Bradley Dean Noller has worked a lot of jobs. “Construction tear-down, insurance auto work, warehouse work, order-picking, machine press work, work with machines that were robot-controlled, carwash duty, carnival rides.”
Except maybe for carnival rides, “if there’s one job that if I had the opportunity to go back, I’d be either a dairy farmer or work for a dairy farmer. At least I get first choice of milk. Never the first batch, because that’s still warm, but the next day, that’s going to be cold. If you ever go to a dairy farm, ask them if they’ve got a cup that’s clean and drink some of that.”
Bradley grew up in a small town in Kansas. His parents worked in a meat packing plant. “It went out of business because the plant got caught messing with the weights.”
His parents split up when they were laid off. “I was on my own, which got me in trouble, got me placed in a youth home and various other places, which caused me to become the black sheep of the family.” He’s tried to renew family ties without success. “People in my family tend to have grudges and hold onto them.”
Bradley left Kansas in 2000. “Just bouncing around.” After having heart surgery, he decided he wanted to get away from Minnesota weather and ended up in Seattle. “I can go outside almost any day of the week in the wintertime and half the time I don’t even zip up.”
Within a few months of moving here, he was a Real Change vendor. “Nowadays I couldn’t get work if I wanted, not for lack of trying.” He blames that on his heart condition and not having housing. “I don’t want to be in debt up to my ears, not with my current wage scale, which ain’t basically nothing. I don’t want to sleep on the streets, so that’s why I’m in a shelter. [If] I get tired of that, I’ll probably end up moving out of state.”
Selling Real Change isn’t bringing in as much as it used to — “not as profitable as when I first started, because it doesn’t seem to be as much merchandise to be sold. I’d sell cards, CDs, just about every merchandise that they had.”
He says the price change a few years ago affected his sales. “A lot of customers would be happy to pay one dollar; two dollars, no.” He admits that some vendors get customers to pay more. “I just don’t like to talk that much. If the paper doesn’t sell itself, why bother trying to get in someone’s face?”
When he’s not selling papers, Bradley likes to read. “Science fiction, fantasy, horror, you name it.” He doesn’t have a favorite author.
“The book I’ve read the most, other than the Bible, is by an author whose religion I cannot stand, L. Ron Hubbard, ‘Battlefield Earth.’ I’ve read that about 20 times.”
Bradley is one of 300 active vendors selling Real Change. Each week a different vendor is featured. View previous vendor profiles.
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