Maybe some others would like to kick in and relate is some way, how someone or something steered their journey at various Y's in the road:
Will try not to be too long and boring:
These folks were Americans who owned a cottage (they called it a "camp") on a local lake, and they would come up for a month each summer. Then, once the big holiday was over, as often as they could.
He was what would now be called upper middle management, and made way above the median income at the time. She was a "homemaker".....that PC enough?
He was a "tough as nails", "hard headed" businessman, who had started as a stock boy and worked his way up through a national corporation to a position of importance, big money, and authority. He was a two fisted drinker, chain smoked Camel plains, and hated FDR. Thought that the US should have stayed the hell out of WW2, that social security was basically a wrong headed scheme, people should save for retirement, and company pensions were ok as long as you worked like hell to EARN one.
He taught me how to fish, how to cast, how to set a hook, how to have patience. He had none in ordinary life, but would fish a set of lily pads for an hour if he believed a bass was lurking under it. Most times he was right. It was the GAME, you see. He wanted to WIN, even if was only against a bass. Took me a few years to figure this out.
He would sit on the dock, chain smoke Camels, drink Wild Turkey, neat, and we would throw a 6" minnow 5 ft. under a big float, out in the current during a west wind, and catch huge pike. All this time I was being educated in the American way of doing things, the pursuit of freedom and happiness, and I don't mind saying: he was my goddam hero.
He lived for his job, never took too many days off, worked his *** of at the "camp", and I used to wonder - when the hell do you actually relax. He never did, you see. It was the GAME that counted.
But, get this: When my dad died, he and his wife drove up from Ohio, went to the funeral, (he cried like a baby), and later, packed me in his car (HUGE Merc), and off we went to Ohio.
Several time, en route, he pulled the car over and went for a walk - way behind us. When he came back, his eyes were red, and he had a lump in his throat. Yepper, that was the man of steel. He only became more of a hero in my eyes. He took two weeks off work to look after me which screwed his vacation later that year. Man of steel.
Back about then the song "Davy Crockett" was a big hit, and he bought the record, and when we got to his place, he played it "ALL THE TIME" And I mean....."ALL THE TIME" . His house had a big American flag flying outside, and a bunch of them on the walls throughout. Freakin John Wayne or what!!! Hero factor went way up.
Man of steel. Heart of gold.
Scroll ahead several years.:
When he was 65, he retired. One year later, almost to the day, the Camels and the Wild Turkey came calling and he died. Cancer.
I was older then, had my own job, was thinking of a family, belonged to a union, and the conservative values I had believed in for many years were starting to crumble.
His house............was a house in the burbs, ticky tacky, like every other house within a mile.
His lawn ..........the same
His car...............wasn't near paid for
same with his house.
Same with "the camp"
His wife told me several years after his death; it was an act. He was frightened all the time. Scared of someone coming up from below. Scared of what the someones up above would do. Scared of retirement. Scared of lack of money and prestige. Scared of the knife in the back. Running just to stand still. Swimming just to tread water.
Now, WTF was that all about.
He left her not well off, but ok, so she didn't have to work, and insurance paid off a bunch of stuff.
But, Jesus, work like a nailer, and dead at 66, just when you could go to "the camp" and stay there the whole goddam year if you wanted, fish bass, and etc.
That's when I "bought out" of the corporate plan. I was going to find a SECURE job with a pension and a union and health benefits, and HANG IN. And, that's what happened.
Oh ya, money....................All you need is enough to live on..........But you need that.........and the "corporate plan" is taking it away, farming it out, offshoring it, no full time, no pensions, no health benefits..................on and on.
Personally I think FDR was a great man.
But I still think the man of steel was a goddam hero.
All you need is enough.