Spring, 1975 - age 11
While riding home from Sunday morning mass with Dad, Mom, Grandpa, and Grandma, a fancy landscape truck, trailer and tractor passed by us at Post and Washington. I mentioned to everyone that that's what I want to do.
Dan Stoeffler and I started collecting old lawn mowers and motors storing them in his dad's garage nest to the Cumberland Post Office. One old mower was hauled out of Lake Freeman after it was drained that fall. We never made any money repairing mowers but we sold our whole inventory for $120.00
1976 was also the year that Dad bought our first riding mower that he allowed me to use. I mowed 3-6 lawns per week. When winter arrived I bought my first snow plow for the mower.
Summer, 1978 - age 14
Dan Stoeffler, Jon Morris and I started working for Dennis Fisher mainly doing lawn maintenance. We all pushed mowed 8-10 hours per day for $2.50 per hour. We had a lot of fun traveling around the city all day but we worked like men.
Spring, 1979 - age 15
I borrowed $1,500.00 from the bank to purchase my first mower. I mowed for my regular customers and worked as a subcontractor for Dennis for $10.00 per hour. This was the first time self-employment came to mind.
After lying about my age, I was hired by Harlan Industries ( the "rat factory"). I worked from 4:00 - 11:00pm daily. I liked the money but I should have been studying and socializing. I bought my first truck that year - a 1967 Bronco.
Summer, 1980 - age 16
I basically worked for myself mowing lawns and doing whatever.
I sold the Bronco and bought a 1977 F150 4x4 and snow plow. I also enrolled in a horticulture program at Walker Career Center taught by Mr. Phil Pitts.
I continued working for myself.
I continued in horticulture
I graduated mid-term, landed some more accounts, bought three walk-behind mowers, and hired my first employees. And the rest is Ski Landscape history.
Special thanks to all of you who have made my dreams come true,
John P. Wolski
Current and former staff members have contributed to our newsletter over the years. Now the articles are available to view here on our blog