Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, September 28, 1998

Jim Bacon, the butcher's boy


Jim Bacon's dad worked in a butcher shop, as did Jim's dad's father, and his grandfather before him. Jim was expected to be a butcher, too, one day.

At the butcher shop, there were all kinds of good sausages, steaks, roasts, and wieners. They were all made right there at the shop.

One day, Jim's dad said to him, "It is time for you to learn how to be a butcher so that, when I get old and retire, you can take over and run the shop."

"Oh, no, not me," said Jim. "I want to be a hairdresser. I am going to make ladies beautiful."

"What? What did you say?" his dad asked. "No boy of mine is going to fix ladies' hair. What makes you think that you can make ladies beautiful?"

"Well," said Jim, "the ladies I see need help. I will go to school and learn how to do it."

"As long as you go to high school, you will help in the shop," Jim's dad told him. So Jim went to work every day after school and on weekends. He worked with the man that made the wieners.

Jim enjoyed making wieners. He was able to twist them any way he wanted to. He made round ones and long ones. He twisted them into designs and called them "Jimbo Designs." They didn't look like wieners, but everyone loved them and the butcher store became a big success.

Jim's parents were sure that, now, Jim would forget about becoming a hairdresser. But one day, Jim came home and announced that he had signed up for beauty school.

After graduation, he went to a big city in California to look for work. Soon, his family and friends saw his picture in the newspapers and there were stories written about his fancy hairstyles. He became very famous for his original designs and he even worked for the movie stars in Hollywood.

Jim sent his parents some of the pictures of his hairstyles. His dad said, "These designs look like wieners piled up on top of the ladies' heads. But wieners will never cost as much as these hairdos do."

Jim mother said, "Working with wieners did him some good. Now, he gets paid more for one hairdo than we pay for a whole hog to make wieners from."

"When he gets old," Jim's dad said, "I bet he will thank us for the time he worked in the butcher shop. It was the wiener that made him famous."

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