Detassling Corn

A lot of kids in Essex County had their first job detassling corn. You’d meet the bus at the butt crack of dawn in a parking lot and you’d be driven out to the farms to spend the hot day in the summer sun.

I only made it for a few weeks but the job term was 4 weeks. Before I dropped out, I noticed the growing room on the bus and, in some cases, the changing faces. I am 55 now and maybe it’s my memory but no job I’ve had since then has seemed as hard. There was a casualness to the job that I also haven’t experienced since then. As much fun as we may have had joking and cutting up, everyone was out cold the bus ride back to Windsor. If you want someone who has hard to work hard, look for the kids who lasted in detassling corn.

MaryBeth – 55 – Windsor


Picture from SWODA. Family harvesting corn in 1910. To see picture source, click here.

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