Denmon Pearlman - July 2020

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Grandma actually had a pretty cool job at New Era, too! She would spot-check every single hat that left the facility. If there was even a tiny imperfection, then Grandma would catch it and toss it onto the rejects pile. She was able to fix loose threads or stitches, but she threw out any cap not up to snuff. But these extra caps didn’t go to waste! If you worked at New Era, then you could buy an imperfect hat from the company for just $1. Needless to say, that summer I added dozens upon dozens of imperfect ball caps to my collection. I also made enough money from that job to contribute to my car. That was one of the greatest lessons I learned that summer. I understood the value of an earned dollar and saving money to buy

T here are few summers as memorable to me than the summer I got my first job. The pay was nice, and it wasn’t a bad gig, but I’ll always remember it because of the time I was able to spend with my grandma and uncle. FROMMY FIRST JOB

something you want. I wanted to be able to buy a car by the time I got to college. I’m proud to say that money from my summer at New Era helped me fund that dream. I believe this is a valuable lesson for all teens to learn. I know there are parents who tell their kids that school should be the

When I was 16, I started my first job at the New Era Cap Company in Angola, New York. The company specialized in creating the ball caps worn by professional athletes and fans of the MLB. My uncle and grandmother also worked for the company, so every day, we would eat lunch together, laughing and chatting

WHEN A KID HAS TO PAY

only job they worry about, but there are important lessons that can come from joining the workforce as a teen. When a kid has to pay for their car, gas, or other

FOR THEIR CAR, GAS, OR OTHER EXPENSES, THEY COME TO VALUE THOSE ITEMS.

in the beautiful western New York summer weather. Toting our brown bag lunches, we’d hoof it outside the facility and sit down for a nice meal together every single day. There was nothing particularly spectacular about these lunches, but what would happen later made these daily occurrences extra special for me. That fall, my grandmother was diagnosed with brain cancer. She died just a year and a half later. I look back on that summer of sandwiches and meals outside of New Era Cap Company with my grandmother and my uncle, and I can’t help but feel lucky. I was given the gift of time. I’m thankful to have those memories today.

expenses, they come to value those items.

School is important. But so is learning what real work is like, and that summer at New Era gave me so much more than just extra spending money and savings for a car. It gave me a booming baseball cap collection, an appreciation for hard work, and some of the best lunches of my life. These memories will always be invaluable.

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