Editorials

editorials

Sometimes I Get Inspired

by

Philip R. Klein, Editor

There are times right when I think things are too much, too heavy, or maybe even I am feeling burned out, that I come in contact with someone who inspires me. And this couple that I had the honor of meeting at their home was truly and inspiration to me. 

For the purpose of this piece – and for the purpose of anonymity – I am going to call this couple the “Smiths.” 

So I arrive at their residence as a part of an investigation that I am doing. And this nice man opens a door and I explain why I am there. His wonderful wife is cooking dinner and I offer to come back some other time. However, she says no, and asks me to come in. 

All three of us sit down to the table in the dinning room and begin to talk about the case that I am there for. After we finish talking I mentioned to them that I loved the family photos. The female, grabs a beautiful family phone off the wall and shows me each of the children and explains to me who they are and what they do. As she is doing this she is shaking her head saying none of their children will come back to Jefferson County – because Jefferson County has nothing to offer. 

I felt horrible for a moment – why I just don’t know – but I felt horrible for the moment and asked them what they thought of the county to which they live. 

“We are just trying to end our work Mr. Klein. We have a few student loans to pay off on our children’s college and then we will leave too. There is nothing here for us. The town is nothing but a corrupt group of people that act like children. The crime in our community (in the Pear Orchard community) is horrible. They steal, they smoke pot, they rob you, and many of these kids are thugs. We raise four beautiful children in this home. We sent them to public schools and we made darn sure that they got their studies done. All four of our children graduated from high school in the top of their class. They were made fun of – but now – their classmate aren’t laughing Mr. Klein,” she said. 

So as we looked at all of the pictures – I asked the question one at a time about each of them. 

“Tell me about them,” I asked. 

And they did with a glee in their eyes :

  1. Is a 32 year old male – graduate of MIT, post MS in electrical engineering, and now working on his doctorate. MIT paid for him to come to the post graduate level. 
  2. Is a 29 year old female – at John Hopkins University doing her post work as a trauma surgeon. Graduated 1st in her class in Beaumont in High School, graduated 1st in her class in college up north, graduated 1st in her class at medical school, and now will graduate 1st in her class post graduate medical school. 
  3. Is a 27 year old male, graduated in the top 10% at Texas ATM, graduated post graduate at University of Texas, and now is a Masters of Accounting, to which he is now a partner at the age of 27 years with a major legal and accounting firm. 
  4. Is a 26 year old male, that went to college, graduated from SMU, didn’t get 1st but was second, and now is a jet pilot for the US Navy flying combat missions. In his spare time, he just finished his masters and now is working on his JD to be a Jag Lawyer. His grades bring him to #1 in his class to which he has only three classes left to take! 

I stood there with my mouth open and asked the first question – which was how did you pay for all of that schooling?

“Well Mr. Klein, we haven’t yet. We are working on that. My wife works for the state of Texas and I am a truck driver. We get up every morning and work very hard to provide. I told all of my children growing up that there is nothing you cannot do if you just put a little hard work into it. I didn’t go to college and neither did she (his wife). We just worked hard and paid the bills. We didn’t go to the movie – and we had to scrimp on food. I did not take one dime from the government and we paid for the whole thing. They had money they could have gotten – but we didn’t want that money. We just wanted to get our kids the best on their own. They worked summer jobs and they worked while they were in grad school. We paid our home off, and we got two cars that run. On child makes more money than we make in a year and tries to give us some. But we are proud people Mr. Klein. We tell those kids that was our job. We raised them to study hard, go to church, and be good to others,” he said.

As he said the above – he got emotional and his wife leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek – and said : “You are good man.”

In my real job I live in a world of yuck. Horrible people – bad things that have happened and most of all nobody ever likes to see guys like me. But this night – I made two friends. I am so very proud to know that I met real people – who have done good things – and not looked for help or have not asked for help. They just did it. Whatever it took – they just did it. 

Folks – everything is not horrible and terrible. There are still some bright shining stars out there. These two folks – in their 50’s that get up everyday – work together to pay the bills and they thousands of dollars they have to pay for the kids education that they promised they made to do what they are doing – is an absolute inspiration. 

To my two new friends – my hats off to you. God bless you and thank you for bringing into the world four wonderful kids! We need that right now – even if they are never coming back to Southeast Texas! It’s a damn shame that our community has nothing for them.  

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