Monday, August 11, 2008

An unusually interesting profession!

Ever heard of anyone making a living out of old newspaper clippingsand other media? Well as a journalist one of my interests was to clip interesting and relevant news items from newspapers and magazines for future reference. But I had never thought or even imagined that someone could actually make a living doing newspaper clipping, till I read about Dallas resident W.K. Jeffus (61). I was intrigued when I saw a front page headline screaming "Yesterday's news is Dallas man's current occupation" and read the entire article spread across two pages.

According to the article Jeffus is passionate about the history of Dallas and is pained to see little being done to preserve the city's past. He is particularly sad to see that people in Dallas don't care much about history. He scouts through flea markets, garage sales and even houses under demolition to collect newspapers which is stores in a home in Oak Cliff, south of Dallas. The newspaper article talks about how frugally Jeffus lives, his office in Oak Cliff doesn't have airconditioning, he drives an old car and guess what his electric bill was: $1.85. I think it would be impossible to pay such a low electric bill even in India. I wonder how he survives the heat of Dallas in such circumstances. Jeffus makes about $1,000 a month, which is abysmally low by American standards and can't lead a decent life within that money.

Having read this much about Jeffus one would think that he is probably not educated to get a mainstream job or he is retired from work and does this as a pastime. Well the latter could be true, but Jeffus has a bachelors degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University and has worked in several places. But he has been associated with old news since long time.

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