Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us BEAUTY.
I took this picture riding a camel in the sands of Giza behind the great Pyramids. We rode for around 3 hours to obtain this picture. It was an unreal scene: Young boys riding fast horses beside you racing from one spot to another. I had to pinch myself to remind me that it was the year 2008 and I did live in the US.
My father owned a farm market in Flint, Michigan. Both my mother and myself were his employees. the open aired farm market was open from the Easter, when we started selling Lillie’s until the last of October when we sold pumpkins. We also open up for two weeks in December to sell Christmas trees. The summer months we sold fresh local produce. My dad would get up around 3 in the morning and drive to Bay City where the local farmers sold wholesale to small farm markets like my dad’s. I remember riding in that old Dodge truck where you could actually see the pavement below the floorboard as we drove along country roads to purchase our produce for the week. Fresh tomatoes were 39 cents a pound or 3 pounds for a dollar. Mom loved selling the flowers in the spring time. She would have a very dark tan by the 1st of June. I worked the summer months. Seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. On the days we went to the farmers market we would return to our market around 11 am where I would unload the truck and my dad would get a few hours of sleep before he went to his regular job as a conductor for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.
I was at the local farmers market last week and that experience brought back a lot of memories. We provided “Customer Service” before they invented the word. I find it amazing that some store clerks can’t make change without looking at the cash register to see how much they owe their customer. Heaven forbid if they said “Thank You”.
Flint Michigan is where I grew up, went to high school, and worked my first few jobs. I was a substitute school teacher where I learned around 6 am what school and grade I was to teach. I worked as a real estate salesman, a job my Aunt got me with her influence with the broker. I learned from that experience that I would never succeed in any sales position. I worked for the Buick Motor Corporation for a few months (graduate school looked a lot more interesting than lifting hoods and fenders and putting them on the assembly line). I spent the next eleven years working for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. This was a perfect example of nepotism in the work place as my dad, and uncle worked there. “Oh your George’s boy”. OK your hired and we want you to start next Monday. I was never given a drug test, never even filled out an application).
When I was growing up in Flint, it was a great place to work because of the auto industry and the suppliers that furnished them parts. The auto industry died out and so did the soul of Flint. Now it is the murder capital of the US.
I’m going to Flint this weekend for a family reunion and catch up with cousins that I had not seen in quite a few years, also school friends from High School and College. I left Flint in January 1980 and have only been back for funerals and a high school reunion.
I do have an undergraduate degree (B.A) in Psychology. I had planned to continue this line of study but something called “Viet Nam” came along that interrupted my plans. Attending Graduate School did not quality you for the cherished student deferment (2-S). A letter from the Selective Service was one of the first letters I received after graduation. At that time they instituted a “Lottery” system instead of the regular draft. I have never any good in gambling and lost this time too. I got as far as Ft. Wayne in Detroit. I had already received my Bible and was standing in line in my underwear when the Doctor called me aside and informed me that the Army didn’t want to draft me because I had a previous heart condition which I had actually out grown. I was given a bus ticket home and that was my service career.
I should have gone back to Graduate school at that time but money was an issue. So…I started my employment career.
I wish I could go back to school today but I’m afraid too much time has elapsed and I would have to start all over again. Not that much time left for me.