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THE IMPATIENCE OF MRS. JOB
Roy Blount Jr.
August 24, 1970
As a coach who doubled as a mother, Mary Job made her four kids do laps and laps and laps and sleep and sleep and sleep until each one of them became a champion
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August 24, 1970

The Impatience Of Mrs. Job

As a coach who doubled as a mother, Mary Job made her four kids do laps and laps and laps and sleep and sleep and sleep until each one of them became a champion

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Also the kids had to work in the garden, and play several musical instruments. "Something," says Mary. "I wanted them to have something. Something in sports. Something in music. Something."

"I practiced the piano, the organ, the guitar and the saxophone," says Brian. "That and swimming didn't leave us much time for anything we wanted to do. I used to regret that. But I made a lot of models—that was my big thing, models. There are all those models around the house today, so I must have found some time. But I don't know when."

In fact, there must have been a good many delights around the Job house. "You could walk by and grab a handful of wild raspberries or blackberries," says Brian. "And we had a big plum tree. You couldn't mow around the plum tree at all because the mower would just go ish, squish. One year there was a late frost and it killed all the bugs, and that tree got so heavy that it bent over double and broke in two. Just with the weight of all those plums. That was the first time I thought there was something kind of cool about fruit trees."

There was time, too, for playing around in the water, water-skiing behind the family boat, or being pulled by the boat on a winged contraption Brian built from plans in Popular Mechanics. It would dive way below the surface and then zoom up when you adjusted its fins. The family still leaves the boat in the water late every year. Last year Glenn took it out on the day of the Browns-Colts playoff game, Dec. 10.

"I was watching the game on television," says Mary, "and I wondered why Glenn hadn't come in to watch it. He'd never missed a playoff game before."

Glenn says, "I had run all the gas out of the motor, and I had gotten into the boat to bail it out before beaching it. I looked up, and the wind was blowing me away from shore. I started paddling back with the bailing cans, but after a while I could see that I was losing ground. So I just stood up in the boat and held a bailing can under each arm into the wind and let it blow me all the way across to the other shore."

Glenn is 60 pounds overweight, and the girls devote a lot of time to razzing him about it, but it is hard to get his goat. "I remember my mom was always angry at my dad because he wouldn't make us do things,' says Brian. "I guess in most families your dad is sort of an ogre and your mom is somebody you can always go to to be comforted. In ours it was the other way around. We'd like it a lot better when Dad supervised our workouts—not because he let us get away with not doing anything, because he didn't, but because it was so much more pleasant with him."

Swimming was not pleasant with anyone, though, in the spring and early fall. "The water was so cold," says Brian, "that the only thing you could do was jump as high in the air as you could and start doing your best stroke the minute you hit the water."

The family considered moving to a warmer climate. One spring, says Mary, "We packed up our kids, saved our money..."

"In that order," interjects Glenn.

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