The Bledsoe Firm - March 2020

The Bledsoe Firm JustFamilyLaw.com | 949.363.5551 MARCH | 2020 More Lessons Learned From My Father S ince my father died last November, I have reflected on my early years and experiences living in the very large family I grew up in. My mother gave birth to 10 children in 14 years. As I have mentioned,

out of the question. We just didn’t have the money. It took a lot of effort to keep food on the table for all us kids. I have memories of being in the garage or in the backyard helping my dad fix our cars. There were always repairs that we had to make — brakes that needed to be replaced, oil that needed to be changed, and various other parts that needed to be fixed. And Dad generally wanted one of us with him to hand him wrenches or various parts. As the years went on, I spent a good deal of time helping Dad. I learned about various car parts, and I would often accompany him to the auto parts store where he would buy anything needed to do the job. By the time I left home for college in the fall of 1975, having just turned 18, I had some working knowledge of what various tools were used for repairs and how automobiles functioned. This experience working with my dad really benefited me when I was working my way through college in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. In the summer of 1980, I got a job working for an oil field service company in Evanston, Wyoming, where we drove in a large diesel truck around the Rocky Mountains of Utah and Wyoming and provided services to large oil drilling rigs. The things I learned from my dad about basic mechanics helped me to not embarrass myself in that job, because we did minor repairs on the truck assigned to us. And after I got married in 1982, I soon found myself with my own growing family. By then, I was working a full-time job and going to law school at night, and I was fortunate enough to be able to do routine maintenance on my own vehicles instead of spending money on a mechanic. My wife was somewhat impressed (and trusting) when I fixed the brakes on her 1981 Toyota Celica. Looking back, I realize that those times helping Dad fix our cars were also times when I got to talk to and get to know him. He would frequently have the Michael Jackson talk radio show on from KABC in Los Angeles. I learned that there was other entertainment out there besides the FM music channels. And I probably developed a lot of my political views from these early experiences listening to talk radio and talking with Dad while we worked together.

my father worked as a Los Angeles County fireman for many years, along with owning a restaurant service business that he also worked hard at. Even with my dad’s two jobs, we didn’t have much discretionary income in those days.

It’s really quite a story. We all had to go out and earn our own money. I remember at the age of 10 having a job as a paperboy delivering the evening edition of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner after school. I would have to fold up newspapers and put rubber bands on each one of them and then load up the canvas bag and ride my bike around the neighborhood throwing papers. I would also have to collect money from the neighbors who were customers. There was always work to do at home. My dad worked hard around our house, and we had at least four or five cars. Paying a mechanic to fix them was

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