Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sales and Stanley And The Three Stooges

I certainly missed my Calling, Ive been told many times. From the age of a First Grader, I've had a knack for sales. I was the one who finally sold that refrigerator to the Eskimo. I guess I could always dazzle people with my brilliance, if I couldn't baffle them with my bullshit. I have a natural gift of Gab and enjoy talking to people. Maybe I would have been better suited to being a politician, come to think of it.

Most schools in The Youngstown Area had fund-raising events to help make ends meet in a depressed economy. Seeds were the first thing I remember selling. A nickel a pack for some, a dime for the rest. I know every flower bed and vegetable garden in my neighborhood were planted with seeds I had sold them. To heck with the homework, I had seeds to sell! I remember selling the most in my class, but forget what I got for a grand prize. It was probably more seeds or a garden trowel! I found packs of seeds years later in drawers all over my parent's house.

The dreaded Magazine Drive became an annual event in my elementary school. Again, I was first to hit every house on my street. A lot of kids were mad at their parents when they found out I had sold them subscriptions all ready before they even mentioned it. I pleaded with friends, family, and neighbors that I only need to sell three more magazines to get that Mother-Of-Pearl Pocket Knife I had my heart set on. I did indeed get that knife. In fact, several of them. I gave one to my Dad that he carried the rest of his life. Can you imagine that in schools today? Pocket Knives in these day of Zero Tolerance?

I won a beautiful German Cuckoo Clock for selling the most Rohrer's Chocolate in The Cub Scouts. My folks proudly displayed the clock in their living room and even into my adult years, told guests how I won it. I never became an Eagle Scout, but how I could sell candy! I even got a personalized tour of the Candy Factory, which was in Struthers. Woo Hoo! The entire "Factory" was about the size of a two-car garage.

The Pinnacle of my selling career was selling used comic books on the curb in front of my house. It ranked right up there with hawking Kool-aid or Lemonade to passer-bys. I think my total sales was about two bucks. My Mother sent a letter to WKBN-TV about my enterprise. I was selected as "The Junior News Reporter of The Week". I appeared for an live interview on "Stanley and The Three Stooges", a local kid's program with a guy in clown make-up, kind of a knock-off of The Legendary Barney Bean. Thanks to my Mom, every relative and person in Struthers saw that interview, my Fifteen Minutes of Fame. As a Guest on the show, I did get a six-pack of Seven-Up and a toy rocket that I almost put my eye out with, but that's another story.


  1. I always pity the car salesman when you walk in their door!

  2. Can you imagine going up to someone's door now and asking them to give you 10 measley cents for something? I spent $15 on a baseball team frozen apple pie and it was crappy and I knew it was going to be crappy but I bought it anyway because it was a cute little kid selling it.

    I bet there were people who turned you down, too, and didn't buy the seeds.

    Can we hear about the rocket that almost put out your eye?