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Book of Jobs Part 1

ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL

by Chris Auman

In the mid-eighties, for reasons the rest of my family may never fully understand, my Dad bought a portable (that is to say on wheels) concession stand. This was pre-ebay, of course, so I imagine he found it through the printed classifieds. The concession stand was located somewhere in Iowa and I went with him to pick it up. At the time of purchase, this giant monstrosity was called “The Orange Blossom Special” and was painted accordingly. The previous owners had tricked it out to look like a caboose and it was towed by a funky, orange, 1960’s Ford pickup truck.

Bumpkins at the auction

My Dad repainted the O.B.S. a more reserved auburn color, rebuilt the inside, rechristened it the “Galena Concession Company” and towed it around to various auctions, fairs and other get-togethers where bumpkins congregate to do whatever it is we do at such things. Along with my sister, we sold hot dogs, BBQ pork, ice cream and Auman’s Root Beer, (yes, Auman’s Root Beer— that’s another story). The pay was pretty good; four bucks an hour when minimum wage was three thirty-five. The idea was that my sister and I would use our individual earnings for college and the overall profits would also go to our college fund. Not much profit was generated, however. I did get to spend a lot of weekends killing flies at tractor pulls and gorging on hot dogs. I could put away six or seven in a day easy. The hot dogs were pretty tasty too. Steamed buns are the key to good dogs. Get a bun steamer if you’re going to sell hot dogs.

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Originally published in RW#22, 2014

RW #22

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