Gordon Gates & Sons Part 2

“After the roofing I got into the regular swing of things + I guess I must have done a right. I worked till the job on Magic was all done. The three partners split up. Phyl Hitchcock one of them started a job up on Straton + I went to work for him. I worked about a year and ½ for him and quit. He was the most aragont, sarcastic big shot I ever worked for.

I got along with him cause he never tried to give me any ———–. When we started building for some people, they were the finest people in the world. By the time we were ½ threw they were no good. He just couldent get along with people.

About the first of December one Friday noon he came in with pay checks + passed them out. I noticed some of the boys got a pink slip also. I noticed Harold Stevens got a pink slip + I asked him about it that afternoon. He said Im laid off and just before Christmas. Later that afternoon I asked Harold how hed like to come to work for me Mon morning? He said yes but you’ll be here, you dident get a slip. I told him to just watch and see if Phyl comes in again Im going to give him a big surprise.

He came in about 4 P.M., and said well I got rid of some help this noon so this job will last us the rest of the winter. I’d always called him Phyl but now I was mad. Well Hitchcock maybe a little into the spring because Im all done as of tonight. He says to me you cant quit without giving me a notice. Im giving you a notice, ½ hr thats more notice than you gave thoes other fellows.

Harold + I cut balsom brush for Mr. De Cell for three weeks + we made good money. Id cut it before and new we could do good. Harold never got over that, I know that made him a Merry Cristmas + me to.

After Cristmas I done a lot of repair jobs. One big one for Mr. De Cell that lasted me into the spring. In the spring I went to work for Erwin Dostell on his Motell and from there for Clay Curtis next door who was building the Shamwow Motell. From there I went to Danby for Paul Hazenton who had been one of the other partners in Gen. Builders. That sumer Bill Merril + I road back + forth in my old Jeep over the Mount Tabor rd. We helped build a store for Moris Beldon on the new Rt 7 they were building.

Thats when I got my first experience layin cement blocks. I helped a mason from Rutland + Bill was our tender. (And we kept him buissey).

After Danby job I got a job from Loney Construction they were building the Weston Play House. I guess I had to be OK by then because by the time they were almost thrue they needed go to Benington to start the Paridice Motell. One afternoon Mrs. Loney came up to me + said Harold + I have been talking and we need to take some of the crew along with our two formen to Bennington to work. Harold has left it up to me to do the honers. Im making you our new foreman in charge of this job. You are a good friend of Ray Austin the arcertect and he said youd make us a good one. You can expect a raise in pay and 10c a mile to and from work. You also will be in touch with us all the time by phone in Brat. if you have any questions. I got along good and all the help done me a good job. Some of them (yes most of them,) had worked for Loney a long time but they dident resent me being boss. From there I went to Bennington, (with the same pay but dident have to act the part.) I mostly cut orders out in the yard with a big new De Walt radial arm saw, and checked lumber when it came in. I made good pay on mileage that sumer. I had a Voaxal station wagon and it got wonderfull milage and I was traveling 100 mi a day.”

The photo is part of the front cover of the 1963 Weston Playhouse re-opening after it had burned to the ground in 1962.
Photo provided by Ron Patch.

Watch for future installments of this story written by Gordon Gates. I worked for Albert DeCell painting houses when I was just out of high school, when painting slowed in October Albert put me to work cutting Christmas trees instead of laying me off. If you were willing to work Albert would find you work. Thanks Albert.

This weeks old saying is from Ben Franklin. “We are all born ignorant, but one has to work hard to remain stupid.”


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