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Nabor made his way up the steps of the ice factory to the charred second floor where just last week he had put out a fire. When he finally made it to the factory owner’s office he was even more nervous than when there was a raging fire in front of him. The factory owner wanting to see him was bad enough on its own, but the fact that his foreman was there in the office with him made it even worse. With a breath, Nabor stepped into the office.
* * * * * * * *
“5,000 pesos,” Grandpa Next Door said.
“Woo-hoo!” Dad said. “I remember that part.”
Apparently the owner was extremely happy with Nabor for saving his factory from certain destruction. So he gave him…you guessed it. 5,000 pesos.
I’m not really sure how much 5,000 pesos was in dollars in the 1950’s, certainly much less what that would be worth present day. I do know that young Nabor made less than 200 pesos a week working in that ice factory which means that the owner gave him about half a year’s salary for his efforts as an amateur fireman. Despite the size of this lump sum, it still managed to run out. After a few more years of working as a human ice cube, Nabor was ready for a change.
Unfortunately, it was another factory worker’s death that led to Nabor’s next opportunity. The ice delivery man had contracted appendicitis and died from the resulting complications. While it most certainly must have left a huge hole in the man’s family, the fact remained that there was now a job that needed to be done by someone. Once again, Nabor found himself climbing up those same steps up to the second floor of the factory. This time he had called the meeting with the owner and the foreman, but that didn’t make him any less nervous. With a breath, Nabor stepped into the office as a human ice cube, but he left it as an ice delivery man.