Even when I was small, I wanted to know how things worked, and I wanted to be the one to fix them.
My mother told me that as a small child, other than my fits when I couldn’t get things back together the way they had come to me, that I was helpful and sweet. My greatest joy was sitting on the counter when she would wash the dishes, taking each dish carefully in my little hands and wiping it dry for her. When I was three, she began to give me chores, not because she felt that a three year old needed them, but because my older brother had chores and I felt left out when I wasn’t given a task. It was my job, supervised always, to feed the dogs, to sweep the small porch step out behind the house, and to wipe the keys of the piano that sat in our living room. Every week when I had done my chores, she would give me two coins to put in my little treasure box. I was able to buy my first bike with the coins from that box, or at least, my mother made me believe that I had paid for it.
Because of these early years of work and accomplishment, I wanted to work in the world as soon as was possible. When I was seven, I went to my Dad’s friends local electronics store in the town and was fascinated with the variety of wonderful things that I would find there. I begged the manager to give me a job, and he would smile and tell me that I was too young to work for him. This did not dissuade me. I went back to the store frequently, and one day decided that I would help out enough that they would have to give me a job. I would sweep the floor, straighten the shelves, and direct the customers until the manager would finally tell me that I would have to leave. One day, though, he finally relented and allowed me to work for him. I straightened the papers on his desk and he gave me some money for my job. I began going every day after school and the manager would give me a little money at the end of the week. I am pretty sure that it was done