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A Slice of My Life from 1960 Until 1963

Updated on March 11, 2015
Early southern rural smokehouse
Early southern rural smokehouse
George Harrison of the Beatles play the guitar
George Harrison of the Beatles play the guitar
A trucker's life is great if he is single and loves traveling all of his time.
A trucker's life is great if he is single and loves traveling all of his time.

DURING MY SIMPLE YEARS OF 1960 - 1963 most of my time was spent thinking of what I wanted to be when I became a man. This was scary thinking, I tell you. I had a dark, frightful dream that mom and dad would someday disappear leaving me all alone and I would starve to death and not have a place to live.

ONE WINTER EVENING while sitting near our fireplace, I gathered the courage to ask my parents what they seen me doing when I grew up. As fast as the question left my lips, two "I don't knows," came from their lips in mutual-harmony.

I QUICKLY CAME UP WITH being a truck driver. A good job and steady too. But my heart was set on being a smokehouse manager. You might be laughing, but I loved our smokehouse and loved assisting my dad prepare and hang the meats to smoke for the winter. The work of a smokehouse manager was very appealing and very isolated. No time clocks and no real bosses (except myself) to answer to.

* after 1963, and I grew up, my dream of managing my own smokehouse (pardon the pun) "went up in smoke" . . .when I first

Delicious ribs slowly smoking in a smokehouse
Delicious ribs slowly smoking in a smokehouse | Source

My Next Dream

or illusion, I learned to call it, was being an artist. In school or at home, I loved to draw with a No. 2 pencil or ink pen. Woody Woodpecker was my favorite character to draw. I loved Woody thanks to a lecture I heard on television from his creator, Walter Lantz.

Then I waded through reality's gates and found out the cost of attending art school, supplies, rent and food. My artist days were sadly over right about then.

heard the now-late George Harrison of the Beatles playing his guitar

on our designated "young people's Top 40 Rock and Roll radio station: WVOK 690 AM with 100,000 watts, located in Bessemer, AL. I was hooked like a hungry bass on fishing legend, Bill Dance' fishing show. I loved the song, "Paperback Writer." The more I heard the song, the more I fell in love with Harrison's guitar. And the various smooth licks that he got from this instrument.

I CAME BY THIS LOVE FOR MUSIC honest. My dad was almost a professional fiddle player and had won a lot of fiddling contests as a young man. But when he married my mom, his role went from a carefree fiddler to a family man. But now and then he would get out his fiddle and play for us. But personally, I believe that he was going back into his younger years as the strings obeyed his every command.

MY DREAM OF GUITAR-PLAYING started and stopped in 1974 when I dedicated myself to learning the basic chords from a Mel Bay "E-Z Play Guitar" book that I had bought in Hamilton, AL., my hometown. For six months straight I would sit on our front porch (where we lived at this time) grinding off the ends of the fingers on my left hand doing my best to learn one song. Then I realized that anyone can strum a guitar, but I wanted to learn how to pick a guitar, but now I had spent money on strings, books and only got as far as strumming.

A professional hobo
A professional hobo

This is my next to the last dream

I had as a "job" when manhood came knocking. A professional hobo. I read about hobo's in the Great Depression "stealing" rides on trains headed to other towns looking for work. But these guys, real heroes to me, never had bills, taxes, or an empty stomach. That all sounded fine until I learned the other thing they didn't have: a paycheck each week.

This is MY DREAM: a late-night radio DJ
This is MY DREAM: a late-night radio DJ

This is my last dream

and that is being a late-night radio DJ. I could work alone, drink my black coffee and if my owner wanted, answer my phone between records. Yes, records, not CD's. I would love to give FM radio a massive comeback. This has been a part of my soul since all of the dreams and youth both drifted away. I cannot say enough praise for radio DJ's and the great work they did. I wish even now that I was one of them.

Are YOU still holding onto your dream of your "dream job?"

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Hello, good friend.

      You are right. We can dream all day, but making those dreams come alive is where I have failed.

      Thanks for your input.

      Peace to you and yours.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing about your life Kenneth. We all had dreams from our childhood. Sadly, we don't usually make those dreams come true in real life.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thanks so much for your insightful comment and unraveling the dreams I have had in my life. I am more settled now than a few months ago.

      God bless you, my brother, for teaching me the things that you already know and are still learning about.

      I will think of these in the spiritual and natural basis and thereby get a complete vision.

      Have a Peaceful day.


    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      3 years ago from Washington DC

      Kenneth, my brother,

      The" hobo" desire doesn't mean you will ride a freight train, you do remember the song "there's a train a coming … that all you need is to thank the lord" don't you? That train is to "Jordan" or the spiritual promised land, ultimately the rapture, and no money is required, no baggage, none of the things required to board worldly trains. So, Consider it the way of the "born again" as recorded in John 3:8 and Matthew 13:3-12) and look at the rest of this post and see if it doesn't also fit them.

      The truck driver could mean you are carrying the message of how to survive the end of civilization.

      The "Smokehouse Manager" could mean you will be a witness to the destruction of "Mystery Babylon" with its "feared smoke" (Revelation 18:4-19) keeping the world merchants away and in tears where you have no "boss" except the spirit which is within yourself.

      Since it is written "the comforter will bring all things to your remembrance" and everyone who is spiritual Jews [chosen] to Israel [endure] until civilization's end (Matthew 24:13) you just will know how to play all forms of instruments as well.

      And the last dream may also be related to being the truck driver, giving the message to the people even though Mystery Babylon [USA] has already been destroyed would make it "late night" or late in "That Battle Of The Great Day Of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:13-14) while many spiritual Jews are protected in Armageddon (Rev. 16:15-16). Therefore brother, you might began to ask spirit is that something you didn't realize being in the carnal mindset.



    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Marie,

      What a lovely and interesting comment. Thank you so much. I think that you ARE where you need to be unless one of your desires is to write a best-selling novel, which would be easy for you.

      Look at the facts:

      You are highly-intelligent.

      You are deep when it involves creativity.

      Your understanding of the complex areas of life is amazing.

      I admire all of your traits.

      Why not follow your heart?

      I appreciate you very much.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Annart,

      You are so right. That teaching job was a dream job and a very fulfilling job at that. Sure you had adversity but everyone who ever answered their call or worked on their dream, has suffered adversity.

      Oh, I can still smell the heavenly aroma of that smokehouse. I am growing hungry even now.

      I miss George. I really do.

      Savoy Truffle--listen to it off of the Beatles (white album) and visit with me again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Wow, what an interesting life you have lived. Actually I envy you for all of the great occupations you have had. Especially the Merchant Navy. You should be writing a book about your life.


      I appreciate your friendship and interesting remarks.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      No. Writer never popped up. Back to you. I can tell by the tone of your comment that you can't be serious every moment, so you might be a hubber and a stand-up comedienne. Love the what do I want to be when I grow up?

      Answer: Uhhhhh, fortune teller. No. That late-night radio host.

      Thank you so much for your nice thoughts.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      3 years ago from USA

      Writer never entered your thoughts? Funny how things never quite turn out like we think they will. So Kenneth, what do you want to be when you grow up? LOL

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      This is a great sharing hub, as we have all had dreams, regardless of gender. I wanted to write from an early age. My first word was "book." I admired my best friend whose vocabulary was better than mine. Writers, I believed, had to develop their brains and be smart. That was very appealing to me. I also loved children's picture books and thought how nice it would be to write and illustrate about 25 of them, but in those days, there were no illustrator-writers. Now, it seems there are. (Usually a person is best at either writing or drawing.)

      When I got to college, I was thinking in terms of science (scientists are smart, right?). I didn't know what kind of scientist, but I knew I liked biology better than inorganic chemistry. Maybe my farming background influenced that persuasion.

      Self-doubt and low self-esteem just don't help. Women in those days got married and had children; at least this was the case in my rural hometown. So, I got a lot of funny energy from people that I just didn't know how to overcome.

      I ended up in the secretarial pool to do things like data entry and word processing. While I found I had finger dexterity and good accuracy, the 9-5 job didn't fill my emotional needs or persistent curiosity.

      One experience that gave me a sense of purpose was working on staff at a natural health school. That was during the mid 70s.

      Now that I'm at retirement age, I still am not sure what I want to do. I seem to want to try everything and just keep learning (I once wished there was such a career as "professional student"). Maybe I'll be like Grandma Moses and find my talents bearing fruition in my 80s.

      Thank you for sharing your yearnings in life!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      3 years ago from Washington DC

      You know, Kenneth, almost every desire I came up with as a child has come to pass. The few that haven't are looking like it shall and is why I'm working so hard to get the understanding of the Constitution across to we the people. What I've noticed about the constitution is when we understand its purpose it becomes what the Bible called "the rod of iron" the son of man shall rule the nations with. Thus, it will require the small child to implement and direct the nations in a life of peace.

      I see you finally settled on writing but there just may be a spiritual meaning behind all of those things you haven't done that you desired, so, don't give them up just yet, they can still come to pass.

      Interesting reading, brother, it shows some of what you may yet turn out to be, especially the "no paycheck" nomads also known as hobos. Spirit uses the knowns to reveal what one's destiny is, so, you may yet follow that dream and why you are, from the intellectual perspective, fighting against it shard.


      Brother Elijah


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      I had my dream job, teaching literacy to dyslexics in a small independent school housed in a mediaeval manor in a Somerset village. I had between 1 and 10 pupils in a class; there were 100 students and 30 or more staff! Who wouldn't enjoy that?

      However, I had plenty of angst getting to that state, as we all do.

      Interesting jobs here; the smokery looked great.

      George Harrison was brilliant; I loved him, he was my favourite Beatle and sadly one of the two who are no longer around. He was great with the Traveling Wilberries too.

      Great read, Kenneth!


    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Morning Kenneth.

      Just like all the kids on the block I had my dreams of what I wanted to do/be when I became a man (some might refute me using the word MAN). We are just big kids these days, so they say.

      My first dream was to join the Royal Navy and see the world. When the time came there was a block in front of my idea, and that was called "Father." I had to get myself a "Proper job"??? of which I became an apprentice Sheetmetal worker. This would take me almost six years. But I held out and at the age of 21 I was a tradesman, a Sheetmetal Worker. That was in October and by the time January came around I had a job in the British Merchant Navy. The block couldn't do a thing.

      I sailed the seas from the St. Lawrence river in Canada down as far as the Rio de la Plata to Montevideo (river Plate) from the Baltic Sea down as far as Nambia in Southwest Africa.

      Wonderful years in my early manhood.

      Thanks for sharing your early years with us, very interesting.

      Have a great day Kenneth.

      Jimmy...................................aka Ghaelach


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