There is a radio station where I live that plays Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 shows from back in the 70’s every Sunday morning. Every time I hear them I can’t help but think of the week day afternoons and Saturdays from 1975 to 1977 when I worked at Bradshaw’s Jewelry Store on Main St. in Elizabeth City. I was originally hired to replenish the gift boxes behind the counters, deliver any gifts that needed delivering and clean up the store every afternoon after school. Eventually they taught me how to do the engraving and that became my job on Saturdays along with all the weekday stuff. It made me a bit nervous because there were pieces that if you messed up they couldn’t be buffed out… the item was just ruined. Fortunately I didn’t mess up too much stuff… at least not enough to get fired, anyway.
So what, pray tell, has this got to do with American Top 40? I remember standing in the back room at Bradshaw’s every Saturday morning, after I went and got doughnuts for everyone, going through the weeks engraving orders, seeing what I had to do for the day, while listening to the Count Down. I can remember standing there so long at that engraving machine some days, particularly around Christmas and graduation, that my ankles and knees would hurt from standing on that concrete floor… but I did love that job. Every time I hear Casey’s voice now it makes me smile.
At the end of each day, I got to go out front, clean the windows, sweep the sidewalk and bring in the flags that flew in front of the store (can’t get any more small town America than that, can you?) … I was always so glad to see that time come on Saturdays.. I love the job… but nothing feels as freeing as when you know you have worked hard all day… and now… your time is yours… that is really the best!! A few bucks in your pocket, a little gas in the old Chevy Malibu and nothing but time on my hands…. yep… that was the best for sure!!