I have always made a living painting. During my summers between studying music in college. I moved back into my family home and worked for family friends in Wabasso, Lucan, and Marshall, Minnesota. These were jobs I did by myself. I was the only one who got me up in the morning. I would start work at about 7 am and stop at 3 pm. I was working for myself and had no overhead to pay for labor. I made about $3000.00- $4000.00 each summer to pay for college. This is rural Minnesota, a land of corn, soybean, and wheat fields. The dirt is black and everything grows! Marshall was the largest town at 30 miles away from where I lived outside of Lucan. It was a small grain elevator town with one grocery store, bank, and bar/ restaurant. The Bar had a pool table which was the only entertainment in town. There were also 2 churches, the Catholic Church and Lutheran Church.
Marshall had about 11,000 people in the 1980s and is the home to Southwest State Minnesota State University. I spent my last high school years playing in the Southwest State Local Community Orchestra. My mom and sister played in the orchestra as well. I did several jobs in Marshall at the end of each day. I would stop at the DQ and get a purple slushie to refresh myself.
All jobs at that time were brush and roller. I used a 9-inch roller and a 2.5-inch sash brush. I only did Exterior jobs. I would do all the preparation first, scrape, and sand all the edges where I scraped, and then prime with an oil primer. The finish coat was poured into a small silver metal tray for the roller and a gallon bucket for cutting with a brush, Each edge and bottom lip of the siding was cut with the pig hair brush and then roll the surface of each board.
When I was 21 my Mom’s Boss hired me. They needed an exterior paint job and were very friendly as customers. I had finished the job and they wanted to pay me and celebrate. We shared a bottle of Irish whiskey. After many glasses, they knew I played the piano and wanted to sing from The Big Band Song Book. Even after many drinks I was not eager to play, however, I did not want to disappoint them so I played through most of the book which is about 369 pages and they sang!! I was starting to fall asleep so I used their guest bedroom. At 21 I got up in the morning and felt great and headed back home. I spoke to my Mom recently and she remembered them as well. They were very Generous and Kind people.