DEL MAR — Summer jobs for kids in the village were never a problem. There were more available than there were kids to do them. Some preferred to spend their time fishing and swimming while others held two or three jobs.
With gasoline stations on almost every corner, being a gas jockey was attractive to kids if they enjoyed pumping gas, patching inner tubes on flat tires or keeping restrooms stocked with paper towels.
Mornings before stores opened, sweeping the sidewalk and gutter from the Town Market to the Rexall drug store on Highway 101 and 15th Street was good for a 50-cent stipend every day.
On Tuesdays, kids could sell the Saturday Evening Post, Liberty or Colliers magazines. The profit was a couple pennies from each sale but sellers also earned valuable coupons based on the number of magazines sold and these could be redeemed for valuable prizes when a lofty plateau was reached — which usually never was.
Since there were no cumbersome child labor laws, an industrious kid would get up at 4 a.m. to deliver the San Diego Union and Los Angeles Examiner. When that task was completed it could be followed by going on the Hillman Dairy milk route, which always ended at the Del Mar Hotel. Free day old pastries were available in the kitchen and there was no limit.
The next moneymaking opportunity was clerking at the drug store. Down side of that job was having to put on an apron around the noon hour and washing dishes behind the fountain. Afternoons were free and usually were spent at the beach. Before returning for the night time shift at the drugstore there was the Evening Tribune and Los Angeles Herald Express to deliver to 60 or 70 customers throughout the village.
During the races the entrance to the hotel was a prime location for selling newspapers. Management was sympathetic and never discouraged the kids. The night shift at the drugstore usually ended when the Daily Racing Form arrived from L.A. containing the next
day’s race entries and handicap.
Although delivering the newspaper to Hollywood celebrities was a highlight, it had a downside. Payments came from out of town offices that usually took weeks. One prominent actor, now long retired, still owes $1.65
for a month’s delivery. Unfortunately the statute of limitations for collection has expired long ago.
Filed Under: EyeWitness