Today's prompt at FOLK is:
How the story of another has influenced your own American story ( like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Today's topic is about a great man, who many admire. But, when I think of my American story, I can't help but think of my own family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, and especially my dad, who grew up in Small Town America, working the land, working with their hands, and making life work, one day at a time.
This is the house my grandfather built, with the help of my dad and a few of my uncles. My grandparent's original house sat on the land right in front of this house, and that is where they raised 9 kids.
I remember "the old house" as we called it. I can still picture most of the layout in my head. I was fascinated by that old house, mostly because it had several doors in strange places and other unique features to me, such as the staircase leading up to the attic where all 7 boys slept.
To me, that's a true American story.
The boys that were raised here represent Small Town America in many ways.
I remember my dad telling me how they would collect nickles all week by selling soda bottles back to the store, and then use the money to get into the Rialto Movie Theater on Saturdays.
They worked on their own cars - 57 Chevy's and other such vehicles. And, of course, raced them against other guys on the weekends.
They went to the Land's Drive In for burgers and attended the only high school in town (with a real fire escape shoot that used to fascinate me).
They hunted for food and drove pick-ups with gun racks and rifles hanging behind your head. And no one feared guns the way they do now.
At night they came home filthy and tired and ate my grandmother's cooking, which probably consisted of fresh vegetables and deer meat. On Sundays it was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and always a jello salad (pink with marshmallows).
Which reminds me of a memory I have of my grandmother sitting at the table, shelling peas or snapping green beans.
And, last but not least, the old black rotary phone that sat on a table, right between the diningroom and the livingroom. My grandmother had a "party line" and we knew how many rings each person on the road had and when to answer the phone.
This was the America that shaped my world.
Small town people who worked hard to make a life for themselves and their children.
America was about working hard and making your own dreams come true.
I'm so glad that I have these memories to look back on, because honestly, America is changing and not so much for the better.
I'm not so sure that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be pleased with what he would see in America these days. Much laziness, much division, very much a hand-out mentality, that doesn't really define what America was originally built on.
But as for my family - we are still working hard. We are teaching our boys to work hard. We've even taken after my dad in saving an old family homestead and passing it down to the next generation.
We want our kids to know their heritage and we want them to appreciate those who came before them and shaped their country.
God Bless the USA and God bless hard working American families.
*View this post and others HERE at FOLK