American Success Stories/What Makes America Great: Paulo

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American Success Stories/What Makes America Great: Paulo

Sun­day Sept 3rd 7:54 am

This morn­ing when I woke up I was going to write about the exchange between the Daily Caller and Stacy McCain con­cern­ing Saturday’s Event in Leomin­ster (advance tick­ets still avail­able here) so I grabbed my lap­top and head­ing down­stairs so as not to dis­turb my sleep­ing with I planted myself on he couch that Stacy would most likely be crash­ing on and look­ing out the win­dow noticed a group of men get­ting sid­ing up on the house next door.

One would think the early morn­ing ham­mer­ing would have woken me (or her) but over the last two months we have become accus­tomed to the sounds of Ham­mers gen­er­a­tors, and saws as we’ve watched the house next door slowly and grad­u­ally be transformed.

The Author is this trans­for­ma­tion is a 29-​year-​old young man named Paulo who came here as a teen from Brazil who has tire­lessly been work­ing to gut and redo the house inside and out since pur­chas­ing that fore­closed prop­erty to get it ready for a large fam­ily of ten­ants that he has lined up to put there.

Now I had hoped to buy that house for myself for my old­est son or co-​sign with him (my finances might be thin these days but my credit score is close to 800) who will be need­ing a new place soon but Paulo got there first. Any­one watch­ing him in action since he first turned up in late May should not be sur­prised that he got any­where first. His whole atti­tude has been Hor­a­tio Nelson’s “Lose not a moment.”

Every sin­gle day I’ve watched him in that house, I’ve seen long dump­ster after dump­ster filled as old car­pet, old wood, old appli­ances con­tinue to be stripped away. I’ve come home to the sound of an elec­tric gen­er­a­tor as he’s worked late into to the night, usu­ally alone, some­times with a team, to get things done and the whole neigh­bor­hood has seen the trans­for­ma­tion as the aban­doned and over­grown house that began its life as a tiny com­pany house for work­ers who had come from Fin­land or Sicily back in the 19th cen­tury when Fitch­burg was indus­trial hub to a more mod­ern and an attrac­tive home that despite the small plot of land that it sits on will to fit a fam­ily of six by Novem­ber if Paulo’s plans work out.

This week he took a few min­utes away from his work to talk to me about his work on Camera:

I can’t help think as I watch Paulo in action that I’m see­ing a young ver­sion of my Father. Dad had left school at 13 to work dur­ing the depres­sion get­ting every hour he could in local fac­to­ries, pick­ing up every hour he could, doing the dirty jobs that needed to be done and join­ing var­i­ous build­ing crews learn­ing how to build. In 1942 dur­ing World War 2 he entered the Navy as a ship’s car­pen­ter and by the time the war had ended left as a chief petty offi­cer. And at Paulo’s age he was doing pretty much the same thing, build­ing or fix­ing small houses with his brother-​in-​law until he bought a bar called the Mohawk Club in Shirley and went into the restaurant/​hospitality busi­ness. The two houses I lived in from the day I was born to the day I got mar­ried were built by him and when I watch Paulo in action I can’t help but think that if I had in my youth been more inter­ested in my father’s skills and less inter­ested in books and his­tory that might be me next door fix­ing up that house for my son (and I’m sure DaW­ife watch­ing Paulo hard at work fix­ing things might have liked it if her hus­band was a quar­ter as handy as the young fel­low next door with a ham­mer as he is with a keyboard.)

But while I didn’t rec­og­nize the advan­tages of my Father’s way in my youth with the ben­e­fit of years I see the won­der of what’s going on. A young man born half a world away com­ing to Amer­ica, earn­ing and hon­ing a skill over a decade and sac­ri­fic­ing hour after hour to get the seed money to get a mort­gage to buy a beat up house, spend­ing 70 hours or more a week, days night and week­ends to get it to a point where he can get it in a good enough con­di­tion to rent it out for enough to cover that mort­gage and his expenses and start the whole process again.

To be sure there are a lot of risks. There is always the pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting prob­lem ten­ants who trash a house that you might have to evict if they decide not to pay. Fur­ther­more all of this involves lay­ing out money for wood, and mate­ri­als out front, not to men­tion the var­i­ous legal hoops involved in buy­ing a house and get­ting per­mits or con­struc­tion. Finally there is a lot of hard labor involved. A sin­gle acci­dent could stop things cold and if it does the bank or banks that hold the mort­gages on the prop­erty will still expect their pay­ments on time each month.

I’m also sure his young wife and kids would like to see more of him nor do I doubt that his kids might have enjoyed it if this Sun­day morn­ing he had been at home dur­ing this labor day week­end rather than putting up sid­ing early in the morning.

But when those kids are 18, Paulo’s hard work today will almost cer­tainly mean he’ll have the assets to send them to col­lege if they wish, or if they are smart enough to fol­low in his foot­steps might be in a posi­tion to have their dad co-​sign for their first home to fix up or at least know how to fix any­thing in sight. And I sus­pect that if he has a daugh­ter who wants a big wed­ding some­day, the will­ing­ness to be hard at work on a Hol­i­day week­end will be the rea­son he can afford to pay for one or two or more.

Put sim­ply Paulo is what makes Amer­ica great, but he’s also a symp­tom of the great­ness OF Amer­ica which pro­vides a sys­tem by which a per­son can freely reap the ben­e­fits of their labor with­out the heavy hand of the state to smother them or the out­stretched hand of the pow­er­ful or the con­nected demand­ing their cut. A sys­tem under which a per­son can, if they are will­ing to take the risks and regard­less of race or class make more of them­selves then they ever could elsewhere.

Paulo will likely never be as rich or as famous as the pres­i­dent but he is no less an Amer­i­can suc­cess story for it.

Do you know of an Amer­i­can suc­cess story that you’d like me to share with my read­ers and pos­si­bly include in a future book on the sub­ject? Drop me a line and if I can get to where you are I’d be delighted to learn it and tell it.

Update: Paulo rather than Paolo should have stuck with my first instict


My own Amer­i­can suc­cess story depends on the will­ing­ness of you dear reader to like what you see here and sup­port it, so if you like what you’ve seen here and want to sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism please con­sider hit­ting DaTip­Jar to help me secure a weekly paycheck.




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Sunday Sept 3rd 7:54 am

This morning when I woke up I was going to write about the exchange between the Daily Caller and Stacy McCain concerning Saturday’s Event in Leominster (advance tickets still available here) so I grabbed my laptop and heading downstairs so as not to disturb my sleeping with I planted myself on he couch that Stacy would most likely be crashing on and looking out the window noticed a group of men getting siding up on the house next door.

One would think the early morning hammering would have woken me (or her) but over the last two months we have become accustomed to the sounds of Hammers generators, and saws as we’ve watched the house next door slowly and gradually be transformed.

The Author is this transformation is a 29-year-old young man named Paulo who came here as a teen from Brazil who has tirelessly been working to gut and redo the house inside and out since purchasing that foreclosed property to get it ready for a large family of tenants that he has lined up to put there.

Now I had hoped to buy that house for myself for my oldest son or co-sign with him (my finances might be thin these days but my credit score is close to 800)  who will be needing a new place soon but Paulo got there first.  Anyone watching him in action since he first turned up in late May should not be surprised that he got anywhere first.  His whole attitude has been Horatio Nelson’s “Lose not a moment.”

Every single day I’ve watched him in that house, I’ve seen long dumpster after dumpster filled as old carpet, old wood, old appliances continue to be stripped away.  I’ve come home to the sound of an electric generator as he’s worked late into to the night, usually alone, sometimes with a team, to get things done and the whole neighborhood has seen the transformation as the abandoned and overgrown house that began its life as a tiny company house for workers who had come from Finland or Sicily back in the 19th century when Fitchburg was industrial hub to a more modern and an attractive home that despite the small plot of land that it sits on will to fit a family of six by November if Paulo’s plans work out.

This week he took a few minutes away from his work to talk to me about his work on Camera:

I can’t help think as I watch Paulo in action that I’m seeing a young version of my Father. Dad had left school at 13 to work during the depression getting every hour he could in local factories, picking up every hour he could, doing the dirty jobs that needed to be done and joining various building crews learning how to build. In 1942 during World War 2 he entered the Navy as a ship’s carpenter and by the time the war had ended left as a chief petty officer. And at Paulo’s age he was doing pretty much the same thing, building or fixing small houses with his brother-in-law until he bought a bar called the Mohawk Club in Shirley and went into the restaurant/hospitality business. The two houses I lived in from the day I was born to the day I got married were built by him and when I watch Paulo in action I can’t help but think that if I had in my youth been more interested in my father’s skills and less interested in books and history that might be me next door fixing up that house for my son (and I’m sure DaWife watching Paulo hard at work fixing things might have liked it if her husband was a quarter as handy as the young fellow next door with a hammer as he is with a keyboard.)

But while I didn’t recognize the advantages of my Father’s way in my youth with the benefit of years I see the wonder of what’s going on. A young man born half a world away coming to America, earning and honing a skill over a decade and sacrificing hour after hour to get the seed money to get a mortgage to buy a beat up house, spending 70 hours or more a week, days night and weekends to get it to a point where he can get it in a good enough condition to rent it out for enough to cover that mortgage and his expenses and start the whole process again.

To be sure there are a lot of risks. There is always the possibility of getting problem tenants who trash a house that you might have to evict if they decide not to pay. Furthermore all of this involves laying out money for wood, and materials out front, not to mention the various legal hoops involved in buying a house and getting permits or construction. Finally there is a lot of hard labor involved. A single accident could stop things cold and if it does the bank or banks that hold the mortgages on the property will still expect their payments on time each month.

I’m also sure his young wife and kids would like to see more of him nor do I doubt that his kids might have enjoyed it if this Sunday morning he had been at home during this labor day weekend rather than putting up siding early in the morning.

But when those kids are 18, Paulo’s hard work today will almost certainly mean he’ll have the assets to send them to college if they wish, or if they are smart enough to follow in his footsteps might be in a position to have their dad co-sign for their first home to fix up or at least know how to fix anything in sight. And I suspect that if he has a daughter who wants a big wedding someday, the willingness to be hard at work on a Holiday weekend will be the reason he can afford to pay for one or two or more.

Put simply Paulo is what makes America great, but he’s also a symptom of the greatness OF America which provides a system by which a person can freely reap the benefits of their labor without the heavy hand of the state to smother them or the outstretched hand of the powerful or the connected demanding their cut. A system under which a person can, if they are willing to take the risks and regardless of race or class make more of themselves then they ever could elsewhere.

Paulo will likely never be as rich or as famous as the president but he is no less an American success story for it.

Do you know of an American success story that you’d like me to share with my readers and possibly include in a future book on the subject? Drop me a line and if I can get to where you are I’d be delighted to learn it and tell it.

Update: Paulo rather than Paolo should have stuck with my first instict


My own American success story depends on the willingness of you dear reader to like what you see here and support it, so if you like what you’ve seen here and want to support independent journalism please consider hitting DaTipJar to help me secure a weekly paycheck.




Please consider subscribing, Not only does that get you my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it on a weekly basis but if you subscribe at any level I will send you an autographed copy of my new book from Imholt Press: Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer


Choose a Subscription level



Remember your subscription pay our Magnificent Seven writers each month

RH (NG36B) (Saturday Afternoons): The Bishop’s Junk Mail
Zilla of the Resistance (Friday Evenings): #WarOnStatues: Catholic School Removes Jesus and Mary
Jerry Wilson (Thursday Evenings) Of Woody Woodpecker and Natural Disasters
JD Rucker (Thursday afternoons and Sunday Evenings) Letting DACA lapse would be the President’s best move so far
Fausta Wertz (Wednesday and Friday Afternoons) A Call or sanity in the Wake of Harvey
Juliette Akinyi Ochineg (Baldilocks) (Tuesday and Saturday evenings): Stinking Facts
Chris Harper (Tuesday afternoons): A Guide to “Offensive” Statues
Pat Austin: (Monday Afternoons) Report from Louisiana: Hurricane Harvey, the Cajun Navy and Biblical Floods
John (Marathon Pundit) Rubbery: (Sunday Afternoons): Chicago’s ruling class thrives amid city’s decline

Your subscriptions and tip jar hits pay them each month

And Don’t miss our Part Time Riders either
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Jon Fournier: (3rd Wednesday Afternoon each month) Why do the media insist on distorting the political spectrum?
Michigan Mick: (1st & 3rd Monday Evenings each month) Red Century story makes me see red
Tech Knight (2nd Wednesday Each Month) President Trump Six Months in