Posted by: davidlarkin | April 27, 2021

First Job, a short story

Berkeley in 70s

1970s photo of street vendors and customers on Telegraph Avenue, down the avenue from University of California, Berkeley

In late summer 1974, I came to Berkeley, California on a bus from somewhere East. I had been traveling from place to place for three years at that time. I got off the bus at Telegraph Avenue with my duffel bag, guitar, and $40. Upon arrival, I started at the bottom of the hill on Telegraph Avenue a few blocks from Sproul Plaza at the University of California at Berkeley. I went door to door up the street applying for a job. At the top of the hill, across the street from Sproul Plaza, on Bancroft Way, I was hired to be the shipping and receiving clerk at Campus Textbook exchange. The guy doing the job, a Berkeley dropout, was leaving and he trained me. Immediately after being hired, I went across the street to the Berkeley Student Union and went to the bulletin board where students and others posted rooms for rent and jobs. I found a room in an apartment. Job and place to live in about two hours. God took care of me. At night I played guitar on the street under an overhang for the entrance to a bank so I was always out of the rain. The street vendors and musicians always honored each one’s customary spot on Telegraph.

In 2013, I wrote this following brief short story, First Job, based loosely on the time I lived in Berkeley in 1974, worked at the bookstore, and played guitar and sang for change on the street, Telegraph Avenue. I am the guitar guy in the story. The main character is a teenage runaway living on the street in Berkeley.

The short story is posted at this page:

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