My Dad worked hard. He worked hard all the time. He came to America in 1949 with my Mom and my brother. After some time in Iowa, they settled in Detroit, where I was born in 1954. My Dad was an automobile mechanic. When I was little, he had a Sinclair gas station in Detroit. Later, he went into partnership in a bump shop and then had another Sinclair station. When I was a teenager, he became a partner in a Pure station which became Union 76. Dad worked long hours. He worked hard. He came home oily and dirty. He would come into the house through the side door, take off his dirty uniform, and eat dinner in his underwear.
He eventually retired, which meant that he ran the garage and truck fleet for his cousin’s meat packing business. In 1986, my parents moved into an apartment in Ann Arbor. What did my Dad do? He got a part time job working in a sandwich shop. It was there that he suddenly lost consciousness and passed away at the hospital at the age of 74. He died doing what he loved doing. Working.
After my graduation from Business School in 1978, I began my career at Michigan Bell. Whenever I saw my Dad, he would ask me about my job. Dad never really knew what my job was. Actually, from 1978 until he passed away in 1987, I had three different jobs at Michigan Bell and, in 1984, I moved to a job with AT&T in Chicago. It didn’t matter to Dad what I did for a living. He valued working hard and being productive. So, when Dad asked me about my job, he would as me this question – “Are you busy?”
Dad, I started working for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in September. Yes, I’m busy. Dolgos vagyok. And I’ve never been so happy with my job. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work. Hiányzol.