In Memory of J.B. Milano


The New Job

My best buddy John Milano had an older brother named David. David graduated high school and decided he wanted to try his hand working in a gun shop selling and repairing guns. He quit his part time job at our local hardware store and went to work for a gun shop. John had worked after school and weekends at the A&P grocery store for the last couple of years. He wanted a job that would give him time off on Friday and Saturday nights. David put in a good word for him at the hardware store and he got Davids old job. The hardware store started a new line of paint where the customer could pick various colors and the store would mix the color in one gallon cans. This didn't set well with some of the old timers working in the store so the owner Mr. Parker gave the job to John and he was taught by the paint vendor on how to mix and run the machine that vibrated the mixture into a new color. When he wasn't mixing paint he would load pickup trucks, small trailers, and car trunks with bagged goods, fertilizer, grass seed, mulch, and other products. One Saturday John was in the middle of mixing paint when another employee wrenched his back loading a pickup truck and John was called to help finish loading the job. John told Mr. Parker he was in the middle of mixing a color of paint for a customer. Mr. Parker told John to help with loading and he would finish assisting the paint customer. Not more than a few minutes went by when Mrs. Parker came running out the back of the store screaming for John! She said; something went wrong the paint can lid flew off and paint went everywhere while Mr. Parker was mixing it. John and Mrs. Parker came running in the store to see Mr. Parker and the customer as well as the floor and walls covered in violet paint. Remember this was in the 1950's and paint was an oil base not water base product so to remove it you used turpentine or mineral spirits, var sol, even gasoline. The dress code of the day was a shirt and tie for management so Mr. Parker stood with his shirt, tie, and dress pants spattered in violet paint less we forget his shoes and socks. The blame for the disaster was put squarely on Johns shoulders for not securing the lid before starting the machine. John protested that he was in the middle of the procedure when Mr. Parker pulled him off to finish loading a truck out back. No matter the boss is always right. John got fired and went back to the A&P Store and got his old job back. Oh as a footnote: every time for the longest it smelled like a pine forest when you went in the hardware store.