I'm Lucky and I Know it

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by RTOdhner, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    As a kid growing up on 1206 East Congress Street, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I had friends whose fathers had lived through the Great Depression and World War II battlefields in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. After the War, they traded their fatigues and dungarees for a pair of Dickies and went to work in the steel mill, on the assembly line, in the slate quarry or cement plant, or behind the wheel of a truck. They worked hard, and they spent their weekends in the Poconos or on the Jersey shore.

    There was an understanding among men back then: you worked hard, and in exchange you received a fair paycheck. You saved your money, you got a car, you married, and you bought a little house. You worked some more, and you had some kids. Then you worked some more, hoped you could put your kids through college, and you retired. As a kid, you watched your old man and wanted to be like him. However, there is a good chance that your old man wanted more for you than Bethlehem Steel.

    This was the American Dream that I grew up with, and it is the dream that has shaped my reality. I'll wager many of you here at PSF can relate. For many of us that dream has become reality, while for some it may not have panned-out.

    As I sit here in my smoking chair tonight, I realize that I am living the dream. I have great kids, a great wife, and the house of my dreams. I had a blast for over 20 years while serving my county, and I enjoyed every moment I spent in college as a "non-traditional student" courtesy of the GI Bill. Now I'm well into a great second career as a probation officer supervising a caseload that I dig, working for a great department full of great people, and enjoying the professional respect of my peers and superiors. I can afford to pursue my two favorite hobbies (pipe smoking and shooting), and I can afford a six-pack of good beer or a nice bottle of wine pretty much whenever I damn well please. I've got good friends, a couple of dogs, and a truck that I like. Tomorrow I'll have a house full of friends and a big spread of food on the table as we (my wife and I) host our 15th annual Super Bowl party.

    I'm not bragging here or trying to rub anything in anybody's noses. I'm just taking the time to acknowledge that my life is good, that I am a very lucky and fortunate man, and that I am living the dream. God bless America, one of the few places where such a dream can be fulfilled - and can be extended to my kids.
     


  2. Capt

    Capt Active Member

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    Great post RT. My Dad worked at FoMoCo for 34 years, but was also a fireman. That is where I got it, and that is where I ended up. 17 years in the fire service, 13 career.......

    I have everything I want. Nice houses, vehicles, an awesome wife and way too many guns and dogs....lol
     
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  3. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Life is good, eh Capt.
     
  4. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Great post RTO!
     
  5. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    and good smoking buddies? :whis:
     
  6. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.

    And I am happy for you.
     
  7. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    That goes without saying. Here's to all of us - I hope you all find your lives as blessed as I find mine.
     
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  8. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    Amen, and thank you for having made my country a little bit safer as well! :gjob:
     
  9. 50rayj

    50rayj Member

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    AMEN!
     
  10. Redyserve

    Redyserve Member

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    Are you still living in A-town RTO?
     
  11. furious

    furious Junque collector

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    Great post! My Dad was a working stiff too and eventually started his own real estate company in Baltimore. It was generally understood in those days that if you worked hard you would do well. Companies rewarded employees with good salaries, benefits, and stability. Today, of course, that ethic is gone in the private sector, and if some in Congress have their way, it will be gone from the public sector, too. Sorry for the downer as I really appreciate what you were saying.
     
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  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    :appl:

    Just something I was always told you were supposed to do after saying "if you're lucky and you know it".

    Or was that, happy? Can't recall. But great post so clapping hands for you anyway.
     
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  13. 50rayj

    50rayj Member

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    Love that kind of ethic. Just wish our country could get that back. Now if you study hard, work hard and strive to get ahead you get to pay Uncle Sugar a bigger cut.
     
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  14. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Ooh, this could get so political.
     
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  15. Steve Dennis

    Steve Dennis Member

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    Great post and thank you for your service!
     
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  16. TxPipesmoker

    TxPipesmoker Active Member

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    Everyone measures contentment in different ways.
     
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  17. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    I love that record.
     
  18. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Well-Known Member

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    Just wish I could stop by and have a beer with ya... Well said RTO:bing:
     
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  19. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    Another great post RTO!
     
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  20. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Allentown? No. Alvarado? Yes. Ironic, eh?
     
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