Written August 10, 2010
Places I Worked
Many years ago, when I was 17 or 18 years old. I worked as a messenger for the Primary Children’s Hospital. “Pennies By the inch” donations built the hospital. In Salt Lake City, the hospital was at the top of the avenue’s district.
12th Avenue was as far as E Street went in those days. Anyway, my work duties were to transport patients and supplies from one building to another, and I would haul patients to whatever other hospitals they needed to go to get the treatment they required. My job was to take lab samples to the lab, then pick up the reports when ready.
When the procedures were completed, I would take them back to their point of origin. I had other duties that included taking the food trays to the floors so the kids could eat. When the eating was done, I would haul the food carts back down to the kitchen. My job kept me busy all day. I didn’t get paid very much, but it was enough to get by on. There was no health insurance in those days. When getting ill, a sympathetic doctor or nurse would give free treatment.
I was a loud guy in those days. I did what I did for work because I liked to eat and have a place to live. Living on my own was not wholly my idea. They asked me to leave my family home on my 18th birthday. I was told that I had 24 hours to get my stuff out of the house or it would go to the trash or given to charity or something, During that time period I didn’t have a lot of trusted friends, so I made some decisions, found a place to live, and moved my belongings out of my parents’ house. I made the move in the required 24-hour time frame.
The first place I lived on my own was a boarding house on the corner of 1100 East and Second South. I get away from the facts of my employment in my previous paragraph; I worked for Primary Children’s Hospital, but not until a little later. During the time I lived at the boarding house, I worked for a hamburger stand on the corner of 1300 East and Simpson Avenue. “MR S” was the name. I think it was a prototype for Burger King, but I’m not sure about that.
During the following year, I made many friends, and lived in many places and situations, and tried my hand at many jobs. Making ends meet occasionally was not a chief priority for me. I lived with different people for a time and took advantage of their hospitality. Then something better would come along and away I would go to a new adventure.
When I worked at Primary Children’s Hospital the job was full time employment. I lived in an older apartment house on the corner of First Ave and E Street; Hawthorne House Apartments. My apartment number was “3G” it was a one-room studio on the third floor that had an enormous bay window that looked out onto the roof of a church.
I started meeting new and exciting people while I lived there. I would meet them at work, and we would become friends. Remember, the time frame for all of this was the late sixties and early seventies. Hippies and disco were the trends of the day. I started hanging out at a local bar on State Street between First and Second South. I think the bar is still there. The music attracted me to the bar. They had a jukebox with huge speakers that would make the walls rattle, and they played the best dance music in town. There were many good times in that bar; I made a lot of friends.