Today’s news talks about some of our citizens looking for work for a year and a half! To me that sounds like a desperate situation.
I remember well looking for work in the 1950s, I was in the fifth grade and was seeking babysitting, yard sitting, homemaker’s helper, for a very shy fifth grader it was painful. I found work and worked out until I was in my 70s. Still do, as a matter of fact. I see “Help Wanted” signs every time I am in town, whether Neosho, Bentonville, but assume the jobs aren’t what the unemployed are seeking.
It’s interesting when you think how the work place has changed. I got 25 cents an hour to babysit (generous employers gave me an extra 25 with each new addition to the family. That only happened once but it was a nice bonus).
So many jobs have disappeared since the 1950s. My family crawled along the orchard floor to harvest plums (prunes) and even my little sister, before she started school, could help. My brothers were hired by an orchardist to care for his orchard, camped out in his little camper and did their own cooking when they started high school. There they learned to drive the farm pickup and met many challenges.
Watching an old movie, I was struck by the jobs that were once but are no more. A porter on a train, a doorman in a hotel, service of a livery stable, before there was television, PBX operators, newspapers and telegrams, teletypes, people who would fill your automobile’s gas tank, repair a flat tire, I wouldn’t choose to return to those days but it makes it understandable when you think about it, the fact that a lot of jobs have disappeared. New jobs, of course, have taken their place. Competent computer repairmen, media people, but if you travel on Amtrak you’d better be prepared to wrestle your own luggage.
Those unemployed people have my sympathy, seeking a means to find even basic income, especially if they have dependents counting on them.
When my brother-in-law moved to this area he started at the bottom at Sunbeam, a box boy, and he was raising two little boys. Twenty-seven years later, he retired as plant manager, proving his worth, his trainability, his dependability (he missed two days work in all those years). If you can find a job that will let you learn and move up, there are opportunities. Prove you are responsible, dependable, that you are a person of character.
I can’t see things going back the way they used to be so it gives you cause for concern for the next generation. Smart young people recognize the value of an education and prepare for a future that is basically, today, an unknown. Young people who fail to prepare for the future are headed for big headaches. Some jobs that will support a family such as landscaping, we will always need plumbers and maintenance people for our home.
I am proud of neighbor children who are learning to be responsible, dependable teenagers, and proud of their parents bringing them up to be accountable.
Tomorrow can be a challenge, today can be stressful and a concern as the bread winner is seeking a job. If you have a job that you enjoy, one that can put bread on the table, you are blessed. Don’t take it for granted. Wealthy indeed is the man or woman who knows that they are blessed.
If you happen to be in McDonald County on May 24 the McDonald County Historical Society would like for you to join us on the square in Pineville. Big things are happening on the square in Pineville as the grand old courthouse has their grand opening. Activities will include various live history exhibits, a man is portraying a Civil War doctor and will give a presentation, music, food, raffle drawings for a laptop, Kindle fire; $150 cash and a new Doug Hall print and so much more. Check out the McDonald County Historical Society Facebook page or go to www.mcdonaldcohistory.org. Mark your calendar for May 24 — we hope you will join us on a very special day.
Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.