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Feb
07

Irv’s Out of the Closet

crowded-closetI’ve been building up to this.

So far I’ve stayed clear of confession ‘cause I’d hate to lose readers. But every week I need new things to write about and I’m running out of ideas, the ones where we all agree.

So I’ve been thinkin’, if I opened this door and exposed my hidden clothes, would you guys stick around to read about it? ‘Cause if you do, maybe… just maybe, I can go deeper into human stuff, this blog’s through-line.

After all, if we writers don’t come to terms with our inner selves and accept others the way they really are, how can we understand enough to write about all that? How can we build a believable character if we only look at people skin deep? How can we get into emotional shit if we steer clear of threatening stuff?

‘Cause the big question is: Are we still threatened, once we understand?

I don’t want to be threatening, but I can’t keep my secret a second longer. I was born this way, man! Knew it since I was ten.

Dear followers…I am…a LIBERAL.

*****

WOW! I feel so…liberated!

I bet some of you suspected this all along. It’s hard to hide that gnawing need to be myself, to pretend I’m like YOU when I’m not. But since I started this blog I’ve been trying to blend like white slices in the middle of the loaf. Not phony exactly, but not completely ME.

Well…NO MORE!

Now I’ll write about the headlines – political stuff – even WEDGE ISSUES! Yep. I’m gonna tell ya how I feel about… Well for starters, immigration reform.

I know, a yawn, until it gets personal. Well I’m gonna get personal.

YOU GUYS STILL READING?

Anybody out there?

Yeah? Four left? Fine. Here’s a story about three friends.

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MEET MARIA, CARLOS and EDUARDO

Maria, Carlos and Eduardo are siblings in their early thirties. Maria, the older sister, is managing 452 apartment units and finally dating men who grew up speaking Spanish.  Before that, LA “white” guys wanted her for themselves. For a businesswoman, she’s awesomely sultry.

Carlos, her younger brother, owns a moving and home staging company. His clients include famous LA interior decorators and designers. He’s married and has a three year-old son.

The youngest of the three, Eduardo, is also married with a two year-old girl, has a furniture restoration business and more work than he can handle. You book him a month in advance. Eduardo services Los Angeles antique retailers and designers.

Fourteen years ago these three were crossing the Texas/Mexico Rio Grande boarder in the dead of winter, in the dead of night, heading north toward survival. The raft was overloaded with six other Mexicans expecting to make it to shore in a teetering tub. But Eduardo fell overboard and was carried down river until he finally hit a rock near the bank. He held on until they fished him out of the freezing current.

He almost drowned, then spent the rest of the night turning blue in the icy wind as the group waited close to Route 90 for a truck to haul them to Fort Stockton and Highway 10 bound for California.

After a few weeks in Los Angeles they found menial jobs. Maria cleaned houses. Carlos and Eduardo waved down cars at Home Depot, taking any tasks offered. They worked hard, saved, and eventually moved into a four-room apartment in a middle-class part of Glendale.

Since Maria had taken a few years of high school English in Mexico, she was able to get a higher paying job cleaning a huge home in Hancock Park. The lady who lived there owned a thriving antique business and was looking for part-time handymen to work in her store and move furniture, do minor repairs and furniture deliveries.

But these three were undocumented and barely spoke English. So what did they do? Carlos and Eduardo took that seven-day-a-week job at the store and spent their money on English classes. Five months later the group hitched a ride to Washington State where they took driving tests and got Washington State driver’s licenses.

Within two years Carlos and Eduardo owned their own delivery truck and had taught themselves high-end wood working skills and refinishing. Sponsored now by American employers, the three pooled their money and hired a lawyer who moved them into the “system” as they applied for US legal status. Then, on September 11, 2001 the Twin Towers came crashing down and that put a stop to 99% of the green card applications.

While Carlos and Eduardo were moving up in the furniture business, Maria climbed her own ladder. She secured a second cleaning job at the house next door to the antique lady and worked for a wealthy young couple that owned rental properties. Within a year, Maria became their nanny, then housekeeper, then business assistant taking calls from their Spanish speaking tenants and arranging services from Spanish speaking service people.

You can see where this is going. Maria eventually became a multi-building property manager as her brothers left the antique store to expand on what they had learned and start their own businesses.

piggy bankIS THIS THE AMERICAN DREAM? UNFORTUNATELY NOT.

Although Maria, Carlos and Eduardo did everything they could to apply for legal residence, this country will not allow them to pay taxes or invest their money here.

They have bank accounts, insurance policies, driver ID’s, health insurance, and fill an economic niche in my community. Yet these hard working people cannot, by law, pay back the country that gave them their start.

Maria, Carlos and Eduard are now “family” and I’m impressed with their attitude. ‘Can’t’ does not exist in their vocabulary.

Have they ever built a fence? No. But they built our fence. Can they brick a patio? They figured it out and built our patio. Could they drive us to the airport? No problem. And yes, we pay them well for their help. And in return we get 100% loyalty, and even love.

That’s the way they are. They solve problems, live in the moment and appreciate what they have. They love their kids and care for their parents. They’re fully assimilated into the community because they’re responsible and great at what they do.

And yes, they compete against American citizens, but fairly. And when they get the job, it’s not because they’re cheaper. It’s because they’re better. And we all benefit.

But does the USA tax coffers? No. Our stalled government will not grant three successful entrepreneurs documentation, at least not yet. Consequently, Maria, Carlos and Eduard built rental properties in Cuernavaca. Not in LA.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This story is just one aspect of a very complex social/economic dynamic. If you have a comment, I’d like to hear it and I’ll respond to you.

 

This post was originally published on Curiosityquills.com.

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2 comments

  1. Jerry's Cousin says:

    Wow, where do we begin?? There are so many of these stories out there. A few bad apples make the front pages and ruin things for hard workers like these people.

    Our government officials are too busy taking care of themselves, their next election and their buddies. Their constituents, who voted them in, fall by the wayside. Bureaucrats quickly forget who voted them into office and why.

    I worked for the government as a nurse and my saying was, “Washington, DC needs a 3-H enema; High, Hot and a Hellava lot, to clean it out.

    Only then, will the government take care of the people who voted them into office.

    1. Irving H. Podolsky says:

      I agree with you JC.

      There are huge financial incentives for people running for congress to get there, stay there and then move on to even more lucrative lobbying firms. People in congress have access to inside information, the movers and shakers on Wall Street, plus exclusive pension and health insurance plans. These perks are so alluring that many, not all, but most elected representatives value their coveted power jobs more than the people who voted them into Washington.

      Of course you said that. But the biggest problem of all is that senators and congress people are controlled by institutions, industry and individuals who fund their campaigns and the slanderous political commercials that destroy careers and reputations. Consequently our elected officials spend more time raising campaign donations than they do serving the public.

      Without campaign financing reform, this conflict of interest will not be corrected. Unfortunately, most of congress and big business wants the battle of bucks to keep the playing field just as it is. And the Republican Party wants labor unions out of the way so that these groups can no longer fund liberal causes and candidates. Misinformation and propaganda surges everywhere, building fear and distrust. Facts no longer count.

      This is a sad state of affairs and I’m sorry to see our country going in this direction.

      But I also have hope that our land will again find its soul and push past the manipulation of truth. It has in the past. The game is not over.

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