My list of bad jobs may not sound that bad:
- Turkey catcher. At harvest time, before Thanksgiving you go into vast pens, catch really angry huge turkeys and haul the flapping bird whipping the amonia-smelling turkey dust to a trailer bounded by a very tall wire fence that encloses it. You must toss the turkey into the air over the top of the fence and down into the trailer. Usually there were 3,000-4,000 turkeys to enclosure.
- Root cellar digger. Of all the jobs this may sound like the best but you had to do it under people’s homes and shore up the walls so they – and the floors of the old homes – wouldn’t collapse on you and bury you alive.
- Docking sheep and cattle (before they had the elastic bands). It involves gelding the animals, putting tar-like disinfectant on the wound and putting a hot iron to new horns. Sheep brands are done in paint. Cattle brands are done on the flesh. The sheep and cattle are none too fond of the process. And yes, I know what Rocky Mountain oysters are.