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Our Most Memorable Summer Jobs

Dallas notables share stories about what they once did for a buck.
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Image
illustration by Eric Palma

Image
illustration by Eric Palma



High on the Hay    |    Eddie Gossage

President of Texas Motor
Speedway





I had to pay for my own college, so I always tried to find the best-paying jobs out there. Whether it be doing construction work or, in this case, working at a packing house. It was called Rudy’s Farm, and it was in Nashville, which is where I was raised. They make breakfast sausage. We would kill about 400 hogs a day.



I had a variety of jobs. My job in the summer was to fill in for people on vacation. There was one fellow who was apparently sick, because I had his job for a month. I would stand at the end of the gutting line, and the dead carcass of the hog would go through a shower to wash off any dry blood. The way you kill a hog in a packing house is you stick it in the jugular vein in the neck. So my job was to mainly check the carcass of the hog for dry blood. There was inevitably dry blood clots the size of tennis balls. And I would wash those out. It was an easy job. But no matter what you tried to do, you’re just constantly wet. Even with gloves on and rubber bands around your sleeves, the water would run down your arms. So then, in a couple weeks, you’d have what they called around the plant “hog rash.” It was just the oil from the hog. It would run down your arm. I had hog rash on my forearms. It went away when I switched jobs and wasn’t wet all day long with hog oils running down my arms. It paid $6.10 an hour. Unbelievable money.



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