prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

(Wireline 1) My six month career with Air Reduction.

My first job after graduating was when Air Reduction hired me to be the manager of their Bakersfield, California store. I and a truck driver delivery man were the only people at the store. It really tried my management ability.

I spent a week at the Los Angeles facilities of Airco. I was worked in the gas pressure regulator rebuilding shop. I also worked on the order desk. Answered the phone and wrote orders. The facility also produced oxygen. The plant was located in South Los Angeles.

We moved to Bakersfield. I sold welding supplies over the counter. Welding rod, flux, etc. I sold welding rod by the pound. I helped the truck driver load his truck with bottles of oxygen and acetylene. With experience I learned how to roll two oxygen bottle at a time. I never was able to roll two acetylene bottles. These bottles were heavier and oddly shaped. The truck driver could. He drove a delivery route every day through the industrial areas of Kern County and delivered welding gas. One of the big customers was The Superior Oil Company at Rio Bravo. Years later I was to work for Superior in Texas.

It was an interesting starting job with a large nationwide company. There was one big problem. My pay was $250 per month. Every two weeks I received $112. That is not much, even in those days, for a guy with a wife, two kids, and a dog. I worked part time jobs on the side. Sold clothes at Sears Roebuck and plucked turkeys. (plucking turkeys is not a great job) It was at this time we cooked our first Thanksgiving Day turkey. I distinctly remember saying ouch at the expense of buying a roaster pan. We used it for many years, however.

I looked around and got a job as a roustabout at the Golden Bear Oil Refinery in Oildale. The job paid a hundred dollars more per month. That hundred dollars was a big help.


  1. Thanks for sharing this site, it is very informative for the business personals.Keep on continuing with this. I also provide this service plz visit my site Moving Company Miami Forward Van Lines is a family owned moving company providing local, residential, commercial, industrial moving service in Ft Lauderdale.

  2. Thanks for the great posts! This would really help young people get perspective on life and how people face and overcome obstacles in life. I remember my boss (and good friend) telling me he went to work around 1953 or so in Poplar Bluff Missouri at the compressor station, as an oiler, making about $245 per month. He was married but did not have both his sons yet. When I had a modern version of that same job around 1984 I made $10.45 I think per hour. Like you I had a college degree but started out in sub-degree work. Thanks again!


!-- Site Meter -->