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Old 12-04-2010, 06:13 AM   #1
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Ten dollars


When I was about 12 years old I started working with Poppa in the summer time. It was not a ''regular thing'' but when he would contract a brick laying job for his self he would sometimes let me be his ''helper''.
Like I have said before my Poppa was a brick mason and some of the time he worked for the ''other man'' for wages and sometimes he would get veneer jobs he would contract for himself. On these jobs I would work and make two dollars a day and my ''dinner''. Now the ''dinner'' was at Horners cafe and for fifty five cents you got all you could eat, dessert, and ice tea or coffee. The food was ''home cooked'' and very good. It was served buffet style and you dipped your own. The only requirement was that you ''eat what you took''.......
Poppa and me would work together. I mixed the mortar with a big hoe with two large holes in the face of it and Poppa would roll the bricks to where we were working that day. When I got the ''mud'' ready I would dip it into the ''mud buggy'' and roll it around to the work sight and shovel it on the ''mud boards''. Poppa would lay the bricks and I would ''dob ahead'' of him putting out mud on the tops of the row of bricks and he would smooth out the mud and lay the bricks. It was a good system and we could lay sometimes fifteen hundred bricks a day like that. Poppa was ''good and fast'' also. We worked hard and we made money and we enjoyed each others company while we worked.
I remember so well the first ten dollar bill Poppa handed me for a weeks work. We sat down in the old Chevy and he handed me a ''Hamilton''. That bill looked as big as a table cloth. I sat and admired it as Poppa drove toward the house. As we rode along Poppa said ''Kid, you are a workin man now and as a workin man you should learn that a workin man has to pay his way in the world.'' oh shux I thought, here comes a ''lesson''..... ''I think when we get home you should give your mom two dollars room and board just to show appreciation for all the work she does for you. Washin and ironing and cooking good meals.'' ''What you think about that?''.............. ''Poppa that aint fair, I dont have to pay no room and board when I go to school so why do I have to pay it now?''............''Cause you aint a ''workin man'' when you go to school, you are a school boy''........ We stopped at the store and I got my ''ten spot'' busted into five ones and one five. We headed on for home and Poppa said... ''Kid, you know, a really wise man will save some money for a rainy day......... I think it would be a good idea that you save about two dollars out of your paydays for a rainy day''....... Gulp, my ''Hamilton'' was shrinking like a snowball on a hot stove..... Poppa seldom ''told me anything to do'' he would just say that he thought it was a ''good idea'' and I never argued with him because I would always lose.

We pulled into the drive way and before we got out of the car Poppa looked at me and said ''You know that we will be going to church on Sunday and I think you should share with the Lord the rightful ten percent from your payday.
''Would that be sixty cents Poppa.'' .......'' Heavens no kid, you made ten dollars so the Lord gets a dollar, you can drop it in the plate when it comes by at preaching on Sunday.''

I realize now that it was not the ''money'' it was the ''lesson'' that Poppa was teaching me.

In one short lesson he taught me that nothing is free. Everything is paid for by someone and that ''someone'' would be me in my future life. A man should be responsible for paying his way thru life....
Save a little for yourself if hard times hit. Always have a dollar or two stuck back in case of emergency. I am probably still spending a tiny portion of those two dollars I saved back when I was a kid.

Share with the less fortunate than yourself. ''Give unto Caesar what is Caesars and unto the Lord what is the Lord's.

Lessons well learned when I was about twelve years old.

My Poppa was a very wise man...... I still miss him so ..

Nuff said for now.....

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:04 AM   #2
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Dammit CJ, you did it again.

Bob (Squidly Down Under) & Peg - 2013 Ford Focus pushing a 2011 Phoenix Cruiser 2552S
"In God we trust" to preserve our country and bring our Troops safely home.
Carry on, regardless..................
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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I'm 62 and that's the same way I was raised. My Dad was a block mason as well ..... he'll be 100 in July. I can remember well mixing mud and carrying blocks / bricks. I retired at 55, but only because of the life lessons my Dad taught me. When I graduated from college and got my first job, my Dad told me "son, today you start planning for retirement .... don't ever expect anyone else to take care of you".

Unfortunately that's not the way kids are raised today, and too many people want the government to take care of them. Work is becoming a dirty word ....... why work when someone else (who works) will take care of you.

God Bless America

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Old 12-04-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Gary, I had about the same blessing from my Poppa. He told me that you can choose to live some portion of your life like a ''dog'' and toooo many people choose their old age and retirement years to live the hard life. Poppa worked up until 65 and he never actually stopped working though he got more selective about the jobs he took. My Poppa was afraid that if he ''sat down'' he would never get back up. Work and laying bricks was his life and he did not know how to ''not work''. I also retired at 55 and I planned for it for 25 years from age 30. I did what I had to do to make it happen and it did. I punched out at ''double nickles'' and have done little since. Many times I tried to get Poppa and Mom to kick back and enjoy life but Poppa just would not quit. They had rental property for an added income and they wanted for nothing as they had always been frugal with their lives. My wife and I took them on a cruise and mom loved it and Poppa got restless after about 4 days.
Mom loved to play slots and I told them that I would front for the trip to Vega, all expense paid, if they would go. Mom was willing but Poppa said he needed to stay here and work. I tried everything and nothing worked so I finally just shut up.
So it was with Poppa and I am his son but I would not reach his shoe tops as a man and I know it. I think about him often and the ''lessons'' he taught me. He was wise beyond his education and profound in his thinking. Such is life.....

Seajay the sailor man.......
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Old 12-04-2010, 02:31 PM   #5
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It's almost like we grew up in clone families ........... very similar in many respects. My Mom loves to play the slots (penny). My Mom and Dad never had a mortgage or a loan of any kind. They only bought what they could pay for in "cash". My Dad only had a second grade education .... 16 kids in the family on the farm, no time for formal schooling. He learned the basics at home from his Mom (reading, writing, and arithmetic). As I said, he started out as a mason but branched out into general contracting and built houses and apartments in the winter to keep his crew busy. They live very comfortably today at 99 and 98 years of age. I am truly blessed to have them as parents.

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Old 12-05-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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I was taught responsibility, thrift, honesty and the golden rule. These have served me well over my past lifetime and will in the future.

Ralph & Snickers
2006 3500 Chevy Dually - 8.1 - Allison
2006 30' New Horizon - Solar
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