How I bought my first car
In the summer of 1955, I worked in tobacco. But my uncle also hired me and my first cousin Gene Benoist to help him when he started building a new store for what was then Outside Furniture Company. We had to dig the foundation for the building — 100 feet long, 80 feet wide and 2 feet deep. It had to be done by hand with a shovel. We didn't have a backhoe. So it took a lot of time. After we finished, they came in and poured cement and started to lay the blocks for the walls.
Then we were told to start digging the hole for the septic tank and drain field, again all by hand. We dug down in very good sand about a foot, then we hit red clay hard as a rock. The hole had to be about 7 feet deep, 10 feet wide, and 15 feet long. We got paid 75 cent an hour. I saved two-thirds of it to buy my first car.
Then in the summer of 1956, I worked in tobacco again, but I also sold watermelons and other produce on the weekends door-to-door in East Rockingham and parts of Hamlet. I don't remember what I made that summer, but I saved two-thirds of it to pay for the car.