Sunday, June 15, 2008

On First Jobs

"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count, everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted."

Albert Einstein

HANK: There was no way around it. At this time of year, every summer from the time I turned 16, I had to get a summer job. We all did, as soon as we passed into no-longer-child-labor territory. In fact, there may not have been child labor laws back then (after all there wasn't even color TV, for heaven's sake) but anyway. My step-father insisted. No summer job? Forget about it. That also meant no pool privileges, no car privileges, probably no food privileges.

So my first summer, after complaining about it for awhile, and failing at trying to prove to Mom and Boo (as we called him) that no one would hire a teenager with no experience, I went to the Avon Shopping center, I think it was, in suburban Indianapolis. I inquired at the A and P--do you need anyone? No. At Shaeffer's Drugs. No. At Adore Beauty Salon. Pronounced A-dor-ay, of course. No.
Next on the strip mall was the dry cleaners, can't remember the name. Oh, yes, Tuchman's.
And they needed a clerk. Great! Cush job,I thought. Take people's clothes, give them back. Though it did smell a little funny in there. So done deal, I was hired, and then they handed me an employee information paper to fill out.

I picked up the pen, and began to write.
"Waitaminit," the clerk said. "You're left-handed?"
"Yes," I said.
He took the paper back. "We can't train a left-handed person," he said, shaking his head. "The machines--"
Machines? I remember thinking? Why will I need a machine?
"--the cleaning machines are designed for right-handed people only. No way, sorry, but we need someone right-handed."
And with that, adios job.
I was crushed, defeated, and went to the Dairy Queen to drown my sorrows in a double chocolate softserv in a cup with pineapple topping and coconut flakes. The Dairy Queen. Where, as it turned out, they needed a person to be a counter girl.
And I got the job. I adored it. I learned to make an ice cream cone with a curl on top, and dip it in chocolate keepng the curl in place. (Bet I could still do it.) I learned customer service, how to be nice even if you didn't feel like it, how much fun it was to make someone happy, how fulfilling it was to give people something delicious, how fantastic it was to get a paycheck, what a good feeling it was to go home tired after a real day's work.
And, because you can make ice cream cones left-handed, but not do dry cleaning, I did NOT spend my summer breathing tetrachlorethylene, "perc," the solvent they now know causes cancer and all kinds of other horrible things.
Somehow, to me, that's all just--chillingly revealing about the universe. Or maybe it's just a nice story.
Summer jobs anyone? How did the universe work for you?
JAN: From about seventh grade on, I worked in my father's law office, both afterschool and summers, but I don't think that really counted because my father was the most patient man in America and I didn't really have to learn the real rules of a workplace.

At sixteen, I figured I needed to deal with a real boss, so I got a job at Shoprite, which was the purest form of torture I've ever endured. I was hired as a cashier, with about twenty other young women. The store kept a camera on us and if we made an an error ringing something up, we weren't allowed to make our own correction, we had to call the manager over, so he could humiliate us in front of the customers.
If you made too many mistakes, or if you didn't flirt enough with the manager, you got demoted to bagging. I refused to flirt and did A LOT OF BAGGING. So much that from time to time, I still feel the sharp knife pain in my shoulderblade.
I quit, and went back to the cocoon of my father's law office. I learned no lessons in workplace politics, but I did learn how to type the right way, without looking at the keyboard. And hey, that came in handy!

ROBERTA: oh my gosh, I could write pages about the crazy jobs I had. But probably the first was snack hut girl at the historic village in Allaire State Park in Southern New Jersey. I was still in high school and my parents got the zany idea that four kids, three of them teenagers, would enjoy camping for the entire summer while holding down their first jobs. My older sister and I shared a tent, while the rest of the family, German shepherd included, enjoyed a pop-up trailer.

Women's liberation hadn't yet crested in NJ, so my YOUNGER brother got the plum position assisting the blacksmith--at a higher rate of pay. My older sister and I rotated between flipping burgers and standing watch in the historical buildings. If you cooked the meat, you left the day drenched in grease.

If you stood guard, you suffered death from boredom. And you were required to be in costume--long, ugly dresses that showed neither waist nor cleavage. I sewed my own--something flowered with a scoop neck and a cinched waist. I had to fight for the right to wear it--definitely not appropriate to the period!
The next summer I gladly accepted employment cleaning motel rooms in Hatteras, NC, not living under a canvas roof and far from my family!
RO: I don't think I ever had a summer job per se. Not the Marjorie Morningstar, summer camp-type job. I've worked after school since I was fifteen - toy store, hardware, discount drugstore. Nothing glamorous - no fun memories..ah yes there was that time I was pricing tube socks...

HALLIE: Not counting an unpaid job teaching dance (HA!) at a summer camp, I was 15 the first summer I tried to get a "real" job. Every office where I applied asked if I took shorthand. I did not. So instead of working, I learned shorthand--Gregg shorthand, which is really the coolest thing. It's a bunch of little strokes that represent consonant sounds (the sound "t" is a little upward slanted line; "d' is a longer upward slanted line), Different-sized circles and semi-circles are vowel sounds. More than you ever needed to know, huh?
The next summer I worked for a temp agency. They placed me at an import/export company where I typed invoices and no one spoke English and I had to ride 3 busses to get there in downtown LA. Then I worked at a company that sold pipe fittings, also downtown LA--I broke some kind of record there typing hundreds of connected blank invoices that fed in a continuous roll through my typewriter. I worked from indecipherable handwritten invoices full of abbreviations, and I've often wondered what havoc my invoicing wreaked on that company. The next job was out in the Inglewood oil fields (3 different busses, this time) where I worked in a trailer, filling in for the receptionist. I had a wonderful time. I dated one of the engineers who lived in an apartment over a garage of a house right on Manhattan Beach. Looking back, I realize my parents were truly out to lunch that they did nothing to stop this. (Ed Maciula, are you still out there?) It was, ahem, memorable.

Of course, you guessed it, I never once used shorthand. It's another useless appendage, along with the doctorate I thought I'd need for my academic career

HANK: Oh, ahem! Now THAT'S gotta be a blog for another day. Ed??? You out there?
Summer jobs. You never know what you're going to learn.

**NOTE: A sorrowful goodbye to Tim Russert. He was the genuine article. **


  1. Hank, my parents were with yours--at sixteen, its time to learn how to handle a job. Luckily (?), I grew up five minutes from Pismo Beach, where the population practically doubles in the summertime and, with it, the need for employees. I got a job working part-time in a bookstore (where I spent my hours dusting and unpacking, making a few sales, and telling people the next month's edition of romance novels weren't in yet). The rest of the time I worked in a children's clothing store, selling sweatshirts to all the people who came over from the Central Valley, not knowing about fog, and expensive brand-name pants in size 6X! I didn't learn how to make a swirly ice cream cone, but I did learn how to make those fancy bows that go on top of wrapped packages--all with ribbon, scissors, and my bare hands. :)

    Both jobs were more glamorous than the one I had for many summers afterward, working at my parents' vet clinic!

  2. When I was in high school in New Jersey (the northern end), some very forward-looking individual put together a sort of job bank for students, matching up people with one-shot or short term needs (mostly helping out at parties or baby-sitting) with students. It wasn't full time, but I think the pay was decent. And I worked in a tiny music store in exchange for guitar lessons (this was, after all, the sixties).

    After that? You guessed it: camp counselor.

  3. Becky: You can make bows? Very very high degree of desirabiilty.

    Sheila: I worked in a music store, too. WHat could possibly be better? Harry Nilsson owes me, though. I pushed an awful lot of his albums.

    Remember: albums?

  4. My first job was as a kid radio spokesperson for an Indiana-based hamburger chain called 'Burger Chef' (now extinct,I think). In a series of spots, I pitched burgers,fries, fried pies, and triple-thick frosty shakes. I can still sing the jingle, if you want to hear it.

    This started when I was about 9 and ran until I was 11 or 12. I did about six spots a year. I remember they were produced in a production booth at a local station and through a double layer of glass windows, I could see the station's on-air jock, usually stoned, weaving around and missing the cart machine--all beneath a photograph of Mama Cass, naked, with a daisy between her toes.

    Apparently Burger Chef eventually introduced a voice character called 'The Chef' (voiced by Paul Winchell) and a juvenile sidekick named 'Jeff', but those characters were not a part of any of the campaigns I was involved with.

    Wikipedia has an entry on Burger Chef, including burger prices, which must have jumped up considerably in the 70s, because back when I was singing the jingle to canned music, it went:

    ~Fifteen cents~
    ~A nickle and a dime~
    ~Burger Chef~
    ~Serves you better every time~

    This page has the store looking exactly as I remember the one in the town where we did the spots!

    My next job wasn't until I was 16--flipping burgers this time--for Whataburger. For some reason they didn't ask me to sing.

    Well, neener-neener. Burger Chef had better french fries.

  5. I just remembered that one of the spots -- a 'dessert' spot -- promoted Burger Chef's hot apple turnovers.

    The copy said (following an SFX bed of circus music and one of those drum tattoos that go on when acrobats are doing a trick):

    You're gonna FLIP over
    Our hot apple TURN over.

    Not great copy, but the voicework was fun.

  6. It just occurs to me that this week's quote might have also worked for Hallie's post on the democrat candidates..
    Maybe we should post about first loves one of these days...

  7. My first job was at Doubleday, in the Book Club headquarters in Garden City, Long Island. In the summer there was very little to do, which you could either spin out all day by manicuring your nails (OK by the supervisor), or you could do your whole work for the day early, then hide behind something and read (nonproductive, so you couldn't get caught).

    I never got caught.

    The big deal about Doubleday was that they had a bookstore upstairs, where all the books were $1 or less. I didn't make money that summer, but I discovered Edward Gorey.

  8. I had the best teen job ever and it wasn't just summers. For three years, I worked one day a week at Steak Night on a military base overseas. We transformed the cafeteria into a posh, candle-lit restaurant, starting right after school on Thursdays, then worked like mad dogs until midnight serving up steak dinners and wine to every American who loved feedlot beef in manly portions along with a bottle of Lancers. I learned all about cuts of beef, brand-name wines, customer service, the importance of clean condiment lids, and most importantly, the pleasure of making money. $200 dollars a month with wages and tips for just four days and this was barely 1970. Life was good, and I only had to babysit for 50c an hour as a favor to neighbors. I still love that hot blueberry cheesecake, too!


  9. Oh, Dani - that sounds fantastic. Do they still sell Lancers?? It was THE romantic bottle of wine to have when I was in college...sparkling Rose, I think...and then the fat brown bottle made a great candle holder. Anyone remember "Mateus" - also sparkling Rose.

  10. Anyone want to learn basic tumbling or gymnastics routines? Intro to trampoline? How about swimming? Any stroke, including butterfly, the one I can't do. How about lifesaving?

    As you may have guessed, my first job was at the YMCA. As a member of the Junior Leaders' Club, I taught beginning and intermediate skills and helped out with the more advanced classes. All for 50 cents an hour and a chance to moon over Eddie, the Physical Director.
    They don't let kids do those jobs anymore. You guessed it--liability.

    Now, imagine my second job: working in my Dad's medical office. Depending on which of his office workers I was filling in for, I either answered the phone, made appointments and filed charts or tested urine samples, stuck fingers for hematocrits, drew up injections for my Dad to give, and--can you believe it--took chest X-rays. Did I mention I was 16? Talk about liability. One big thing I learned from the finger-sticking and X-rays: If you have to touch someone, use a firm grip. Light spider touches make people crazy. Also, if you're going to stick someone, position yourself so they can't see what you're doing, talk to them and in mid-sentence, when they aren't expecting it, stick.

    That last bit works for punching and stabbing, too, I imagine.

    Excuse me. I've got to go do a round-off cartwheel to a back straddle roll and then transplant files to my kids' PC while the Geek Squad resuscitates mine with a new hard disk.

    Back up. Back up. Back up. I have Carbonite online back-up for home users at $50 a year. It just saved my life.


  11. At 14 I worked away from home at my uncle's restaurant. Wouldn't wear ugly white waitress shoes and my arches fell. Got a boyfriend, bought a really cute denim swim suit, saved the money and my dad invested it in a mutual fund.

    At sixteen I worked at the local swimming pool and was a car hop for about two weeks until I dumped a malt on a guy's lap.

    Drove a delivery pickup for an auto parts store during college.

    Wild crazy summers back in those high school/ college days. Yowza!

  12. Dani, I swoon. That must have been so much fun.

    Susahnnah--I used to live in Indpls, and I remember Burger Chef, absolutely. I do think the hamburgers were 15 cents. And it was so psecial to get to go.

    We liked White Castle, too.

    Sarahw, was in the Doubleday book club. I think it was because the intital offer was you could get 25 books for a penny, something like that. Wasn't it one of thoe where you would get the books unless you said no? I still think I have some of them.

    Mo, next SINC meeting, I want to see the roundoff.

    And Judy, honestly, the Dairy Queen owner and I almost came to blows because I wouldn't wear the white nurse-y uniform and shoes we were issued. I showed up in a white oxford shirt (button- down), and a white canvas hip-higger skirt and white tennis shoes. It's WHITE, I told him. What's the difference?

  13. My first job was waitressing at Yoken's Thar She Blows restaurant, where I spent summers and vacations from the age of 14 until I burned out at 18 (threw a plate of spaghetti at the cook who refused to reheat it). I still remember the smell of fried food that permeated my nylon uniform and stockings, and the fear that comes from seeing a bus filled with blue hairs pull up 20 minutes before your shift was supposed to end. But I made enough money to get me almost all the way through college and like Hank, learned to be nice even when I didn't want to be. Too bad I lost that skill...

  14. I started babysitting at age 13. That's when I learned that having children was overrated.

  15. My first job for pay was taking apart broken vacuum cleaners so they could be shipped back to the factory. My mother was the secretary to the owner of a Kirby vaccuum cleaner franchise, and the salesmen had to sing these motivational songs like "Hail, hail, the gang's all here, the guys who sell the Kirby!"

    I was happy to stay in the back emptying dust-filled bags.

  16. Neil, that simply cannot be true. And now, I am singing the Kirby song. Thanks, pal.

    But now, to an intriguing question...

    Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, we will have guest bloggers.

    Funny, smart, clever, successful guest bloggers.

    And you won't want to miss them.

    Who are they, you ask?

    Here are hints:

    One blogger: Worked as an Easter Bunny at a children’s party.

    Another: Fell down the stairs on Christmas morning, at age 4, and, greedy child, missed everything.

    Another: won a big big prize on Jeopardy.

    Who who who, you ask?

    Come back and see! (There are more hints here than you'll see at first glance....)

    And we'd still like to hear about your summer jobs.

    And we'd still like to hear from Hallie's first love. Or anyone who knows him.

  17. My first job wasn't a summer job. I worked full-time at a drug store from the time I was almost 16. That money enabled me to transfer from the school in my area to a better school a long way off. This was before bussing (or busing, whichever; no kissing, for sure.) so I had to buy a car. There was also tuition to pay. I found that the women employees were not allowed to okay a check, no matter how long they'd been with the company, and that any of the male employees could okay a check, no matter how dumb they were. And I was surprised as all get out to realize that that nice, older lady who was always straightening my clothing had designs on me. And I learned that our company did not allow Black people to sit at the lunch counter, under any circumstances. This blew me completely away. I learned that those wooden stacked heels might be fashionable, but after 8 hours a day, even teen-aged feet and legs were screaming.

    After high school, I worked at a radio station, and was a lifeguard and trainer of lifeguards, worked in a library, and joined the Marines.

  18. Summer jobs?

    For me the most memorable jobs start at the end of my Freshman year in college in North Jersey. I worked in a sweat shop where they made jewelry boxes for watches like the Bulova Accutron - you remember - the one with the tuning fork inside. These were fancy boxes. Of course the Accutron did cost 125 bucks in 1967. The workers in the factory did piece work. So much per piece that was stamped, or finished in some way. I got 1.25/hr about 48 bucks a week after taxes, and that was with overtime!

    I learned how feeble quality control measures could be. One of my jobs toward the end of the summer was to pack the finished watch boxes into large shipping boxes that held maybe 50 boxes. Finished boxes were graded 1, 2, 3 and repair. I was carefully instructed to make sure all the 1 boxes were on the top layer, and to mix the 2 and 3 boxes in the next layer because they only QC sampled the top layer at Bulova. If I wanted I could even put a few 2 boxes in the top layer if I was running out of 1 boxes! Fortunately, that part only lasted about 3 weeks before I quit and went back to school and regaled my Statistics Prof with my "real world" QC stories. Got an A from him :-)!!

    Then, the next summer I was an elevator operator at the McGraw Hill building at 8th Ave and 42 St. in New York. I heart NY!!!
    You'd think it would be pretty simple, right? Actually, not. I had to drive that elevator manually for the first 15 floors and it only self leveled if you could stop the car within about 3 inches of the floor otherwise you had to bring it precisely to the floor. There were 4 elevators that serviced 15 floors. People would get in and yell random 1-15 floor numbers at you. You needed to remember the number and then put it in the proper order and stop at the proper floor. Many times in the morning rush hour I'd fill the elevator and no one would give a floor. So, being creative - "First stop, 15th floor!" Wow, you should have heard the random numbers then. Not sure which was worse - no numbers or 22 randomly generated responses for floors between 1 and 15 all at once.

    One time one of the summer employees, missed the ground floor and put the elevator in the "pit" - the car opening was only about 1/3 above the ground floor. There were 22 people in the car leaving the building at the end of the day to go home. Well, now there were 22 unhappy people waiting for the mechanics to go to the motorhouse on the 17th floor and pull them to floor level! That took over an hour. Interesting day. From then on there was a slight pall cast on us "part time" summer employees. Very interesting study of people - especially now the almost extinct breed called the elevator captain.
    "And, make damn sure you don't put it in the pit again. You understand?"

    "Yes sir. We not only strive for perfection - we usually exceed it, sir. Thank you, sir, for the advice."

    By the way the other side of the lobby had automatic elevators that serviced floors 16 through 38. I only needed to punch buttons. They were pretty quick, so you felt your heart drop to your feet each time they took off.

    The next summer I chased trucks for the New Jersy diesel emissions research program. In fact one day we drove with a New Jersy State Trooper. That was my introduction to automotive engineering. That summer changed my life, and probably the world.

    What is great about the responses on this blog today is that any one of them would make a great book if it were elaborated on.

    And, yes, alas, I did my usual too long entry. Oh, but there is good news - Well, at least I know for sure Hank will appreciate it -
    Just got back from Stratford, Ontario where we saw "Taming of the Shrew " at the Shakespeare Festival. Superb presentation.


  19. Are you ready for more of the who's-the-JRW-guest- blogger quiz?

    Friday's guest: Went rat shooting at the city dump on a first date.

    Thursday's guest: taught creative writing to US high school students at Oxford University.

    Wednesday's guest: was a knobby-kneed cheerleader in 2nd grade.

    Any ideas?

  20. Hey Neil,
    My older brother had a friend who made a fortune selling Kirby vacuum cleaners, and then took his profits and started his own carpet (installation company). So that song must have really worked!

  21. At least the Kirby folks actually repaired the vacuum cleaners. I had (another) boyfriend in college (oh where have you gone, J.N.?) who told me about his job several summers for repairing sewing machines for (fill in well known company that sold these but that I won't name for fear of being sued). What he was really supposed to do was talk the customer into buying a new one--la, la, la, adding insult to injury, all summer long. Apparently, he was really good at it and went on to be (what else) a lawyer.

  22. What fun reading about your jobs. I never had to get a summer job in high school though I had several jobs like taking care of my great aunt the summer she had cataract surgery and taking care of my dad the summer he broke his kneecap in an auto accident. Then in college I went to summer school all but the last summer and that's when I had the job waiting tables at Shoney's. I swear it took me twenty years to be able to eat at Shoney's after three months of serving Big Boy burgers, hot fudge cake and strawberry pie. After we married, I told the DH we'd starve before I waited tables again. Then again, I had the DH and two sons, so I waited on them a lot.


  23. I worked one summer at a golf course. I was in charge of taking reservations for weekend tee-off times. This is when I realized golfers are insane. If the only opening was 4 a.m., they'd jump at it. They must have taken turns teeing off while someone else held the flashlight.

  24. Not first jobs...but I've worked building bookcases, shilling for a karate school, packing up boas and tulle for dance schools, selling Cliff's Notes. I'm sorry to say none of them involved songs or cute guys.

  25. My first job was when I was 15 and it was working in a drug store and soda shoppe. I did just fine in the soda shoppe, but one day the manager (male) was in the back room and a man came rushing in and asked for some Trojans. Well, this was 1950 or so and I had no idea what he was talking about. He realized I didn't and asked if there was a man on the premises. He seemed in an awful hurry. It was a long time before I knew what he wanted to buy.

  26. Mo, I have to jump back in for a sec, because I, too, at sixteen was taking x-rays...but of dogs and cats. Let me tell you, when you're x-raying a cat, you'd BETTER use that firm grip, because they are NOT happy. :)

  27. Well I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon here but summer jobs - hum that is tough.

    Let's see I was babysitting at the age of 13. So this was during school and summer - weekends only, usually just Friday nights but occasionally a Saturday night would slip in there. Like the one time this higher up on base (my father was stationed at West Point - an enlisted man - E6, and we lived up on the mountain - basically off base but still part of the housing for base, and the higher ranking personnel lived up further on the mountain) I was asked to babysit for this couple I had only met briefly or knew of from my dad or someone else on base. They wanted me from about 5 pm to (they said) originally about 11 or midnight - they were going to some sort of party. This was the approved by my father and I ended up "sitting" until after 2 in the morning and my father was livid. But I can't complain because for the whole time I was there they paid pretty good - they gave me a $20 when taking me home and that was when I think my first babysitting jobs were paying 50 cents an hour. The reason I remember that one job is because it was the first time I had ever seen Wizard of Oz and it ran that night and I didn't know it was in black and white to start with and me and the kids all thought the TV was broken when we started watching the movie - lol.

    Before my father retired, I moved down south and lived with my grandmother for a year and babysat some - mostly folks in the neighborhood where she lived or people from her church but not much since I was very dependent on my grandmother who was almost 60 years my senior.

    When my father retired and we moved to the town he ended up in (job basically - they told him the only requirement was that he live in the county where the job was so they moved upstate), I babysat for folks from the church we attended until I was 15 or 16 and then I started at Belk's Department Store. Guess which department I was stuck in that had no traffic except on Saturday nights an hour or so before closing? - I was stuck in hosiery and handbags - this is when Aigner had just come out and we had those metal pole displays and the pocketbooks had to be locked. I was notorious for helping out Children's or shoes while keeping an eye on my own department but management didn't like that (even though it took them over a year to get to the point of terminating me - was told it was that they weren't giving the part-time employees as many hours and they just kept decreasing my scheduled hours until basically I wasn't working any more (I found out later that the reason they kept decreasing my hours is because they didn't like me being out of department, even though I had the least busy one of all and it was the cleaniest - they did white glove tests regularly - as well as one of the most well stocked departments in the store).

    After being there almost two years, I worked at McDonald's - that was brief - like 3 months but I was a senior anyway -was just going to work there until I left for college but I ended up leaving a couple of weeks before I had planned to (my father had been working at the Union Carbide plant near us and he got me a summer job there - checking parts - now talk about a boring job - sticking these little pronged pieces in a machine to make sure they were good, tossing the bad ones - way worse than hosiery - lol).

    I worked in college in a work-study capacity and my first college job was hell on me - I worked in the cafeteria and my only job was "scooping ice cream". I was never on the line (thank God), never in the kitchen or on clean up - my duty was to serve ice cream to anyone wanting it during meal hours (except breakfast of course). Funniest thing about that job is that I ended up casted from the work - I know you are thinking, "casted from scooping ice cream? How in the world do you do that?" - I had scooped ice cream for dinner Friday night, lunch Saturday, dinner Saturday, lunch Sunday, dinner Sunday and dinner Monday and then we started classes on Tuesday. The ice cream was rock hard after having set in the big deep freezer cooler things most of the summer - I had not realized I sprained my wrist until I started classes and could not take notes in my very first class.

    So I ended up at the doctor's office that day and was told it was possible I had a hairline fracture or a really bad sprain, either way he was going to put a cast on my arm for protection and that I was going to be casted for at least three weeks. I was and it wasn't fun, especially trying to take notes in freshman classes (you know how some teachers give you notes ad nausem? - lol).

    Anyway - from that experience I did find out I was allergic to aspirin and that to scoop ice cream, the trick is to thaw a bit before serving and putting in the small cooler where you are working from.

    The following summer was a job at the college library and that was fun - I got to do story time and help hang pictures from this man's trip - kind of National Geographic like but not for that magazine.

    Mostly temp and secretarial jobs after that leading up to me being a medical transcriptionist now and writing children's books - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering

    Coming soon from 4RV Publishing, STATE OF WILDERNESS, Book 1 of the Junior Geography Detective Squad 50-state mystery trivia series.

    Where will the adventure take you next?