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View Diary: How regulation came to be: El Cortito -- the short hoe (52 comments)

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  •  You beat me to it. (6+ / 0-)

    I had this one on tap to post after a few comments (a Cisco Houston version, actually).

    So I guess I'll post this one instead:

    As always, thanks for stopping in and commenting, and thanks for your support of my little endeavor.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:30:37 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  As an Illini (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dsteffen, RiaD, allep10

      I'm surprised you never worked as a corn detassler.  When I worked for Employment Security, every year we looked to a brief increase in employment numbers as kids went into the fields for a brief couple of weeks during the growing season.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:38:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That always seemed a little too much... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiaD, marykk, allep10

        ...like work to me.

        I don't know why I never did it.  The first year I was eligible I landed a much sweeter job through a government program that I'm not even sure how I got into.  I just remember coming home from school and my Mom or Dad asking me if I was interested, so I went up to one of the doctors' offices in town who was active in the local Republican party.  The only real question I remember being asked in the interview was whether my parents were good Republicans -- they were, no problem there -- and the next thing I know I'm in this program working part time for the city and part time for the school district with about a dozen other guys doing little odd jobs all summer.  

        After that, going out into those hot, sweaty, buggy fields would have been such a come down, I found other cushier jobs so I could avoid it.

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

        by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:48:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was work. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, Ahianne, dsteffen, RiaD, allep10

          Do they still do it by hand?  I'm afraid I'm out of touch with what I once knew about farming practices anymore, even in the prairie state.

          If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

          by marykk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:53:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's all pretty mechanized now. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose, Ahianne, marykk

            It's been several years since I saw kids gathering in the mornings waiting for the trucks to take them to the fields.  Of course, they quit using trucks for transport decades ago after a couple tragic accidents involving detasslers in open trucks getting hit by semis (one here just outside of town).  It was all buses when I last saw them going out.

            I'm sure there are still some jobs that need the hand work, especially the experimental plots and so forth, but I think most of the basic production detassling is machines now.

            We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

            by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:06:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I assume the open trucks (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose, dsteffen

              are also verboten by OSHA. For exactly that reason.

              If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

              by marykk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:10:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  They still do clean up by hand (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose, Ahianne, dsteffen, marykk, allep10

              after the machines have gone through, however, due to improved genetics they don't miss many, and a few crews of kids can make quick work of what's left.  I think they still have some places where they do so serious detassling.

              BTW,  I recently heard they are experimenting with some version of sterility again.  So maybe we'll see the whole Texas Male Sterile fiasco all over again.  

              AS for me...screw detassling, I got paid a lot more to sling bales, and at least we usually had a breeze.

              WWJD - for a Klondike bar. Sign on a graduate student's door.

              by Hard to Port on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:47:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Breeze??? You got a breeze? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RunawayRose, allep10

                There was no breeze up in the loft!  How'd you manage to get the rack?

                We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

                by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:58:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  dunno, but i usually did. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RunawayRose, dsteffen, marykk, allep10

                  I worked the loft some too.  The worst was midsummer in Howard's loft up on those platforms that he had over the cattle lofing area.  We were short on help and it was him and I carrying and stacking and as I recall we had to lug them a ways across the loft.  Closest I ever came to passing out.

                  WWJD - for a Klondike bar. Sign on a graduate student's door.

                  by Hard to Port on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:02:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Worst I ever had... (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RunawayRose, marykk, Youffraita, allep10

                    ...was working for your across-the-street-neighbor's father in that big old red barn they tried to exploit for the vineyard's fall activities in more recent years.  I think that thing acted like a hermetically-sealed solar collector.  It was hot as hell in there and not a hint of air movement.  We used to work as fast as we could to throw the stuff in place so we could slip out for a quick breath of air before the next rack showed up.

                    By the way -- did detassling pay sub-minimum wage?  I seem to remember they took advantage of the ag exemption to pay something like 80 cents when the minimum was $1.25, but I could be remembering wrong.

                    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

                    by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:11:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You remember right (5+ / 0-)

                      which is one of the reasons the south is so anti-union.  There was great fear that if unions came into the states, they would bring fair wages with them.

                      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

                      by marykk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:14:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, you know. (5+ / 0-)

                        It's just kids and they're just working to get money for drugs and booze entertainment and the latest school fashions -- it's not like they're supporting a family or anything.

                        Many of the jobs I had in the grocery industry were also being worked by people who were supporting familes.  Not after they busted the union they weren't.  They made them into jobs that would only buy records and jeans.

                        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

                        by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:33:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  And now that we're discussing this... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RunawayRose, marykk, allep10

                        ...the ossified old gray matter popped loose another memory, that it was exactly that reason that I never detasseled -- I refused to work for them if that was all they were going to pay me.  Not something that particularly pleased my parents, I'm sure, since it wasn't exactly like I had an alternative in the queue.  I think the city/school job was one they found for me in lieu of the Plan B I didn't have.

                        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

                        by dsteffen on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:27:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I guess your question got answer above, (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RunawayRose, dsteffen, marykk, allep10

                      My sophomore year I went to work "in town",  at IGA in the air conditioning for a whopping $1.60/hr.  I was there when Nixon froze wages, cause one of the assitant managers bitched about it for weeks.

                      WWJD - for a Klondike bar. Sign on a graduate student's door.

                      by Hard to Port on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:18:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  A couple of my nephews in Iowa (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RunawayRose, dsteffen, marykk, allep10

            ..worked on detasseling crews a few years back.

            I can haz vuvuzela!!!

            by Ahianne on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 06:49:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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