1965: SAVED FROM THE A & P





by Randy Reynolds


My dad and mom, when I was young,
Expanded their family
Till they wound up
With six of us
Four daughters, my brother and me.

The pay of a preacher was way too meager
With so many mouths to feed. 
Then I turned fifteen
And Violet and Gene
Had an epiphany:

My daddy said, “Ran, they need a new man
To work at the A & P.”
I said, “Who me?
“Bagging groceries?
“Where all my friends will see?”

“Son, a boy your age, gettin’ minimum wage,
“Is an opportunity.”
“No, Daddy, please!
“Not the A & P!
“Daddy, don’t do this to me!”

He quoted, “Whatsoever thy hand
findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
Yes Ecclesiastes
Presaged A & P’s.
Scripture I couldn’t fight.

But driving to Covington A & P
Dad had a revelation:
Recalling that somewhere recently
Someone had said WARB
Needed someone to clean the station.

In the studio of the Rick Webb Show
Mr. Rick had no time for me.
“Don’t need a janitor,”
Said the manager.
“Need a third class licensee.”

He gave me a book and a ferocious look
And said, “The FCC
“Will give you this test.
“So be my guest.
“If you pass, get back to me.”

I studied the book and passed the damned test
Mr. Rick was surprised at me!
But he said, “Okay
“You’re now a deejay.”
         And I was saved from the A & P!

























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