January 3, 2011

Pig tails.

Stephen's drawing here:cyberstephen.com

While I was home, my mom told us the funniest story about her childhood.

She grew up in a little town in northern Utah called Hyrum. Her dad owned a meat packing company there and, as a result, she came to know and understand ham pretty well. In fact, after school she was a member of "the ham crew" - four of her siblings + a few cousins + friends. They would 'punch in' for a few hours and go to work in a line. She said it was actually pretty fun because they often ended up giggling and goofing around in that big mass of cement.

The line went about like this: the first person would take the ham after it came from the smoke house to remove its casing. Then there was the cutter, who would cut it in half or leave it whole - depending on the orders that day. Next was the bagger. And after that came the person who would suck the air out of the bag, then twist it and fasten the metal clip - one of the more enticing commissions.

The most dreaded job of all for the ham crew was the final one: dipping the ham bag in boiling water. A huge, yellow plastic suit (with gloves, boots, goggles) was involved. The final step: drying off the plastic packed ham and sticking the big shiny Tri-Miller label on it.

One day, when my mom was about 12-years old, her dad's secretary called to leave a message for her. You see, this was a somewhat extraordinary occurrence for my mom because her dad did not leave messages through his secretary for her very often. As she was recounting the moment, she added that at that time she had just wanted to be one of "the office girls" rather than a member of the ham crew. "I didn't like smelling like a picnic."

So the secretary asked little 12-year old Rosie to come up to her dad's office at the plant to see him about a special project he had just for her.

She was impatient to hear what the project could be and ran all the way. When she arrived, she went into her dad's office and sat across from him in the chair facing his desk. He smiled and then presented his plan, pointing to a large cork board. "I was thinking you could collect pigtails, Rosie. There are so many different kinds and you could pin them all up here - a board of pig tails!"

Pig tails. She did not take on the project.


Jill said...

She didn't take his suggestion? I don't get it?

Rosie said...

Poor sport!

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