My dad worked at that job for nearly 10 years, while working a second full-time job for nearly as long and cooking for a white family on the weekends. He somehow managed to go to night school to get his GED and save enough money, while in his 40s, to start a small cafe near downtown Los Angeles.
He ran the cafe, which provided my brothers and me weekend and summer jobs, until he was in his 80s. One day, my dad and I decided to clean out the garage. We found a letter he wrote to my older brother, then 2 years old. My dad said he feared that if something happened to him, my brother would need guidance:
May 4, 1951
Kirk, my Son, you are now starting out in life -- a life that Mother and I cannot live for you.
So as you journey through life, remember it's yours, so make it a good one. Always try to cheer up the other fellow.
Learn to think straight, analyze things, be sure you have all the facts before concluding, and always (SET ITAL) spend (END ITAL) less than you earn.
Make friends, work hard, and play hard. Most important of all remember this -- the best of friends wear out if you use them.
This may sound silly, Son, but no matter where you are on the 29th of September (Kirk's birthday), see that Mother gets a little gift, if possible, along with a big kiss and a broad smile.
When you are out on your own, listen and take advice but do your own thinking and concluding, set up a reasonable goal, then be determined to reach it. You can and will, it's up to you, Son.
Dad is now 93 and, thankfully, still with us.
So, yes, Obama's historic victory makes a statement about the long, hard, bloody journey. Obama makes people believe. Some of us always did.
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