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Karen Palumbo

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Member Since: Sep, 2006

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(Age of Entitlement and Expectation)
A glimse into Chapter One: Remembering

    Do you remember your first job, I do. You did show up for work on time and properly dressed. The work force was under some pretty strict rules and you had better abide by them or it was grounds for dismissal.
    Always keep your head down and at least appear to be busy or you were yelled at and reprimanded. It certainly was not too much fun in the beginning, but after a few years even the work force rules began to be more relaxed.
    You see, given enough time laws and rules are always changing and in most cases it tends to be more positive. Getting back to what I had originally been discussing, we do learn from mistakes and the general trend is to try to improve the situation. We do learn from past experiences and try to pass this on to the next generation. This is just the way it is.
    Getting back to what I was discussing, this is what helps make a parents job the most important thing they could ever hope to accomplish. As a parent you must keep up with all the changes that are going on around you and begin to lay the ground work for the next generation. You could say that parents are the ones to begin the whole process of learning.
    Parents a few years ago were lucky if they even had a car, let alone two cars like most today. There were no soccer moms, just mothers who stayed home to take care of the house and raise the children.
    There were fathers who woke up early, went to work and provided the means of support for that family to be able to function. Oops!! Guess that was the wrong thing to say. There are some who think that a mother staying home to raise children is a bad thing.
    As a young child I would wait what seemed like forever for my father to return home from work. I would eagerly run with excitement to greet him as he walked up our walk way. Like all of my uncles, my dad worked long and hard to provide for all of us and I guess in a way it went unnoticed.
    Maybe because I was just too little to understand how everything worked. All I knew was that he left the house in the morning before the sun came up and he did not return home until after it was dark again.
    Looking back on things I realize that my parents and probably most people of their generation received their work ethics because of living through the Depression and then World War II. I am absolutely certain that some of their beliefs came from their parents too.
    I can remember listening to my uncles discuss all of their trials and tribulations whenever they all got together. Oh, they would all sit around and play cards after dinner while smoking their cigars.
    Oh how I can remember the smell of those cigars. The whole apartment would just reek from the smoke and the smell. I think that is why I do not like the smell of cigars today.
    I would sit and listen to them talk about how they would take turns staying out of school to get odd jobs to help with the family finances. One of my uncles walked the streets and usually ended up hanging around the various train stations to sell his papers. Did he use the money he earned on himself?? No, he would stop along the way back to his home and buy bread, fish, fruit, or whatever else he could get for the day and bring it home for everyone to share. My other uncles did the same when they could. The rest would help to buy ice from the ice man, coal from the coal man and milk from the milk man.
(pg. 12 -13)
     During the winter months they had a coal burning stove they used on those extra cold winter mornings. The building that they lived in had steam heating, but they did not live high enough in the building to reap the benefits of the warmth. You see, the lower to the ground level that you lived the cooler it was. Yet, they never really wanted for anything.
    Each of my uncles would go over how hard they struggled as children and then again as young adults never knowing what was going to happen the next day. Especially after World War II broke out because my uncles lived with the daily uncertainty that they may never see each other again.
    I know that most of them were drafted into the Army, but one brother signed up for the Navy. All my grandparents could do was pray and wait. I am certain that was a very difficult time for them.
    All the while they never asked for anything from anyone. They still very strongly believed that they each had to do their part and work for whatever they wanted. One other thing, they were always smiling and happy.
(pg. 15-16)


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Reviewed by Kathleen McDonald 6/10/2010
I feel that work is a good thing. A sense of accomplishment knowning that you did well. Great write.
Reviewed by Beecher O'Quinn Jr 10/14/2008
Karen i grew up in the late 1940's and 1950's i know about the thangs
you talked about. times were tuff but at the same time people love,d
each other and were new book is about these thangs.
Reviewed by 000 000 7/28/2008
Thank you for forcing some memories into my brain, some good memories of childhood. My mom was in her early twenties during the depression. I remember her speaking of it, and I know it affected her life up till the day she passed. 7/05/05. Our world is fast now, and I do hope our children can tell their children of some happy memories.
Reviewed by Melissa Mendelson 7/26/2008

It was a different time then with so many different rules and laws, and today, things are not as difficult but now returning to that way. Our parents are our rock to guide us through tough times and how to survive, and children will have to learn that money can't be merely spent. Things may be different now, and they may not be. But one thing should never change, and that is that family always comes first.

I love your writing and really enjoyed reading this. :)

Reviewed by Sheila Roy 7/4/2008
I've noticed that, in these times, you cannot teach work ethic. One either has it or doesn't. That's why I like your explanation about work ethic in the beginning of this write. The conveniences of today are causing a weakened work force while the hardships of yesterday forged workers willing to do what they had to do. Engaging~ Love and Hugs.
Reviewed by Joanna Leone 6/6/2008
This is beautifully written. My own parents often talked about growing up during the war time and depression. I think this is why they worked so hard, and were frugal. My work ethic comes from my parents, exactly the way you said it. The only difference was that in my house, they smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes instead of cigars. Your writing touched a special place in my heart today.
Reviewed by Eileen Granfors 5/14/2008
All of this is so true. The smell of cigars! And the steam heat, and the draft. . . and they were HAPPY! Why, why, why do so many people in the USA today have so much and enjoy so little? Well written, Karen!
Reviewed by Mariann Klimczuk 5/11/2008
Karen, I love this article. What stood out for me.
The words you spoke, "We learn from past experience." How well
I know this. Thanks for sharing.
Reviewed by Sandra Bonaldi 3/15/2008
I liked the way this was worded. It sounded very matter-of-fact. I enjoyed the way it flowed.
Reviewed by Mary Coe 6/27/2007
Very well written. It brought back memories. Enjoyed the read very much. My father went through World War I and II.
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 4/30/2007
I really liked this story. It brought back many memories of my childhood days,and special family times. Life was hard but we didn't have all the pressures of today. I often wish our kids could have grown up in that time frame! It was a wonderful time to be a kid! A really great story Karen............M
Reviewed by Agnes Levine 4/15/2007
Wonderful nostalgia and history! This is the true history that should be taught in schools--this crosses all racial lines on simple fabric of morality and work ethic and togetherness. See you soon,

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