Jack Ray

See below for a link to Jack’s audio file.


    In the summer of my senior year, I got a job for the first time in my life. I worked for a construction company called Holmes Excavation II. It was during this time that I grew and learned how things worked in the world of adults. During the week, I also had to go to football after I finished work, and it helped me to manage my schedule.

    On the first day of my job, I woke up at 6:00 A.M. to get ready. I drove to Munford where I had to wait for the office to open. I arrived at the office at 6:30 A.M.  It turned out I came thirty minutes earlier than I had to. I was unsure who I was supposed to talk to, so I just waited in my truck until someone I knew came through the gates of the office. While I was waiting in the car, I thought about how the day would play out in my head. I thought that I would be working under the hot sun for the first ten hours of my first day. What happened that day was much different than what I had imagined. 

    When my boss, Andy Turner, arrived, he told me to come inside of the main office so that I could fill out some forms that would finalize my working there. After I had finished filling out the forms, Andy told me to go get in the car, and we would start our day. He taught me several different things that I would be doing mostly over the summer. This included a good amount of digging holes and sticking fence posts in them. There was another person who was working under Mr. Turner whose name was Gerald. He was twenty-one and was about to go into the Marine Corps.

    Gerald taught me the ropes when Mr. Turner was not around or had to be somewhere else for work. We ate lunch together from time to time, which was usually at Jack’s. He used the machinery when I could not because I was too young. He left for the Marine Corps at the end of the summer and that was the last time I heard from him.

    My father worked with the owner of Holmes Execution II under Mr. Turner when he was around my age. That means he had to go through the same things that I did while he worked. This is most likely why my father has such a good work ethic. I think my father wanted me to work under Mr. Turner so that I could get a good work ethic as well. He wanted to get me a hard-working job to see how hard life would be if I did not try hard in school.

    The days that I enjoyed the most were riding in the car with Mr. Turner. We would get in the truck and get away from the sun. The AC would be on, and if I could imagine a place being close to heaven, it would be in that truck. On the days in which we had to go to places like Gadsden, I would catch up on lost sleep and would wake up when we got to our destination. It will be a long time before I forget about the things that I learned during this job.

    If someone ever asked if I had a day in my life that I would consider the worst, then I could say it happened during this job. It was on a particularly hot day in the middle of the week, and Mr. Turner informed me that we were going to bale hay. At first, I thought it would not be that bad, but I was wrong. First, Mr. Turner would go and make the hay in bales and put them into lines across a big field. Secondly, a group would follow a big trailer and pick up the hay bales and throw the bales into the trailer. Finally, two people would stake the hay into a pile inside of the trailer. People might think being inside the trailer is the best part, but they are dead wrong, it is the worst. Being inside a metal trailer under the hot sun mixed with hot bales of hay in a confined space is not fun. If heaven was inside the truck, then this would be hell.

    This job taught me things about myself that I have never known. It taught me that if I do not want to work under the hot sun for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, I should work hard in high school and college to get a good job, and that I should have a good work ethic to be successful in the future.

Please click on the arrow below to hear Jack’s Senior Reading.