Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Speaking Memory at Pioneer Junior High School

Among dad's papers is a speech he gave to a Pioneer Junior High School Class on Leadership in March of 1977. Someone once told me that psychologists now say that we invent memory in the present. David Sedaris, who has a new book out, recently said that the least reliable narrative is the memoir.

That said, Dad on Dad in 1977:

In the 9th grade I ran a paper route and kept house for four college students. In the 10th and 11th grades I washed dishes in a college boarding house and delivered Western union telegrams at 25 cents per hour. In the 12th grade I dropped out of school and worked as a stock boy in a department store and lived in a room and board hotel. At 18 I went to sea as a merchant sailor, and at 20 went to Officer Candidate School and returned to sea as an officer in the Merchant marine. At 22 I was a 7-Up truck driver, and at 24 route supervisor; at 25 a milkman and at 27 route foreman of 45 milkmen. At 26 I graduated from high school. At 27 I was selling life insurance. At 29 I was an assistant manager hiring and training life insurance salesmen. At 35 I was manager of a real estate sales office and vice president in charge of sales for a builder-developer.

Can you spell attention deficit disorder?

But there's more.

I have also managed a direct mailing buisness, clerked in a grocery store, sold light bulbs and Fuller brushes door-to-door, wamped beer in warehouses and on beer routes, delivered Dad's Root Beer, worked as a stoop laborer in lima bean fields, threshed wheat and barley, picked turkeys, and clerked for a trial lawyer.

At 43, after going to night law school, I began practicing law by myself in Beverly Hills and was elected to my present position by the Los Angeles County Superior Court Judges in 1973.

While doing all that, I have been a landlord since 1948; that is, owned rental property, and bought and sold common stock, vacant land and generally
have been successful in the game of capitalism.

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