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About this column

What do you remember about your parents, ancestors, friends and mentors? How would you like to be remembered? 

Know what you do now very much inflences thier world of tommorow!


Articles in this column


The past and future and learning from it

That's my great grandfather's barn. Must be over 50yrs old and straight as when it was first built. He helped enough others and built enough community to get this feat done. His kids and even great-grandchildren see this barn and know anything is possible. If he could build this with horses. There are no excuses for any of us. That is one of the stories I'm going to outline below. I'm going to outline how they influence me and push me to create my own legacy. Fight for my families and communities future.  Add your stories below and let your families history push us to be even better.  My great grandfather gave the farm and all its equipment to his oldest my grandfather. Farms were a way to stay in poverty back then so he refused it and worked in logging and later on the local mine. The land is still in the distant family but it doesn't feel the same and my father that spent his summers helping on that same farm when my great uncle had it never got to live his dream of being a farmer as the price of land and high paying jobs were rare with so many baby boomers in the workforce. Nowadays companies fight to hire you and even train you.  The 200 acres were cleared which was a small miracle and the land gave us a base we could stand on to fight for our futures. When the land left the immediate family circle so did much of our base. Unstable I know the only solution is to create a new base that satisfies Maslow's law so my family can fight on and be the change they want to see in the world. My other great grandfather was so early on in his area the priest stayed in his home because there was no church. They had a surface well in his large hill that fed to himself and his two neighbors through pipes into basins. This water was cold all summer and he kept his beer and dandelion wine (more like 100 proof hard liquor) cold. They would have road parties and many times Ppl had to be outside for lack of room. Ppl stuck together because they survived and played together.  Once some adolescents were picking on great grandfather an older man at that point. He took them all head on. He lost but later on, the kids returned to say they were sorry not only because they were shunned but out of sheer respect for who he was. My great uncles were doing cordwood on their own by 10yrs old. Their father would come by and rip the cord down is it was stacked properly. They told him they could process the wood themselves now. It seems like a bad thing but hardship makes that family really close even now. My great uncle's kids are the same.  My great-grandmother used to let them bring whole loaves of bread and butter/ jam to their room to eat. God help them if they wasted on drop though. They respected food and keep stocked pantries/ freezers to this day.  Another great uncle made bread with his wife and always had family over to eat. You always made room and made you feel like royalty. Another tight-knit family and great memories. They never asked but we would do anything we could to help them. Another great uncle owned a lot of rentals around the small city. Gave a duplex to one daughter and a house to the other. They never had great jobs but only having taxes utilities and some repairs to pay kept them living worry free and close to each other. My buddies in-laws had a similar story; They gave their house to their daughter and they built an addition for the grandfather. Now they sold the over 300,000 duplex for $50,000. They remodeled the grandfather's half and my buddy lives worry free and they share the work/ expenses giving them all easy living. The same grandfather always had a cow for meat that he processed himself. They only had one acre so he trained the cow, Loved it. He cut the ditches by hand and fed them to his cow. The cow followed him like a dog. They loved each other. Fall came and the man killed his friend so his family could eat but he's never very hungry those nights.  My buddy bought one home for his son and one day another for his daughter to get them started in life. He also runs a car financing business to free himself from his cleaning job to give his family a start like his parents did. His did have a bond you needed to buy cars at the auction and then got his business going until he could get his own bond. You need 100,000 in equity or $ to get a bond so his dad made his hard work possible and the business is well on its way to securing his families future and investments.  My father's grandfather sold his duplex by owner financing and got payments of 16 years helping them greatly. My grandmother picked blueberries for a summer and paid for her first glasses.  My mum's grandfather's father died working 24 hours shifts on a street sweeper. My grandfather had to fish in a leaky boat or his 12 siblings had nothing to eat. Potato peel soup was on the menu. Living in the city; the could grow only limited food and the depression hit them hard. He retired with 3 pensions and over 40yrs of hard work in his 70's. He was in ww2 and went from nothing to $600,000. One kid made smart investments with their half and the other used the $ to get over a divorce. The grandfather was a fighter and solved problems on the base. An MP wanted to date my mum and changed his mind when he found out who her father was. MP or not he was sure he was going to die if he hurt my mum. He was at a mess dinner before going to the Koren war in the states. A general started making fun of French "frogs". My grandfather knocked him out with one hit. He was sent home but I'm sure the general though before insulting his fellow officers again.  All this was nothing compared to how they helped his family that he had now become the sudo father of. He sent his whole pay home during the war and half after he got married till my uncle was 8yrs old. Only at the point my mum was born did they stop sending the money. No other of the 12 kids did the same. Nor did he care. His younger brother even lived with them for years to help ease the burden on his mum. He got a small inheritance from his mum when she died but he gave away his share to the others that needed it more than him. His brother-in-law beat his sister but he never found out. They knew he would have killed him. So they saved home from jail. They wanted to pay for my mums university but she wanted adventure. Joined the army met my dad and fought to survive the poverty wages they had back then. My dad had three jobs and my mum always did all of her work even though the army and public service never paid overtime. She later at 40 got the top of class and became a correctional officer. Beating out all those kids in strength/ will and writing skills in both official languages. My parents owned half a cafe that also lived off the bread sales the partners made and my dad also helped make prior to getting the business. My dad upped the cafe side 100% and I worked for free for three months most nights to help get the business started. The business was doing well. Until the partners decided to sell the bread at every location of the major grocery store in the region. Ppl did one stop shopping. Along with my brother stealing from the money bag. They went under. I gave them all my money from my three jobs without them knowing by using her bankbook. Onetime working 25hrs in a row to help my employers. $1600 but with the brother having access to their account he took all their money including the line of credit and put them under. They had to borrow money from the grandfather or risk their son or them going to jail for not paying the money he stole from the business. We all continued to help my brother and younger brother but it was good money after bad. We were all raised the same. They seemed to only come by when they needed something. I worked 20 shifts every two weeks for over two years or 160hrs including lunches. I had two parental leaves so this saved me. But you have to be smart. We bought a duplex for 92,000 and sold it for 161,000. The first 100 acres we bought had an old house; 100 acres, grandfathered septic and 20,000 well. The 100 acres was worth at least 30,000 so it was like the old house was free. The old sellers lied when I asked if the roof leaked. I knew nothing about construction and had no experienced help. We fixed the inside the best we could and didn't have enough money to do the outside. We fought for another 6 yrs but we had to give back the house and we used the profit from the other house to pay for the repairs. We should have had it inspected and got experienced help. My wife stayed home and made my overtime possible with 4 kids. Makes most things from scratch and takes care of the animals and the gardens/ greenhouse. I help but she works harder than I do.  Hopefully, you found this interesting and can use my histories and those of my friend to learn from their successes and mistakes. All the heroes in my story worked incredibly hard for their families. Sometimes for legacy and sometimes for not. Only help Ppl that work very hard to improve their lives.  - Only help Ppl they work incredibly hard and return that help.  - Somebody's got to sacrifice themselves so the next generations can do well.  -. Work smart and live longer. One good business is better than three jobs. - having a base grounds families and keeps them together - Trust must be earned - owning a business and working hard can lead to success. - even poor Ppl saving and working hard can be successful. - some people aren't ready to be helped - spend more time with your family. Time flies like you wouldn't believe       
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