Sunday, November 16, 2008

Against the Odds? I don't think so.

I really don't like writing these type of stories too much, but they are a part of my life that must, somehow get "vetted". I have been trying to write on the lighter side; but on some just ain't very light. Cool new word "vetted". In any case:

If you saw the news yesterday, it was little hard to ignore that the Labor Department reported an additional 530,000 people became unemployed last month. This brought the 3 month total up to 1,250,000. Now there's an interesting thought; how to make oneself stand out in the crowd at the unemployment line. Here how my Dad did the job in 1955;

The View from the Back…………
Of the Unemployment Line 1955

Long about 1955, a disabled Marine Corp Veteran stood at the end of the unemployment line in San Diego, California. He had just about given up hope on finding a job and carried a loaded 38 Special tucked in his belt and under the old jacket that he wore. The gun was there because this young Marine had planned to rob a liquor store; with a goal of stealing enough money to send his 1-year-old son to Northeast Texas on a Greyhound bus. He decided to try one more time to find a job, before committing a dangerous crime.

Along with the 38 Special tucked in his belt, he held his one year old son in his left arm at the end of that long unemployment line. The baby was sick and crying, and nerves were coming unraveled, both for the disabled Marine and the other folks ahead of him in the line. Just as things were about to snap in the young vet’s head, a man from the San Diego unemployment office walked up and said, “Private, can you drive a truck?” The young vet said, “yes sir!” and was told to report to the San Diego Box and Spring Company, for a job immediately for employment as a truck driver. He took the baby back to his sister’s house, and reported for work at San Diego Box and Spring.

A year or two later, with his war wounds still haunting and hurting him, the young Marine Vet, came back to East Texas with his bride and his son. Work was scarce in Northeast Texas, so he picked cotton, even with the mortar wounds and shrapnel still in his back. Many nights the pain was so great he laid flat on the hard word floor, sweating and hoping for some relief. Next morning, he went out to the fields again to try and make a living for his family. I saw him do this. And as far as making a living for his family he did a damn fine job.

You see, that young wounded Marine was a guy named Roy Glenn Roberts, and he was and still is my father. Probably because of all the pain and hardship my dear old Daddy had to bare, he had a major stroke when he was only 48; and died when he was only 60. But he left my Mom, and me, and my sister, DeAnna, with a huge legacy. Not in terms of wealth, money, or anything like that. He left us with a sense of pride, hard work, and determination. Moreover, he left all of us with a complete unwillingness to quit or give up. And for that I am eternally thankful. The only four letter word my Dad said we couldn't use was "Can't".

I hope I can show you a little bit of Dad’s determination in me; from the back of the unemployment line. Even if there are 10 million people in front of me - I guarantee I will make it; I have to because of Dad.

All the best,


Hey and if you see this please wish my dear friend Laura Zander Cole a very happy birthday you can reach her here:

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