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Did you grow up in poverty? How did it affect you?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by wayloncash, Aug 12, 2017.

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  1. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    After living on a sharecropper farm in Alabama and coming to California where my folks would make a last stand at living together, we moved into the nicest house I'd ever been in my whole life! It had a bathroom! It had a wonderful big closet I could play in when the weather was bad which was seldom in California! Unfortunately, all of this came to an end when the old man quit his job, and left on a toot, and we ended up being broke again. Many years would pass before good times came my way again.
     

  2. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    51
    721
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    At the end of my half mile long driveway lived an elderly lady in an old farm house. On the last day of the month she fixed me waffles. There was a minimum payment for electricity which covered x number of kilowatt hrs of power. She would keep the waffle iron going until that minimum amount of power was used up and then the iron was shut down and no more waffles :). Every morning I waited for the school bus and she came out and waited with me. She would give me a homemade piece of candy and I would hand the wrapper back to her and she folded it up to re use for the next batch.

    My uncle is 45 years older than me and was gone from the farm long before I was born. I told him about these things and he just laughed because she did the very same things for him as a child as well.

    Going through that depression changed a whole generation. and perhaps a little of the conservation of resources that those folks learned could be used today ?
     

  3. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    I can empathize with your mom in a way. The poverty I experienced I'm sure influenced my propensity to get pissed very easily in my younger days. It cost me a lot of very good opportunities in my work life. Johnny Paycheck singing "take this job and shove it" was my national anthem. Finally I confronted the enemy, and he was me. I didn't always do right after that, but I was on the road to becoming more successful in life even though I never really got there until I was almost fifty years old. It's is possible to change, but the effort sometimes is so great it can seem like it's not worth it until you finally begin to make a little progress, then it becomes easier.
     

  4. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    Poverty can sometimes be the forge that brings forth strong character, and understanding that is beyond the reasoning of man.
     

  5. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    182
    Nov 16, 2008
    Spring, Texas
    I didn't know it at the time, so if it had any effect, I don't know. I do know the value of a dollar, the value of hard work and more importantly the value of self respect.
     

  6. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    All of this talk about poverty has brought me around to a first world problem, I think I'll load up and go over to the golf course and work on my game a little, that's something that can always use a little help. It's hard to dwell on poverty when you're surrounded by a man made oasis and enjoying the day.
     
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  7. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    884
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    Oh absolutely, it's a shame that she was never able to enjoy her achievements, and my fathers gifts, as she always wanted more. When she was working she made ok money, and our house was much newer & better equipped than where she grew up, which I found to be a fascinating place. I never knew my grandfather but my grandmother went out of her way to make me & my friends feel welcome in her home, which was a lot of fun for a kid, she had chickens and a goat (large back yard big enough for football) right in town, a dog, & a cat and all sorts of flowers & a veggie garden; my dad put up a tire swing on the big oak. I guess the memories were too powerful. and some of the things that fascinated me were painful to my mom; the wringer washer, coal furnace (" It's a clinker ....." )stove you lit w/ a match.. the house was much like Ralphies..even had a big old tube radio in 'the front room". My uncle always put up his Lionel around it at X-mas. But my mom always wanted her to quit her sewing factory job, sell "this old dump" and "move to a nice apartment" ..she did eventually and never seemed quite as happy again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  8. brobar

    brobar Tele-Holic

    Age:
    42
    501
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    I didn't grow up poor (by my definition). We had a roof over our head and clothes and food (thanks to some gub'ment cheese). We needed some assistance, but I would say we were very blessed in comparison to what I actually consider "poor".

    I do feel our situation did play a part in my motivation and work-ethic. When I was young and in jr high and high school, if I wanted something I knew that *I* was going to have to work for it and earn it... it wasn't just going to be handed to me. So while many of my friends would spend their summers at home playing video games, I was out in the fields pitching watermelons and chopping cotton... you know... those jobs so many people tend to say ONLY migrant and immigrant workers will do? I did those jobs because that is what I had to do if I wanted anything beyond the basic necessities in life. I listened to many of my friends complaining about being bored (while not working) or complaining about having to work a few hours a week at the local clothing store. I LOVED pitching watermelons. Not only did it pay well ($50 per diesel trailer loaded... we would do 3-4 trailers a day so I was bringing in $150-$200 a day in cash which was excellent money for a kid that age)... but it also kept me in shape and was the only time in my life I've been able to maintain a tan. =) It was hard, dirty, sweaty, back-breaking work that started before sunrise and ended after sunset, but I loved it!

    That has carried over throughout the years. While I've got a way more cush job now that pays just shy of 6 figures... I still apply the same ethic to my work now. If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well and putting my all into it. I've never finished school (only some college) so I had to train myself in my free time. I spent thousands of hours at the library, Borders, Barns & Noble, etc... reading programming books and learning how to become a developer. I've always had initiative ever since I was young. I think that comes from my upringing and knowing that I can't expect things to just be handed to me and I don't deserve things to just be handed to me. I have to work for what I have and want. While I'm able to provide a little more for my children that I got at that age, I want to do my best to instill in them the same work ethic... that if they want something bad enough, through hard work and determination they can achieve it and earn it. You have to have the right motivation.

    Some people need help. I'm thankful it was there when we needed it, but I made a commitment to myself to pull myself up and out so I could rely on and provide for myself. I've NEVER liked asking others for help. It isn't a pride thing, I just think it is a last resort thing. I'll do everything in my own power first before I resort to asking others for assistance. I think my childhood had a lot to do with that.
     
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  9. Armo

    Armo Tele-Meister

    477
    Nov 13, 2008
    Wales

    Someone had to post it
     
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  10. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    921
    Oct 11, 2016
    37804
    One thing that really pisses me off is when people who are successful rope ALL poor people together as "unwilling to work" and or "abusers of the system"

    Don't get me wrong, I know a TON of people who do refuse to work, and I know a lot of people who wrongly receive government aid.

    But that in no way means that there aren't huge numbers of people who genuinely need and deserve help.

    Alot of the problem is, the people who receive help don't really need it, and the people who need it can't get it.

    I do know that when you are a poor person like myself you are treated like a "sub standard" citizen, especially in today's consumer driven, materialistic society.

    I'm not as poor as alot of people out there, I own a house, and several cars and a fair amount of guitar stuff.

    But id guess I have less than 8k of actual cash money.
     
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  11. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Dec 12, 2004
    Ohio

    Haha. Great.
     
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  12. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    51
    721
    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    I think the big difference for me was that everyone in our area was poor , so much less stigma than being poor in a surrounding of relative wealth. I had to travel before I realized that we were poor .
     

  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    I have a cousin that still lives in my grandmother's old pace, grandma willed it to my cousin when she passed. My cousin has spent most of her life in that old house, and says the ghosts are friendly to her, and she doesn't want to abandon them. She will die there I'm sure unless she's forcibly removed from that old house. I can see her place on Google Earth surrounded by newer nice homes, and I love the feeling I get knowing a place that is a part of my life lives on.
     

  14. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    884
    Jun 7, 2017
    GCDB
    And I had to travel to realize I wasn't..I never saw true poverty as outlined in some of these posts, until I left home & moved around a bit, there was a small community that lacked indoor plumbing in my home town, but it was redeveloped w/ new housing by the time I started school.
     
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  15. chiefline

    chiefline Tele-Holic

    756
    Mar 18, 2014
    new jersey
    Grew up in the projects in Jersey City , NJ. Didn't mind being poor cause we didn't know any better. I think i actually had a great childhood because there was this huge play area between the 7 apartment buildings which was a world unto itself where we would play all day. Wasn't till we moved to a better neighborhood that I realized we were broke. The kids that had a head start in life that get the cars and houses for nothing still pisses me off to this day. Everything i have i paid for with honest hard work while some people just skate through life with no worries. Just doesn't seem fair sometimes...yeah i got a problem with that when they look down on the less fortunate
     
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  16. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm too logical and I see the error in my ways daily.

    I'm sure you've tried, but if it were me, I'd try to eliminate one pantry's worth as a start. Sit my wife down, tell her I understand her history, but we can't go hungry, what about addressing for security by giving to a food bank weekly? If we ever needed it, it would be there, and it the meanwhile, it will be feeding people who need it today.

    But we all have our blindsides. My wife has been trying to get me to dress better for 25 years and hasn't succeeded. One time, when I was looking for work, I dressed up, shirt, tie, leather shoes. I came down the stairs and Harley growled: he didn't recognize me!
     
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  17. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 22, 2007
    Mid-Michigan
    I grew up lower middle class in the 50s. Six of us in a tiny house. Shared a bedroom with my brother til he got married at age 17. We had plenty of money for food, no debt collectors hounding us, but no extravagances. I got a quarter a week when my parents could afford an allowance, and that allowed me to go to the matinee once every two weeks. I'd ride my bike a couple miles with one two cent returnable bottle to trade it in for penny candy. We'd scavenge on trash day to beat the garbage trucks (and got some good stuff)!

    When times got tough we'd have a 'family meeting' where my folks would announce that allowances were once again suspended til further notice. So I learned very early to hang on to what little I had. I lost bets twice to my big brother where he took my dearly saved single dollar, so hated most gambling from then on. Many of my friends were in the same class until high school, where I met the astonishingly 'rich kids' across town. One friend on my little street was really spoiled by his parents & had an unimaginable treasure of gifts, even a color TV...so that's where we always overnighted. He's still a close friend.

    I started working at age 12 (babysitting for neighbors, at my mom's home answering service), got my first job outside the house at 15 and had a job or was looking for a job every day after til I retired forty years later.

    College was paid for by a National Defense loan that I fully paid back + my earnings + a loan from my FIL that I repaid. After college I got really poor: wife left me, I was paying child support + rent for me on $2.25 an hour. Beer and cigarettes became luxuries I could rarely afford and for one week I lived on nothing but a big sack of potatoes.

    I knew many kids far worse off than
    me. I had good parents and a great childhood. How having so little for so long affected me was teaching me I NEVER wanted to be so poor again. I worked hard & saved every dollar I could from day one. I hated to go into debt and wouldn't do it unless I was positive I could repay, and paid every single debt on time. It also taught me to treat those without $ with some respect. I'd been in the position where I got to overhear others talk about my poverty, and it was humiliating to the extreme. This isn't the place for me to go into how I feel about treatment of those less fortunate than us.

    I've done fairly well over the years and honestly never really envied those who had so much more; I just wanted to be able to afford more than our 'needs' myself. And it worked out.
     
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  18. WetBandit

    WetBandit Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    921
    Oct 11, 2016
    37804

    That would certainly be more of a shock to the system definitely.

    Around here where I live, there is a fair amount of economic diversity, but it is made abundantly obvious.
     
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  19. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Holic

    961
    Oct 8, 2011
    Swamps of Louisiana
    Oh yes. I know all too well of growing up poor. The hassle of it was to hide as best you could. My Dad was a piano tuner for Baldwin and Mom worked in a men's haberdashery(?sp). You didn't want anyone to see where you lived or the crappy old family car.
    I had fine clothes to wear because we got a discount but we really lived on credit as most did in the MS Delta. And I remember the knocks on the door late at night from the "bill collectors" and the rent manager sent out by the landlords.
    I was so freaked out by the time I was 17 and finished High School and entered a Jr. College that I found my interest. I finished with a diploma in Electronics. Radio and Television to be exact. Then I studied for my FCC Radiophone license that enabled me to work on transmitters. I got a job locally on television and stereos, got laid off after 6 years, moved to Louisiana. Mom told me to NEVER come back to live in the Delta. I started to work for an independent Motorola site working on Business Radios, EMS, Police, Fire, Sheriff's Office for 4 years approx. and then started work for a Fortune 500 company on Microwave and Fiber Optic systems, then T-1, DS3, and High Speed Data transport backbone OC systems. I switched to Power Grid protection systems completing almost 30 years in that company.
    So..........I retired at 59 and 1/2 years. I complied with my Mom's wishes. All cars, boat, motorcycle, and house are paid for. I have ample income for my retirement and can live comfortably. My only sorrow is my wife passed away from brain cancer 2 months after my retirement. She was supposed to be with me to enjoy this. She helped me so very much along my way. We were together almost 40 years. Our children are both successful and both CPAs. I made it out and so can YOU.
    You have to have the DRIVE. And a smart woman pushing you never hurts. I wish you the very best. Sincerely. And this is my story at almost (in a few days) 63 years on this earth. Hint : Elvis's death ruined my birthday!
     

  20. JBFatFingers

    JBFatFingers Tele-Meister

    Age:
    36
    216
    Oct 9, 2016
    Canton, MI
    I didn't start out poor (we didn't have a lot, but enough to be comfortable), but starting around age 13 my dad went through several extended periods of unemployment. Mom did what she could to help, but there were four kids and neither parent had a college education. Those were rough times.

    One of the defining moments of my life happened just before Christmas when I was 14. The doorbell rang and when I answered it, there was no one there. Someone had left a box full of Christmas gifts on our porch anonymously. While I should have been grateful for the kindness of this donor, that wasn't what came to my mind. What came instead were two distinct thoughts: the first was "this means we're poor," and the second was "when it's up to me to pay the bills, my family is NEVER going to be in this position."

    Pretty much every major decision I made in my life after that night was intended to ensure that I kept that promise to myself. I studied my butt off in high school while working nights, got most of my undergrad education paid for in scholarships, worked my butt off in college, went to a great law school, and I've had a great career since I got my JD almost a decade ago. We're not rich, but my wife and 3 kids don't want for much of anything. I will say that for all of our struggles growing up, I will give my dad credit that he always emphasized the importance of education, so that his kids didn't have the same economic and employment struggles that he did. My hope now is that my children will understand the work that it takes to achieve that economic security and will put a high value on that themselves.
     
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