Jack Casady: Work is a Means to Independence, Freedom

In Praise of the Teen Summer Job
From hauling bricks to delivering newspapers, traditional summer work taught generations of teens about life, labor and their place in the universe
By DAVE SHIFLETT — April 24, 2015 11:40 a.m. ET

Jack Casady

Jack Casady

…Jefferson Airplane bandmate Jack Casady…remembers being a paper-delivering prodigy. “I started when I was 11 years old,” he said…. “On Sundays, I got up at 3 a.m. and delivered 400 papers.” He adds, “I made good money”—some of which he used to start the grass-cutting business that paid for his first musical instruments, including an amplifier kit he put together with help from his father.

“All of that taught me the thought process of setting your goal and then putting together the steps to reach that goal,” said Mr. Casady. “I learned that work was a means to independence and that if something you want is not available, you can make it yourself. There was no drudgery involved for me. Work was a means to freedom.”

His advice to young workers: Live and toil “with integrity,” and adopt a no-slacking attitude. “Luck and timing can make a big difference,” he said. “But Lord knows, prepare. If you prepare properly, you’re ready for luck and timing if they come your way.”

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