Well, I read an article this weekend, a cute, well-written article in our local paper about a trip to the park for the writer and his grandkids. Consequently, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t even mention the fact that the six month old rolled over for the first time, and that the three year old figured out what that white porcelain thing with the seat is for in the bathroom.
You will read nothing here about the myriad birthday parties we lived through with the dozens of three year olds.
What you will read about is a guy who has worked since he was eight. Paper routes, Christmas wreath route, glass factory, railroad, part-time college jobs, then teaching; Plum Borough, Johnstown, Westmont, and part time at St. Francis University. After that came the art center, the convention bureau and three hospitals; Mercy, Conemaugh and Windber.
So, now it’s time to sign on the line one more time. My contract in hand, I always have to wonder about "The Road Less Traveled."
I remember telling a young intern that once you start earning $75K a year, your life belongs to the company. That was a dumb quote. Commitment, dedication and endless hours really are in the hands of each individual.
For whatever reason, my choice has been to work longer and harder than most. It was never a race to own a house in the Hamptons or a sailboat on Nantucket. It was about paying for six undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was about paying for a house and about buying over a dozen cars over the last thirty plus years. It was about doing what my parents did for me.
Believe me, it hasn’t been about the money, the fame or the glory. My work ethic came from my dad, my grandad and my mom who worked harder than anyone I’ve ever known. It was because, as a kid, my teachers and parents and neighbors all said over and over again that it is our job to leave things better than we found them.
Nevertheless, a loft in the city near the cultural district, access to an airport that has plenty of reasonably priced flights, a choice of Asian rim restaurants, and some wonderful art, music, dance and professional baseball and football only a few feet away.
For a kid from Dickerson Run, Pennsylvania."The Road Less Traveled."
Leave it better than you found it.
I signed yesterday.
Let’s get on with the show.