Fifty Years Ago

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A young man was working for the state highway department. He was earning about $2 an hour.

He had a wife and three children. They were buying a house and had a car so they were not destitute but, they were more or less living hand to mouth.

Dad was paid twice a month, 1st and the 15th.

There came a time when mom, bless her heart, decided the kids were coming down with colds. This called for cold meds and vitamins.

This happened to be on about the 10th of the month. Dad had about $14 left in his checking account to last until payday.

Now this was before charge cards, so cash was it.

Mom went to drug store while dad was at work and bought $13 worth of vitamins, “kids need em.”

When dad got home from work she told him of her purchase.

Dad was upset but did not yell or anything ,he just told her “we have about a buck fifty to last us until payday”.

The family did all survive and went on to grow and prosper. 🙂


Dad remembers when working for the highway department the crews frequently left the garage and would stop at a restaurant for coffee and a donut for first break before proceeding to job site.

Dad also remembers occasionally not having 50 cents in his pocket for a coffee and a donut.

On these occasions dad would sit in truck and drink coffee from his thermos while smoking cigarettes.  Missed out on the morning bull session but life went on.


Recently Dad dropped off some money in a mailbox of a young couple that don’t have 50 cents for a coffee and a donut tomorrow morning. The money was in an envelope with a note. “Pay it forward”. No name no anything just the money and the note.

Dad feels better now and hopefully the young couple feel better also.


You Are Disposable!

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Was a participant in a group conversation with a young lady last night concerning her work and working conditions. She was sharing her disgust with her situation, low pay and what she considered rude treatment by management.

One of the group pointed out to her that she was a part time employee and the company did work around her school schedule. (also a college student) Not all businesses would do this.

She replied yes I appreciate that but, today I asked why they are working some people overtime and my hours are cut. Why can’t I get some of that time? Her supervisor told her she would be sent home because she is disposable.

Ouch! These words hurt me. This manager needs some training in human relations but, alas the manager has connections in high places in the company so the rude behavior will continue.


After a small bit of continued chatter, I said. “Jump up on the table, raise a clenched fist and shout out Union Now!” This brought silence from the group, all knowing this type of action would result in the young lady losing her job.

I then said hearing of this oppressive action against working people bothers me. It bothers me because it has become acceptable behavior in our country today.


Another acquaintance of mine recently told me the small shop he works in has recently instituted a rule regarding bathroom breaks. You have to ask permission to go to the bathroom and they have assigned routes to the bathroom from your work station.

The assigned routes he considers an insult but accepts it, the seeking permission bothers him. “Man if ya gotta pee, ya gotta pee, you can’t wait around for a supervisor’s permission” is how he put it.

Both of these events, the you are disposable and the ask permission to go to bathroom are true.

Workers in America are being reverted to a Kunta Kinte state of existence.

It is time to unite and take back our dignity.  Don’t just think about it, do something!