Boy oh boy! How many times did I say that as a youth? I was third of four boys. It seemed that my Dad always favored the older two boys in almost every area as a youth. My oldest brother would get a new pair of Levis and I would get the faded pair that my next older brother grew out of. My oldest brother always got the easy jobs because my Dad would put him on a tractor while I was hoeing weeds, walking up and down those rows that seemed to never end.
Were you a second, third or fourth child in your family? Did you get shorted during Christmas? My parents would always try to make a gift fit the boy. It was hard, as my Dad didn’t make the big bucks. But by the time I got a bicycle, it had no fenders and the pedals were loose. Oh! I could ride it because I knew if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to ride to school. And shoot! A bicycle was like a car to a boy who couldn’t drive yet.
Clothing was another area where youth wasn’t a good thing if you had older brothers. We got one pair of Levis a piece at the start of the school year and they had to last until Christmas. A lot of the time I was the third owner of the family Levis.
Don’t get me wrong, I never blamed my folks. I knew we weren’t the richest folks in the valley. It didn’t take a genius to see that he had a growing family to support, but I knew, even then, that he tried as hard as anyone could to make things even for us boys. It was just that the younger boys had to take the jobs that didn’t require a work permit and that Mom always went with us to the dusty potato fields or the bean fields where the Kentucky Blue Lake Green Bean plants were taller than the picker.
It was during that time that we learned a lesson not taught by our parents. We would pick what we thought was a full basket, only to have the field boss come by and slam the boxes down upon each other so that the beans you thought were going to get you the 50 cents they promised for each bushel basket were tamped down so hard it looked like a half of a bushel. That just wasn’t fair.
The bean fields were like a school lesson plan. You got a lesson on life. Because we were young boys, the field boss could tell us to leave at almost any time. My Mom had to threaten to turn us over to our Dad before we would settle down and pick.
There were lots of times for my Dad to do something that we thought was very unfair. Sometimes I thought he would farm us out like the Braceros that always got the hardest jobs.
I remember pulling weeds on the side of a hill where some very expensive flowers were being grown for the seeds. You couldn’t chop the weeds down because the weeds were so deeply rooted that you had to pull them out to make sure you got any weeds that had the nerve to get in your way. We were told that we were very lucky to have this job because there were lots of folks looking for work. Not that we ever saw any money for our work. My Dad would help us spend for silly things like food or clothing. It was just not fair!
Now that I have risen a few children of my own, I think I understand why Dad did what he did. We were never hungry and we always had clean clothes even if they were usually obtained at a rummage sale in Santa Maria. My Mom became a regular soldier at finding rummage sales. Not only that, but she could usually find the cool clothes that others had discarded.
Once, my Mom brought home a pair of grey pants that were required if you played in the Guadalupe School band. They were all wadded up and wrinkled so bad I almost cried when I thought I would have to wear them at our next band practice.
I always wanted to look like I came from a pretty well to do family. The day she brought those pants home I felt she had let me down. Then she washed them and hemmed them and taught me how to iron so they look like they were exactly what the bandmaster wanted us to wear. They looked so good after my Mom had gotten through I gave up complaining. I still didn’t think it was fair, but being the third of four I finally gave up as I couldn’t win in any case.
You know, I started this round of family secrets because I was remembering how my older brothers always seemed to get attention or more gifts from our parents than me. It just wasn’t fair. After getting three children to adulthood, I have changed my mind. My Mom and Dad shared any little thing they got with us and raised the four boys following God’s teachings.
I can look around the world today and see that it still isn’t fair. We finally get so much oil in our country that we could actually fill up our cars without borrowing from the bank, and then this moron we have allowed to destroy our oil supplies just keeps raising the price of living. It’s just not fair!
We have an election coming up and we have to vote in someone who cares for our country. Just remember that when he threatened the Barisma Oil Company with billions of dollars to get his son a job, it was OUR money that he used as a lever. Please remember he caused the death of the 13 Marines in Afghanistan, and untold deaths of former confederates. Did you see the sad video of the Afghan people trying to hold onto and then falling off the planes trying to escape sure death?
His actions do not show that he cares for his country nor is he qualified. He is taking money from your pocket to give to his son or family members. He has not improved upon anything and has lost prestige with many countries that formally rendered us as a friend. I just think it is not fair.