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What Can a Person Write That Has Not Been Written?
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The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Frank Shortt
2016 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
C
shafra@sbcglobal.net
        The internet has opened up unfathomable possibilities in writing. Most subjects have been hashed and rehashed by our so-called experts to the point of boredom. A wise king of Israel once said, “There is nothing new under the sun”!
        My goal in writing is to produce something that will, at the least, get someone to think past the accepted norms. To think for themselves, not accepting what someone else has thought out and put down as gospel. I was taught at college to “write what you know”!
        As I think back on my life, I have been many things: a son, a brother, a cousin, a fiance’ as well as a husband. Later, I became a father, a grandfather, and eventually a great-grandfather. My first job was as a go-fetchit around the coal mines of our neighborhood. My brother and I began cutting timber for the coal miners which helped put us through high school. Before leaving home, I could raise truck crops of any kind and was well able to cultivate them. My last job before joining the U.S. Air Force, was as a brush cutter on the steep hillsides of Buchanan County Virginia, facing copperheads, all types of stinging insects, and being uncertain whether I would be paid or not. After leaving the Air Force, my first job was as a service station attendant, doing this until I landed a job as a shipping clerk for the Norton Abrasives and Grinding Wheel factory in Santa Clara, California. After being laid off there, I worked at a Drug Store chain as a stock clerk which was a dead end job. I then went to work for Beech-nut Baby Food cannery which lasted a few months until the canning season ended.
        After leaving Beech-Nut, I applied, and was hired as a substitute custodian at a local school district. I eventually worked my way up to a Maintenance 2 position. This lasted three and a half years until I was offered a job as a manager trainee in Flagstaff, Arizona. Upon the owner’s word, who was also a preacher, I went to Flagstaff with my little family, bought a home, and settled in to being the all-around man at the Hardware/Lumbertaria which proved to be a very strenuous job loading heavy bundles of shingles for the roofers, as well as, 12x4 foot sheetrock for the builders around Flagstaff. Sometimes I would assist the truck driver in delivering these items. This required carrying the shingles up a ladder to two-story buildings. It was a good thing I had become somewhat buffed as I ran the jack hammer as part of my last job. All these chores were done in mid-ninety temperatures.
        The job in Flagstaff lasted only two months as the owner of the Hardware/Lumberteria reneged on his promises. We had no alternative but to sell the house after only living there for two months. Thank God we were able to sell the house with a profit of two-thousand dollars which helped us to move back to San Jose, California.
        After landing in San Jose, I began looking for suitable employment. I was refused a job selling insurance because I had a Southern drawl. I did not know this until later when a disgruntled employee told me the reason. I then began applying to local school districts, a job I already knew, and was hired at the first district I applied for as I had been given a great letter of recommendation by my old boss at the local school district. My job was only about 5 minutes away from where I was living. While working as a custodian at this district, I was in great demand for odd jobs by employees of the school where I was placed. I did these jobs in the evenings between working at Orchard Supply Hardware. I was also buying and selling antiques at antique shows and flea markets. How I held myself together, only God knows. This was all in addition to raising and maintaining a family.
        If there are young folks who read this article, I hope that it will inspire you to continue onward, do not give up hope. As you can see, I have been many things to many people: Go fetchit, lumberjack, brush cutter, farmer, husband, factory worker, cannery worker, airman, shipping clerk, custodian, maintenance man, antique dealer, flea marketeer, night supervisor, day supervisor, Chief of Operations at a school district, and after retirement, a photo journalist and writer for different publications.
        I am thankful to be living in the greatest Land of Opportunity that has ever existed on the face of the earth. Although it took many ways to be able to make a decent living, I am happy to have had the opportunity.
        Maybe Hillary or Donald will be able to read this and it will give them a little encouragement that they are certainly not receiving from each other.