It took courage

Many years ago an eleven year old Sicilian boy walked down a mountain from his village to a train station at Roccco Palumbo. It was a steep climb and the young boy was torn by fear and the realization that he was going away from the only life he had known. Arriving at the station he wept as the train pulled away and headed for Naples. The diminishing view of his grandfather weeping at the station stayed with him for days. Boarding a massive ship and being huddled with an endless number of sea sick voyagers he arrived in New York on a bitter cold day dressed only in a sleeveless shirt. Incapable of speaking a word of English he was the butt of bullying, and instead of going to school opted to work in a burlap factory for six and a half days a week.Poor ,uneducated and facing the challenges of a strange land he and his family not only survived they eventually thrived. His older brothers and he in seven years worked at every minial job that was available.They saved and sacrificed and in seven years wound up owning the second largest laundry in New Jersey. I draw on the experience and history of this man and his family, and every time I enter a tough stretch I think of my Father as an eleven year old boy and draw on the strength of his courage and mettle.

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