaws, band saws and the like, and I did a little of everything except the serious stuff.

Then Uncle Sam came along and drafted an older friend who turned over his lawn job in an elite part of town so I added that to my repertory. Then Uncle Sam tapped me on the shoulder and I was on a new payroll until I went to junior college. I had an assortment of tasks then and during vacation periods including one year of making candy (Polka Grisar or Swedish mints) where I regularly tasted other tempting candy giving my Dentist a lot of work.

On to the university. I worked for two years in three Sororities and gave piano lessons to some youngsters to help an overloaded musician. In Seminary, I worked my way through all three years on the staff of four churches: Baptist, Methodist, and my own denomination. No, I didn't get rich but I did end my nine-year academic training with no debt.

How did this prepare me for my career? Good question. I've been pastor, in youth and music work, college professor, international pastor (Sweden and Mexico), and a retirement center chaplain. None of this was on my horizon during my academic years. Earlier, the several summers I spent on the farm, of no help early on but later I took on various tasks. Ironically, those summers were a bonanza for a city kid making many aspects of the Bible come alive, enriching my life immeasurably now that I look back.

Amazing, isn't it, how our past shapes our future? Checked your memory bank recently?

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Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: October 11, 2015   Accessed 120 times

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