Tuesday, December 11, 2012


After 3 rather boring years of high school, I decided that things were awaiting me, that were far more exciting than the abuse of a man named James O. Miller, the principal at our local high school. I must have had a tattoo on my forehead that said VICTIM, because every time this abusive fat man saw me in the halls, even just walking, he would stop me and harass me. I don't remember sassing him or talking back in any way, but I never escaped his presence without some sort of punishment. At some point, when it was time to return to school in September of 1963, I recall spending about two hours sitting in the parked car of my father, a 1959 Ford Custom, contemplating my future and deciding humanity would be best served if I remained in the work force. So I just never returned to school, but instead went to work at my job as manager of the University Shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, in Skokie, Illinois. Although I didn't have any employees working for me and there was no pay raise included in my promotion to manager of the newly created University Shop, I was proud to have achieved this promotion after only 3 months of employment. I was still earning $65 a week, CA$H! (Take home $55.20)

After working there a full year, (I thought), I made a reservation for a buddy and myself to go to Miami Beach, Florida on my first time ever, vacation. It was to be my first experience flying, as well. I was more than excited, I was ecstatic! A couple of days before my vacation was scheduled, I was informed by my employer, that I was intending on leaving on my vacation just 364 days after my day of employment and that my vacation was being revoked, meaning it was canceled and I was expected to be at work, regardless of my plans and if I did not show up, I would be terminated. So, I QUIT! (screw 'em) Bigger and better things awaited me!

I was 18 or so and the world was my stepping stone! I replaced the job at Saks with a job at Lyttons in another local shopping center and things moved along nicely. At some point I met a guy, like myself and the two of us decided to go to work as partners, creating Luckman-Fisher Associates. We were to be manufacturers representatives in the booming men's wear business. All we needed was a manufacturer to believe that we 2, twenty years-olds were worthy of employment. That didn't seem to happen. I, however got a job after applying by telephone for a job as a rep for Gaslight Slacks and was flown to New York for my interview. By lying and saying I was 26, I was hired and trained in NY for about 6 weeks. (Thank goodness, computers were waaay off in the future!) Returning home, I was very successful at my new territory and happily worked for a couple of years when I learned that my company had gone bankrupt and once again I was unemployed. Kicking and fighting and struggling was the name of the game and somehow I survived the shock of climbing my way up again and found myself working very hard, and representing 5 different companies in men's wear. Myself and another gentleman opened a store called Up Your Legs, a pants store, specializing in $5.99 pants for the unisex culture and soon I bought out my partner. One day, my wife and I along with our older son and a Poodle dog went on vacation camping across the country and discovering a place called Arizona and immediately fell in love! It was amazing! Sunny and clear and friendly. I had to have it! My wife, completely confused, agreed to go along with me on my plan to sell everything and relocate to this paradise. (only she and "us" didn't last very long). I cannot for the life of me remember what happened to that Poodle dog!

Once again I struggled and tried my hardest to support my family of 4. We had 2 sons and a different dog. I tried the woman's wear business and hated it! My father in law, at the time, was involved in the automobile business and convinced me that there was money to be be made buying and selling cars. I tried it and I loved it! It never felt like working. I'd awaken early and go to hang out with my new friends that happened to be in the car business. Trade ins would be arriving and I would buy them from my friends and sell them to other friends what were managers of other dealerships. They called it "wholesaling". When I got divorced, I'd do it 7 days a week. Where else was I going to go? One of the managers and myself opened a used car lot and now we had our own place to hang. We sold cars retail, which was just the frosting on the cake, because wholesaling was my main bread and butter. 

In 1980, I got divorced and a friend of mine from Chicago had moved to Tucson and bought a restaurant and bar in Sedona. He was going broke there and asked for my help both physically and financially. Suddenly I was a partner in a bar and restaurant in Sedona and commuting every week to be there and manage the bar. I was 34 then. The focus was to sell the bar after building it back up a little and we did. By 1982, we had sold it twice and the second time it stayed sold! I resumed my efforts in the automobile business and in 2001, after the invasion on 9/11, things in that business kind of fell apart, but I owned inventory and continued on. 

Once again struggling and having lost almost everything, I still had my house that was now worth about $850,000 and I was counting on it to keep me afloat. BAM! The market fell and my house was now worth less than I owed on it. I lost my savings, my house and almost my life. In 2005, I was stabbed through the heart by an insane doctor while performing an angio-gram and went into a coma for 2 weeks. when I awakened, I had lost 30 LBS and almost my life. Now I was broke and weak and living on my savings. At 63 I realized I wasn't going back to work and applied for social security and received a meager amount and just yesterday I received a letter in the mail from the department of social security that they are increasing my monthly check by $12, that prompted this entry into this blog. I just don't know what to spent the extra money on, the new Maserati or that house on the French Riviera that I've had my eye on?

It's not that I don't appreciate it, it's just that in my dreams, it just won't help!

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