Dave (courier_iii) wrote,

Once Upon a Time, A very Long Time Ago.....,

There was a ten year old boy, living in a backhouse tenement, in a damp and dank cold water flat on the lower east side of New York City. He lived with his mother, aunt, and several younger siblings. There was an abusive alcoholic stepfather on occasion, but for the most part he was out of the picture.

They got by as best they could. The boy would pick up a bundle of newspapers each morning and evening and sell them on a corner. Whatever he made went towards the family larder. There were some weeks that he would bring in more then his mother did as a scrubwoman.

Times were tough, but they were tougher for him then some others. It happened that his religion was different from that which predominated the neighborhood. He was often picked on. The neighborhood bullies would pick a fight and try to steal his paper money. He wasn't big but he was scrappy. It quickly got to a point where one and then two could not take him. Eventually it got to a point where a gang of five or six would wait across the street for him to come out. It was the only way that they could beat him.

He was enterprising. He went to the local hardware store and purchased two screen door springs and five pounds of 1/2 inch U-tacks. This, plus an odd length of wood, became a slingshot of sorts. When he saw them gathering he would go up on the roof. His aim was good but they couldn't see him. It wasn't long before they decided that their futures lay elsewhere. Six months later he sold 4 1/2 pounds of tacks back to the man at the hardware. The man knew what had happened, there were no questions asked and gave the boy a fair price.


"Once Upon a Time" - Isn't that how all tales used to begin, when we were young?
That's when I first heard this one.
The teller was my father.
He had been the boy, but unlike many tales, this one happened to be true.

There was a lesson here of course and it shaped me for life.

You cannot always control what you are handed.
But you can always control how you handle it.

Life often isn't fair.
But when it isn't - YOU DEAL WITH IT !

...and, then you move on. There's work to be done and tomorrow to be discovered.
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