Well I'll tell you and in the telling it will sound a good deal like a tale of fiction.
During summer vacation while going to high school I did various odd jobs because of the necessity of adding to the meager wages earned by father, which were hardly ample to supply the daily needs.
One summer I worked in a toy factory, making those little red wagons of which the kiddies are so fond. Another summer I worked in a pulp mill where they turned out pulp to make paper. Then there was that summer I ran an elevator in a department store.
The opportunity came at last. The Remington Watch Company had been purchased by a Mr. Bell, who was looking for a suitable site and town to build a factory and set up machinery to start producing watches. Mr. Bell put it up to the Chamber of Commerce and other civic leaders of the little town where I was raised and attended school.
They liked the idea of having a watch factory, so they donated land for the building and a number of acres around the site which was to be sold by the company to raise money to build the building.
This was late in 1901. In September 1902 I decided I would like to work there, so I went out to the factory and applied for a job. The man in the office whom I talked to was another Mr. Bell, a brother to the president. I talked to him a long time and he finally said if I would be willing to start as an errand boy and work for nothing at first I could have the job. I was 17 years old at the time, rather old for an errand boy especially when there was no salary attached.
This Mr. Bell made it clear that if I took the job I would have the opportunity . to learn to be a watchmaker and that I would receive pay as soon as I was worth it. I went home and sold the idea to my father and mother. and started to work the following morning. Hours from seven in the morning to six at night.
Needless to say I was now drawing a small salary.
That's the way to get ahead; that's the best way to learn; that's the way I did when I was young. I want you to move in here with me; you can have that bench; I think you and me are going to get along fine." And we did. He had a son the same age as myself and he looked enough like me to be my twin. He and I palled around together as long as we were there.