Categorized | Local Perspectives

COMMUNITY VOICE: Forming of Personality

How many of our readers out there remember a hit song in the forties called, “Seems Like Old Times”? or how about “I Wonder”? Most of us wonder or think about the past, but that part of the game is over so let’s hope that you benefited or learned from the early innings.

The New Generation often forgets that it takes time for things to happen. Rome was not built in a day or overnight and even takes time to make the coffee percolate. I have learned about life in my eight decades from my parents, teachers and clergy. As for a God and a hereafter, I may have doubts at times but the one thing that I’ll always shave is Faith. You may recall a film with George Burns called, The next voice you hear is God.” Some people would have to see God to believe.

When I was a kid people would say, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” I wonder if Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King would agree?

How about, “The grass looks greener on the other side of the street” but have you ever been behind those closed doors? If your answer is no, then, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps your own little corner of the world is not too bad and it could be worst.

Did you ever talk to a person that knows everything? There is only one side to a story and that is his. This person might call you on the phone and you answer, “Hello” your part of the conversation is over. You could go and have breakfast or lunch, come back and they would still be talking. You must have good excuses to get off the phone.

My mother used to say that there was nothing she hated more than a liar and a thief. I have added secretive to that. I had to change or modify the word hate. I hate shoveling snow or cutting grass but I don’t hate people I might dislike a person because they cause me great discomfort or annoyance. I grew up in the old days and God has kept me going to see the new.

My Dad worked in New York. His hours were 9 to 5. They used to call them bankers hours. Mom was a housewife. I walked to and from school, came home for lunch and did my paper route each day. My radio programs came on at 5 p.m. My favorites were Tom Mix and Capt. Midnight. Supper would be at 6 p.m. In the evening Dad would listen to Gabriel Heater who would say, “Good evening America and all the ships at sea.” We read books and newspapers. Weekends were great. You could listen to radio programs like The Shadow or The Green Hornet and how about Bill Stern, “The Colgate shave cream man is on the air, the Colgate shave cream man with the stories rare.” We also had the greatest boxer in the world. Do you remember the Brown Bomber? His name was Joe Louis. Top off the week on Sunday with a visit to Grandma and Grandpops house in Perth Amboy. The trip seemed so long to get there but the trip home was so short.

Let’s turn the page now and go the fabulous new generation. They have it all but do they have happiness? No my friends, because the best things in life are not things .

The clock is running. How much time do you spend on your computer all day? if you are fortunate enough to have a T.V. how many hours do you spend watching the boo tube each day or night? Multiply that by 7 and you have the answer. This is daily repetition with time out to eat and sleep.

I believe the course of events in my life were determined by fate. The U.S. Army took me away for two years and after my discharge, I worked at one job after another. Mom would say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” But I was gathering moss by working with people in every work of life. I didn’t start college until I was 24 years old. This was another blessing because I was not ready for college at 17 or 18 years old. Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem called “If.” In his poem he says, “If you can walk with kings and still not lose common touch.” My rolling stone did gather moss because I could walk and talk with anyone. My advice to some young people is, “Don’t jump into college at 17 or 18. Take a look at the real world for few years.”

My Grandpop and my Nanna died in the winter of 1941. Grandpop was an Alderman in Perth Amboy. My Sunday trips to Perth Amboy were over Grandpop had a sign over his desk. It read, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

My Dad died six months later so the outlook wasn’t too brilliant. Dad liked the Yankees and Notre Dame. He often told me about Knute Rockne and George Gipp. What football fan hasn’t heard about, “Win one for the Gipper?”

I thank God for keeping me in the ballgame and everyone out there has helped me. Some day when the going gets tough just keep me in your prayers and I’ll win one for you.

—Thomas Francis Clark

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