September 11, 2001 A Reminder

Today as I dropped in and out of Redbubble I was reminded over and over or how great our people and our country truly are. Each time I found another tribute to the day and comments of truly deep feelings about what the tragic events on 9/11/01 meant to so many people. It reminded me of what I love so much about this country.

My reason for being proud to be an American!

I grew up in abject poverty, with a wonderful loving mother, two little sisters to care for and an alcoholic father whose problem forced us to live in the state of severe poverty. My father disappeared when I was eight years old and that is the best thing he ever did for me and my family other than contributing genetically to the birth of my sisters and myself.

By the time he disappeared we were living in a two room shotgun house, you could shoot a gun through the front door and out the back, thus the name. The house was a clap board house with just one wall, no studs just a wall held together by two by fours nailed at the top bottom and middle of the wall. We nailed cardboard on the inside of the wall and then papered over the cardboard to seal some of the air out. It was very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. The house was built on small logs laid on the ground and when it rained the water would get under the house. When you walked from one room to another, water would splash up where the floor boards joined.

We made our living chopping and picking cotton. Fifty cents an hour for chopping, ten hour days, so we made five dollars a day, I was working as a full field hand at the age of eight. Picking cotton paid three cents a pound for all you picked. The best I was ever able to pick was two hundred and fifty pounds a day, for a total of seven dollars and fifty cents. We had one pair of shoes a year. I had two pair of jeans and two shirts to wear to school. There was a hand pump in the yard for water and an outhouse for a bathroom. We were very poor. There were people in the community that lived in brick homes so there was a definite class system and we were at the bottom of the class.

My mom always insisted that her children get an education. She had gone to school part time through the third grade and was by and large a self educated lady. She was very intelligent but had little formal schooling. She made sure her children did better than she had. I was the oldest by six years so I worked on the farm until I was eighteen then got a job in town which paid twice as much an hour as farm work. I finished high school but couldn’t afford to go to college. When I was twenty my mom got a job at a Brown Shoe Factory so she could support my sisters and herself and insisted that I try to go to college. I worked my way through college, it was not easy and my grades showed that I was not able to spend all my time studying but I made it. I became a teacher. My oldest sister graduated from college and also became a teacher. My youngest sister graduated from junior college. Not bad for the children of a single mother, from the poor side of the tracks.

None of us in my family will ever be wealthy but each of us has led a productive life and has been able to succeed. I am sure there are other people with similar stories from many countries but this is my country and it gave me a chance to be all that I could be. I worked hard, I saved, I succeeded.

These are the things that I am reminded of when I think about the greatness of our county on days like September 11, 2009. Each of us has a chance to succeed, not all at the same level of course but we can better our lives and the lives of our families.

September 11, 2001 A Reminder

barnsis

Marquand, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 22

Artist's Description

A short story about why I appreciate the country I have grown up in.

Artwork Comments

  • joyousmoon
  • barnsis
  • poupoune
  • barnsis
  • Royald
  • barnsis
  • BCallahan
  • barnsis
  • Visual   Inspirations
  • barnsis
  • BarbL
  • barnsis
  • stephaniek
  • barnsis
  • joedog
  • barnsis
  • Susan  Bergstrom
  • barnsis
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.