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The Poor Judge of Character

I was looking for work back in the 70’s. It’s really nothing new. You  can ask the NAACP about it, we are not lazy people or stupid thinking that we don’t have to work. We are always looking for work. So this was back in the 70’s, 1977, I believe. I visited one of my best friends an older fellow by one year who has done well with work since he was the H.S. Valedictorian and a basketball star. We were talking about working for the Department of Children and Family, doling out the food stamps and whatever. I didn’t know the operation the way I do today, but my friend had worked there, as had his mother and older brother and he, Tom is his name, asked me if I was a good judge of character and I said something you never say when you interview for work. I said I didn’t think I was. Maybe I didn’t think the job was so good as I had seen these people stuck at their desks for hours on end with no windows and just a desk and some other shit on it, the 2 or 3 chairs, etc. It looks pretty glum. In fact I remember my mom had a pretty glum place to work but at least there was light. She worked in what was called the Engine House at a railroad yard in Long Island City called Sunnyside. Talk about an OXYMORON. There was a bit of sun but few of the working people there were particularly sunny, especially not mom’s husband, my father, who was a foreman in the yard. Anyway, those old wooden rolling chairs, the coffee m akers, the official shit on the walls, etc. really make for a gloomy picture. So, I said I was not a very good judge of character and boy does that seem to have bit me in the ass. Nobody is as they seemed to be anymore. My family is not dependable, my friends are not friendly, and America just isn’t really free anymore. I’m in debt  up to my ass and no one is standing up to help me.

Agnes V. Bryan at the Engine House in Sunnyside Yard

Mom at the Engine House

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