North Texan online > past issues > spring 2001
UNT North Texan contents UNT North Texan feature stories UNT North Texan eagle tale UNT  North Texan alumni news UNT North Texan feedback
UNT North Texan student spotlight UNT North Texan time tracks UNT news UNT North Texan contact us UNT North Texan past issues

eagle tale


About the author

After graduating from North Texas in 1940, Ernest Caddell added a few more jobs to his resume. He taught school and coached basketball before settling on a career with Phillips Petroleum. He retired in 1977 as operations supervisor after 36 years with the company. Caddell says that, at 86, he's "in good health and reasonably good faculties." He and his wife, Melba, live in Petrolia.





Odd jobs

 graduated from North Texas in 1940 with a degree in chemistry, but I first registered as a freshman in September 1932. I can remember those times very well.

As dormitories hadn’t yet been discovered, most students resided in private boarding houses around the campus. My first campus home was on East Fry Street, No. 322, and was called the Huffacre House. Room and board was $20 per month — $15 for board and $5 for room. I was able to augment my payments somewhat by working part time. I remember waiting tables, washing dishes, mopping the floor, cleaning the bathrooms, repairing roof leaks and unstopping sewers.

I worked out my tuition with an old hard-nosed foreman called Cap’n Yearby. The captain was very strict on his boys, and a lot of mothers’ darlings developed blisters from digging ditches and shoveling sheep manure so that we earned every dollar we had coming.

Toil and trouble

One of my earliest jobs was on the Campus Chat crew. I didn’t get paid for the pressroom work, but I did earn college credit. I was absolutely, without doubt, positively, the most worst proofreader ever, and I can prove it by a Professor J.D. Hall, our instructor foreman.

One of the toughest jobs I had was working for the Parks Dairy. Another student, the owner and I got up at 4 a.m. and milked 30 cows twice a day by hand. After the first day, my fingers swelled up and looked like fat little sausages. During that time, I had little chance of doing any of English teacher George Medders’ essays, holding a pencil with two thumbs.

In addition to milking, we carried a 15-mile milk route. Milk at this time, at Joe Bass’s grocery or Clara Lou Jones Carrico’s grocery, was 5 cents a quart. Pasteurization hadn’t been invented yet. But Parks delivered at any hour for 8 cents a quart. In our spare time, we washed bottles, bottled milk, ran and cleaned the cream separator, swept the barn and mixed cow feed.

The iceman cometh

My most demanding job was delivering ice for Frank Mahan’s ice company. Frank had six or eight one-horse wagons, closed-bodied, with a step on the rear end and a railing. Ice tongs were called hooks, and a leather back cover called a spread completed the picture. Our biggest competitor was the Penry Ice Co., which had pickup cars with canvas covers.

My best friend was old Prince, the horse. Prince knew the route as well as I did. I’d make a delivery up an alley and pick up Prince and the wagon — clop, clop, clopping along on the far side of the block.

We had much of the city square business, and old Prince developed a taste for city garbage. Wilted celery was his delight. Watermelon rinds, turnips and lettuce were all on his menu.

One day I was icing a pop box while Prince was parked in front.

A farmer came running up to me and said, “Your horse is eating my truckload of cantaloupes!”

Sure enough, old Prince was taking a horse-sized bite from every cantaloupe in sight. The farmer demanded $5 in payment for his melons. I paid him wistfully — with a half-week’s salary.

C’est la vie.

UNT homeUNT calendarCampaign North TexasNorth Texas Exesathletics