I can’t decide if this magnificent story is heartbreaking, or wonderful.
Lane DeGregory, a fantastic newspaper journalist in Florida, last week brought the world the story of 99-year-old Newton Murray, who has worked for decades as a custodian at a company called Bama Sea Products in St. Petersburg. Seems Newton has worked for minimum wage forever, and never asked for a raise.
“Life can’t always be easy, but you do your best and be grateful,” Newton says.
“I am lucky,” he says. “God bless America!”
“I know here I am never alone,” he also says.
So yes, there are parts of his story I find wonderful: Here’s a man who only wants the simple joy of getting up and going to work every morning. So what if it takes him eight hours to clean two parking lots? Here’s a fella who never complains and seems so happy to be needed.
Then there’s the heartbreaking part. He’s almost 100 years old, and he’s making minimum wage! In more than 30 years at the company, he’s never gotten a raise. He takes the bus to and from work, and makes about $10,000 a year (he only works three days a week now).
It saddens me that a man could earn so little and work so hard. It also saddens me that Newton feels like he has to work, as he intimates in the story, it’s what keeps him going, keeps him feeling alive.
Read the story (it’s really excellent) and let me know what you think; is this a triumphant piece, or a sad one?
I love it when people with way too much time on their hands do stuff like this. Someone on YouTube has taken the initiative and translated Vanilla Ice’s classic “Ice Ice Baby” into movie lines, word for word.
Maybe only if you’re a Gen X’er like myself you’ll enjoy this; nah, it’s great for everyone.
Ah, Vanilla. How we miss you.
**And now a story that blew up in New York and on social media Tuesday, but hopefully the subject of the story will now go away.
Anthony Weiner, who of course you remember decided it’d be a good idea to send pictures of his penis, along with other sexual messages, to a woman in Vegas he was having a virtual affair with, then lied about it for a while before coming clean, has been doing shockingly well in the New York City mayoral race. Some polls even have him leading.
But now we’ve learned that Weiner was even stupider and more reckless than we thought. Turns out that even after he resigned from Congress, he was sending crotch pics, other sexually explicit photos and messages to a different woman, as recently as last summer.
So ole’ Mr. Horndog and his wife held a press conference and, yeah, he admitted once again that he’d been a bad boy, and he apologized, yada yada yada.
Look, as I said when the first Weiner scandal hit, I don’t give a damn that he was stupidly sending pics of his junk to women. It doesn’t affect his ability to be a great politician, or mayor, or whatever.
But it’s the lying, the complete disregard for the American public having any kind of a brain whatsoever, that galls me about guys like Weiner and Eliot Spitzer.
I wrote about Weiner’s NYT mea culpa a few months back; I was willing to give the guy another chance. But clearly, he didn’t learn anything from his own stupidity.