And maybe we’ll take on some breaking news as it breaks if I think of it.
It all starts at 3 PM EST. You can watch the livestream here.
Hope you like it.
BTW if you want to know who Paulo is and see the video I shot today of him it’s here
Here is the same house two years ago when he started
FYI The purpose of the podcast is to increase traffic and to raise an extra $180 a month for some bills so if you like what you see, like the video, subscribe to the Youtube channel and if you really like it, consider hitting DaTipJar to get us to that $180 this month. Of course if you want to buy dafamily a Wizard of Oz Pinball machine from Jersey Jack Pinball company I won’t say no.
Yesterday I had to get up early to take my son who is going to be on 11 straight days at Market Basket to work for 6:30 so I spun down to church for the 7 AM mass where I found out that that mass and the 8 AM mass would be the last in Fitchburg for a while (so I stayed for both) and swung by Market Basket.
I didn’t need milk so I didn’t go in that aisle but they had very little bottled water and a bit of toilet paper, the shelves were not full but you could get it. I bought a two liter bottle of diet Sunkist soda, a pair of cooked chicken breasts and a package of Hershey chocolates.
I really don’t understand the hoarding of Milk, Water and Toilet Paper
Four important facts
To the best of my knowledge Cows are still giving milk and there is no prospect of the Corona/Wuhan virus spreading to cows and stopping them from doing so. There is no prospect of the country’s milk supply to disappear.
Two thousand years ago the Romans were big on aqueducts that brought fresh flowing water to the cities. Today we not only have that capability in terms of indoor plumbing as standard equipment in homes and apartments, but we have waste water treatment plants to make sure said water is safe. To my knowledge the Corona/Wuhan virus has not affected either the water supplies or the faucets in peoples houses.
Unless there is a medical development I’m unaware of there is no evidence that the Corona / Wuhan virus has affected trees or saw blades or papermills. Furthermore thanks to industry tree farming there is an abundant supply of trees to make sure that we can make all the toilet paper we want.
Gas prices are dropping like a rock and Truckers continue to be on the road so the ability to transport milk, bottled water and toilet has not been impeded in the least.
These are all reasons not to hoard Milk, Water or Toilet Paper but if they are not enough to stop you from panic let me add one more fact.
I was able to buy chocolate today.
Now chocolate is a wonderful thing but when it comes down to it, it’s not a necessity. For most of human history chocolate was not available and in the last two thousand years I suspect more human have spent their lives without chocolate than with.
Yet the chocolate supply remains unimpeaded.
When I see supermarkets without chocolate and other items that are not vital THEN I’ll start thinking, hey maybe I should be worried.
But as long as I see Chocolate bunnies near the checkout and pastries galore in the Market Basket bakery I think I’ll decline to worry about where my next roll of toilet paper is coming from…and you should too.
Yesterday Mike Romano the owner of the last butcher shop in Fitchburg that has been run by his family for 100 years died after a short but violent bout with cancer at the age of 69.
Mike was in the shop every day. Six days a week open and Monday’s doing his bookkeeping except for the week of Christmas, Thanksgiving or New Years when he would close on the holiday and open on Monday to make up for it. He was a fixture of the city. For decades when you walked into Romano’s Market you saw Mike fist with his father and uncle and then later with his sons. He was of the old school, he worked hard, did his job well, didn’t whine, didn’t complain and took care of customers.
I first wrote about Mike after seeing a post at Instapundit comparing sausage making and laws. His piece prompted this email which was the 1st time I was mentioned at Instapundit:
UPDATE: How bad have things gotten? Bad enough that when you compare journalism to sausage-making, people write in to defend sausage-makers! Reader Peter Ingemi writes:
I live 7 doors down from a butcher shop that hasbeen in the neighborhood and one particular family for 100 years. A couple of months ago when I walked in and was making my order I noticed Mike (the butcher) cutting and cubing pork. He seemed to be cutting an awful lot of it, I didn’t see a special on the board so I asked about it.
He reminded me it was Wednesday and that is the day he made all of the different sausages he makes (about a half dozen types not counting chicken and kielbasa) I stood there and watched him making sausages and realized that the old saying about Sausages no matter how true it might be for a plant or maybe another butcher shop it wasn’t true at Romano’s. (I can’t speak for other local butchers but I would bet good money that this is true for other family butcher shops too.)
I think Mike and the other local butchers deserve a caveat.
Shortly afterwards Mike let me film him making sausage it turned into an in depth look at an old fashioned neighborhood family business
There is no part 7 or if there is I don’t know what happened to it, here is part 8
I filmed there several other times. like the day before Thanksgiving one year
Kaite is only there occasionally these days, Michelle is now 29 and still works there part time in fact she cut the steak I bought there Wednesday. Harold has been dead for a few years. Mike’s Son Josh the teacher is now the Principal of school he was at and left the service as a Major. His other son Todd from the videos is still in sales but is regularly at the shop
I have no idea what the future of the Butcher shop will be as I can’t imagine going anywhere else after almost three decades of walking down the street for my meats but even if it continues it’s going to be an odd thing walking in there and not seeing Mike anymore but I’m glad that I had the chance to shoot these videos and others so I and others can remember him by.
Mike was a good man, and if he treated his other customers half as good as he treated me and mine over the years he will be sorely missed as a person can be.
Update: Corrected his age, Mike was 69 would have been 70 this year. I should mention that if you walked into Romano’s over the last few years, particularly during the holiday season or the summer months you were very likely to be waited on by one of Mike’s many grandchildren which makes seven generations of Romano’s at this business.
Here is his Obit from the Sentinel & Enterprise this jumped out at me:
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Mike’s name to the Lunenburg Fire and Rescue, 655 Mass Avenue, Lunenburg, MA 01462 or Fitchburg Fire Fighters Relief Fund, 33 North Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420. or may be left at the funeral home.
The firestations would always come down for a big order on a regular basis
thought I’d include one more video of his sons talking during the pink slime business:
A while back I had an occasional series on youtube called American Success Stories when I talked to and interview the people who had worked and succeeded in America. One of those I talked to was Paulo from Brazil
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.
Unfortunately I kept missing Paulo after the house was completed but this weekend I ran into him as he was doing some touch up maintenance and he had a few minutes to spare to speak with me
The house has been rented but Paulo has not slowed down one bit expect to take the time to cut his beard off. He continues to work hard and notes that there is plenty of work out there but a lot of the younger people don’t want a job, they just want the money without the work that comes with it.
Paulo is now in his early 30’s and it’s very likely that by the time he is 40 and thanks to his hard work he will be living a whole lot more comfortably than a lot of the people who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in college loans for useless degrees in cultural studies.
He will have real property and real skills to show for his investment of time and money. He is an object lesson for any teenager thinking of what to do with his future.
FYI if you want to see the before videos of the house, here they are
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
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