James Laird - Easy Money at Lark Ellen Home for Boys - Page 1

I wiped the back of my hand across my forehead to remove a few beads of sweat. It was hot here in the old barn's kitchen with the open gas burner blasting away. My fingers hurt from the heat of pinching off the hot covers of pussywillow buds. I had been the boy's home for a little over two years and had just become eligible at 13 to make and sell bouquets of pussy willows at Christmas time. It was way to make big spending money quickly. I had tried gleaning Lima Beans in nearby fields and raising corn and beans to sell to our kitchen at market prices.

It was possible you could make over a hundred dollars in less than two weeks of part time work making and selling the bouquets. I had great expectations and had cut 6 dozen branches about three feet long and was tired already with less than half of them finished. Each branch had to be passed steadily over the gas flame without burning it. You then quickly pinched each bud cover off between your thumb and finger exposing the fuzzy, bright silvery gray flower.

That was only the start. The hard part for me tuned out to be selling them. In Past years the houses in the high rent district of Westwood near the UCLA Campus provided the best sales.