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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Actual Jobs You have Had that may relate to CAS, Plainsman, or even Earlier 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Actual Jobs You have Had that may relate to CAS, Plainsman, or even Earlier  (Read 4041 times)
Professor Marvel
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« on: May 26, 2016, 03:16:10 pm »


Greetings my dear Netizens -

Not sure where to put this, so I 'll start in Longbranch and see what happens

In Another Thread on Del's Food forum , Our Friend Mogorilla was lamenting the lack of what I like to call Magical Jobs:

Hi Prof,
....
I have just discovered a tv show on my cable.  It is on a network called RLTV and it is "A Taste of History".   Not bad, it focuses mainly on 18th century cooking.   The chef is a German guy, but it is primarily done in US during the colonial/revolution period.  I have seen an episode in South Africa and Japan though.  If you have not seen it, I recommend it.   Really makes me angry at my high school guidance councilor, no one told me jobs like this, myth busters, or experimental archaeology were even an option!   It was all "No, you are good at science, you need to stick with that.  What, do you expect them to open a history factory down the street?"   I think my dad got to them early on! Cheesy

regarding Magical Jobs - I too have a passion for such historical endevours, and well as Myth Busters, experimental historicity & etc.
There are so few paying gigs in these fields  - I find that when one delves into the backstory these folks busted their keesters at minimum wage fora  long time before they became a proprer paying job.

One well known success story is Mark Baker, the Rev War Era re-enactor, author, & etc. If I recall correctly He started out in a
University teaching capacity, making very little, and over the many lustrum leveraged his passion and hobby into a paying gig via numerous articles, spending ALL his free time at the re-enactment gig, ( it's a wonder he is still married) hitting nearly every rifle frolic , and finally getting some fame as a consultant to LOTM movies & etc.

The famous rifle makers, and knife & leather makers ( such as Chuck Burrows) made it pay, but we never seem to see these astounding craftsmen get rich off it.

fortunately I was steered into my first passion of electronics & etc for acutal paying employment !

And since God looks after Fools and Children,  this foolish child was able to "fall into" the early days of computers & etc, paying me a really good living whilst I pursued my other passions on weekends. Even then the Avionics & Defense business went into "staff up and layoff" cycles. Each time I got swept up in the layoff cycle I would devote about 1/3 time to finding a new job , and the rest of the time to trying my other passions.

Furniture building was fun but more time was spent in sales and marketing myself than in building. The only guy I knew of who managed to make a living at it as a one-man shop was making less than $2 an hour when totaled up, back in 1985. The rest ended up ruining a wonderful hobby by turning it into a small furniture factory, and ended up becoming paper pushers instead of craftsmen.  

History- related stuff was über cool - I got into an apprentice blacksmith gig at Historic Fort Snelling,  but I only got in because I talked my way in as a "for free" volunteer.

I was issued an 1815 uniform -
Shirt, smock, trousers, shoes, hat, and leather throat stock, and a locker, and they handled laundering the uniforms.

I provided my  own underwear & glasses.  As a blacksmith I was allowed to leave off the throat stock and smock and roll up my sleeves - simple wire frame glasses and earplugs were allowed for safety.

It was almost like disneyland - you had to attend a history class and learn how to stay in character. Except for the Officers and skilled craftsmen, (the carpenter, blacksmith, wheelwright, & baker) Most of the employees were college kids.
The big rules were
1) be safe with your weapons
2) NEVER let a vistor get ahold of your weapons ( there were special opportunities under Officer's Supervision)
3) to stay in character no matter what

but the only paying gigs were ... minimum wage.

I was extra-ordinarily lucky, since my day job required a ton of computer time that year so I talked them into letting me work
4-midnight and I had the mainframe to myself; which allowed me to work 8-3 as a blacksmith apprentice for nearly 5 months.

I learned a lot from the journeyman smith there, and I leveraged that experience into a part time weekend volunteer gig as the only blacksmith at Historic Gibbs Farm ( ca 1875 ) . I rebuilt the delapidated shop under the barn, & ran that shop on weekends for a couple years, sharing it with goats, horses, a sheep who liked to knock my 300 ppound anvil off the stump, and a goose who kept laying her eggs in my forge.

Again - no paying gigs. The "paid director" was ecstatically happy to have me, and while I was  there they went thru 3 directors.

Then I moved cross country, then got married, and haven't had another opportunity, altho every time we visit museums I end up pickingthe brains of the docents & guides on bits I am interested in, and waxing eloquent over exhibits I have specific knowledge of. Several times I ended up with a small audience , who then started asking questions, and finally had to extricate myself and surprised said audience by parting with
 " You can find more informatio nabout this at  blah blah blah
    Oh I don't work here .... "
(and then expound in run-on sentences )

what are your experiences ?

your humble babbler
prof marvel
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 03:41:28 pm »

I have made some money at my endeavors, would love a pay raise to $2 an hour.    Grin
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 04:29:03 pm »

For 7 years, back in the late 1980s and into the 1990s I was on the Speakers Board of the Arizona Historical Society, doing a lecture on "The Myth of the Gunfighter". I did that for free but it lead to a number of talks and lectures for small fees that supplemented my retirement income when I left the Sheriff's Department. I also did free lance writing on black powder cartridge guns in various gun magazines. The pay for that wasn't all that great but the big draw back was the inconsistent paydays. Most magazines pay on publication. One article I wrote was accepted for publication but didn't make it into print for 33 months.

My retirement checks payed the bills and the income from the lectures and articles just padded the checking account. The only reason I stuck with it for as long as I did was because I loved the subject and enjoyed doing it so much. It sure wasn't a way to get rich…or even get ahead financially.

Dave
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 04:35:20 pm »

My favorite is when someone says,  "you should be a historian" my comment is I am but it don't pay well.  LOL know to may with degrees who ain't found a job in the field yet.


Did the docent at Nebraska State Historical Society for a few years, got my parking for free and a couple breafasts or lunches.   May do it again when I have time.
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 05:05:16 pm »

Pro Marv,

My background is very similar to yours.
Worked as a salvage diver off the coast of FL, joined the US Navy in '69.
I used my VA Benefits to go to Gunsmith and National Tool & Die Ass. school, and then worked as a hard rook miner.
Then went back to Va. to work for a very good friend of mine. Pay was not bad, just very spuratic.

I worked as a CW Sutler building CW firearms for the N-SSA and for Re enactors.
Went to a historic site in Savannha, GA. where I built a gun carrage  for an original 32# gun barrel.
From there I found an opening in the Blacksmith shop at Colonial Williamsburg. (Loved the work, but the pay was not so good.)
Then found out about an opening a Jamestown Settlement Park for a Blacksmith.
I helped set up the Blacksmith program, and it is still in use to this day. (for all that I know)

In 1993 I moved back to FL. to take care of my Parents. Mom passed in 1994.
I joined NCOW early in 1994, When Dad passed in 2004, I went back to building custom and customized CW firearms.
I retired in 2011, and have been happy ever after.
My best,
 Blair
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 06:45:46 pm »

I was an Art major in college, both Theory and History.
After finishing with school owned and operated an antiques shop, selling both retail and wholesale.
At its peak had 11 employees and two warehouses in addition to the main shop, which completely filled a large, older residence. Everything from Fine Art to furniture, textiles, primitives - you name it.  Two buying trips a year to England and the Continent. I was also a licensed appraiser.

Then in the latter 1980's the economy soured. Wholesale portion, which accounted for 60%+ of business, dried up. Younger generation weren't interested in antiques, more into Stock Market or electronics. So sold off the remaining inventory and got a desk job sitting at a computer. All day long.

But, operating the antique business sure satisfied my love of history and research. So much to learn. Safe to say after 11 years I saw just about anything and everything walk through those doors.

RCJ
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 06:51:59 pm »

Production Designer, Art Director, Prop Master , Maker & Buyer credits on close to two dozen films, Mini Series or Made for TV productions.
Reenactor coordinator on about dozen more....

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0999806/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 08:35:15 pm »

My knives and leather work are a more of a side job than a hobby and if I didn't have to make a real living I could take on enough leather and knife work to be full time.

Problem is its more of a hobby that pays for itself than a living. I can make more in one day with my real job than I can make in a couple weeks making custom knives and leather goods. I keep thinking some day if I can retire I could become a full time knifemaker and leather worker.
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 07:05:36 am »

Well, my real job is a chemist.   After getting a job in that field, it afforded me a nice hobby.  I do some leather work and very occasionally sell a piece.   I try and be historically accurate in those endeavors.  My father was a child of the depression and worked his way up to be a very successful businessman.  As his youngest, I benefited greatly from his success.   I also was a dreamer, discovering history and literature at an early age.   Began reading Arthurian books and history in the 3rd grade and discovered the Iliad in 4th grade (okay, I know I was a weird child).   He would often ask why I did not read something more practical and I would regale him with tales of Ajax or Gawain.  I completed the requirements for a BA in history after he passed.  My wife was sure he was spinning in his grave.   I appeased him with completing a MBA as well.   

This sport led me to participating in pistol shoots at the James Farm in Kearney Missouri, now I am a board member there.  So, that is as close to a history job as I can get.  I like to cook historic foods, and make the occasional historic based leather item.  I am kind of ADD, so they range in historical references.   I did sell a nice beaded, brain tan Apache inspired rifle sheath to a friend.  It was stitched with sinew and I had to learn how to bead to do it.  So I am guessing I made $0.02 and hour.   Grin
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 09:30:43 am »

So I am guessing I made $0.02 and hour.   Grin


Yeah, seems about right.  Caught a break, gas prices went down, about the time beef prices went up.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 09:33:37 am »

Worked underground hard rock mining in Arizona and above ground milling for gold in Idaho.  At one point I had to push actual claim jumpers off our property at the point of "Old Meat in the Pot", my 12 gauge side by side.  Used to drive to Tombstone on occasion to tear it up.  Did our drinking at the Oriental which was called Wyatt Earp's Saloon at the time. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2016, 11:13:43 am »

I spent twelve years (full time, part time, filling in for absent people, helping out with special event like the semi-annual 'chivaree', etc.) working at The Flintlock at Hobby City in Anaheim, California.  The place specialized in black powder arms..... mostly muzzle loaders..... and all manner of accessories, attachments, and a lot of peripheral gear such as camping equipment, eating and cooking supplies, some clothing, books, maps and compasses, and a couple of special order tipis, a wall tent, and a fer Baker pattern tents.

WE also dealt in pelts and hides, claws, horns and antlers, feathers, conchos and buttons, Victor traps, and bead-work when they were available or on special order.

I attended two 'rondyvoos' during that time, one in my old home area in Cache Valley, Utah and another in Montana.  (Big Timber maybe?)

I learned to use a tumpline, work a canoe (my was a 18' Old Country fiberglas rig), load horses and mules for packing, make a travois, and a host of other skills.

Forgot much of that stuff over the years.  Still have a lot of my gear, though, especially my Lyman Great Plains .50 rifle and the majority of my truck and duffle.
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2016, 01:19:51 pm »

Forty Rod,

I must tell you, I am so glad to see you back with your CAS Family and Friends.
My best,
 Blair
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2016, 10:28:34 pm »

My Dear Forty-
glad to see you back!

you reminded me that during my college time I bicycled up to the only BP shop I ever saw and hung out so much they starting putting me to work... for free....

That led to annual visits to the Feast Of The Hunter's Moon at Historic Fort Ouiatenon in Lafayette Ind, near the famous Battleground Park, site of the battle between Old Tippeconoe and The Prophet.

On My first visit (bicycled there too) I was dressed in store bought moccasins, a Ponderosa shirt & Jeans, and I won the Hawk Throw with a borrowed tomohawk.  Really pi$$ed off a couple people ....
I guess that was my first rondy - showed up with basically nothin'

I was on such a tight budget , (working weekends as a janitor while going to  college) I started thinking about selling blood or signing up as a "pharmacuetical test subject" to raise funds for a front loader. Decided against both tho...

yhs
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 08:18:53 am »

Forty Rod,

I must tell you, I am so glad to see you back with your CAS Family and Friends.
My best,
 Blair
Ditto!
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2016, 12:32:40 pm »

Forty Rod,

I must tell you, I am so glad to see you back with your CAS Family and Friends.
My best,
 Blair

This
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2016, 01:49:26 pm »

Thank you boys and girls.  It's good to be back and, apparently, missed whilst gone.

Thanks for all the prayers and support.
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2016, 02:53:04 pm »

Piano tuner/technician, us guys have been around for 300 + years!! Shocked
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2016, 04:39:56 pm »

So, you are the one that tunes those saloon pianos to sound tinny?   Grin

I cattle rustled as a kid.
Had to maintain the family garden, the dairy farm next door never liked to fix the fences.
One day, one of the cows got out and trampled the garden.  I held her for ransom
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2016, 06:59:26 pm »

Back around 2002 (?) I was friends with Bob Taylor, a CAS gunsmith and dealer who helped get CAS started in Texas.  He had started going to events for Cimarron, but found out he was terminal with cancer, so he recommended me to Mike Harvey, and I've been on Cimarron's road crew since.  I got laid off after 25 years with Texas Instruments in 2001 and have worked some part time gigs since, but have some freedom in my scheduling.  So I've been to numerous Shot Show, Winter Range, EOT, and some distributor shows.  I live 100 miles from Fredericksburg, so I don't get to the shop much to help out there although they've told me they'll use me as much as I want.
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2016, 08:02:17 am »

So, you are the one that tunes those saloon pianos to sound tinny?   Grin

I cattle rustled as a kid.
Had to maintain the family garden, the dairy farm next door never liked to fix the fences.
One day, one of the cows got out and trampled the garden.  I held her for ransom


 Shocked If you hear a piano that's in tune in a western, it's not historically correct! There wasn't a whole lot of piano tuners out west! Interestingly enough though, most of the piano players had tuning hammers and had to at least learn a little out of necessity. Those pianos had to become practically unplayable at some point! Grin
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2016, 10:33:04 am »

Shocked If you hear a piano that's in tune in a western, it's not historically correct! There wasn't a whole lot of piano tuners out west! Interestingly enough though, most of the piano players had tuning hammers and had to at least learn a little out of necessity. Those pianos had to become practically unplayable at some point! Grin


Opernokerty tunes but once!  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2016, 12:31:58 pm »

Third generation Wyoming cowhand/rancher.  Have run a trap line, have drove teams on a wagon. Done a lot of the  stuff folks have fantasy of doing. It's not near as romantic as it seems from the outside looking in. Wink
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« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2016, 02:15:18 pm »

The Army was pretty close, but as a teenager, during the summers I lived as a 19th Century kid. When not working in the hayfield, I wandered around the valley (and hills sometimes) with a .22 or a fishing pole. No licence or supervision required nor expected.
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Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

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« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2016, 02:22:30 pm »


Opernokerty tunes but once!  Wink

Yep, heard that one and also You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish! Roll Eyes
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Actual Jobs You have Had that may relate to CAS, Plainsman, or even Earlier « previous next »
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