The post World War II generation, of which I am a member, has used up much of the world’s oil, turned our air into carbon dioxide — and taken all the jobs. So there are pitifully few left for the next generation.

I’ve had more jobs in my life than anyone really has a right to.

My brother, Bill, and I were a baby-sitting team when I was 9 and he a year older. We delivered newspapers together in Manhasset, N.Y., in the mid-1950s. One of our customers was Sam Hodge — known as Captain Video on his TV show. Sam had a very hard time giving more than a nickel tip.

I was a day camp counselor the summer before I went to Georgetown, and I was a night clerk at a residential hotel one night a week through my freshman year. I was the office boy at the Time Magazine office in Washington, D.C. that summer and spent two other summers as an intern at the Natural History Library of the Smithsonian Institution.

I considered it a privilege to roam the exhibitions, sneak into the attic and to be able to step out the door on that hot August day in 1963 to join the many blacks and whites streaming down Constitution Avenue to listen to Martin Luther King speak at the Lincoln Memorial.

I remember watching Robert Kennedy play with his family pet Newfoundland, Brumus, across the street outside his office when he was attorney general.

My first “real” full-time job was as a reporter for a small daily in upstate New York after I graduated. Within a year, I had joined the Peace Corps, flunked out there and gone back to the newspaper.

Then came a six-month stint in 1967 working in the Senate office of George McGovern, before my next job as a draftee in the U.S. Army. I continued reporting — this time for the base newspaper at Fort Bragg, and somehow avoided getting shipped to Vietnam.

But I did get to know some of the guys who came back from their tour during the war. My bunkmate, Cox, had shrapnel scars all over the front of his body and was missing the tip of his nose. The guy in front of him was blown up, he said.

Then it was back to newspapering, working at a trade publication in the restaurant industry in New York City, and a year later, I was the editor of a new weekly newspaper in Middletown, N.Y.

From there, I had a short stint as a journeyman carpenter before becoming the press aide to a congressional candidate in 1974 — one of the few Democrats who lost that year.

Then it was back to school and a new job as graduate assistant for the New York Press Association at Syracuse University while I got my master’s degree. I came to Maine in 1976 with a job as editor of the Island Advantages in Stonington.

Two years later, I was the deck hand on a sardine carrier — which I still think was the best job I’ve ever had. The carrier was sold, so I “graduated” to a seiner/dragger to do some serious fishing — and overfishing — for the next three years.

Then, as luck — and my twin career in fishing and writing — would have it, I landed a job as development director for the Maine Maritime Museum, lasting six years and a major capital campaign. After six months as editor of Boating Digest, an unsuccessful free-circulation magazine, I was back in fundraising as development director at the Maine Audubon Society in Falmouth. Two years later, I became executive director of a new organization, the Friends of the Maine State Museum, where I worked for the next 12 very enjoyable years.

By 2006, and two short-term jobs at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Maine Farmland Trust, I was ready for my next big career move: To retire into farming.

People my age who have farmed all their lives are retiring out of farming, and I don’t blame them a bit. I would have been burned to a crisp, too. Commercial fishing taught me how to love, and value, hard physical work, and farming is a much less brutal enterprise.

Farming, especially how we do it here, without tractors, is a great way to stay in shape. My weight is down to my high school level, my blood pressure is normal, and I can pretty much work circles around most of the young apprentices we hire from year to year.

The best part is that our work produces something everyone needs: good, healthy food.

So, after 24 jobs and three separate careers, my best advice to anyone is: Keep moving, and don’t expect a gold watch!

Denis Thoet owns and manages Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner.

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