Letter: REAL recycling!
I received some of the best education in life from I. Kramer & Sons on Wells street in Greenfield. I lived in the area and used to take old newspapers to their junkyard and was paid usually 1 cent/pound. Sometimes I was lucky and I got 2 cents/pound ... and, on rare occasions!, I got a whopping 3 cents per pound. Imagine getting 3 cents per pound!
I set myself a goal to collect 800 pounds of old papers on Saturdays. As a 10-year-old I had the opportunity to earn big bucks and also get a business education at the same time from the Kramers. At 3 cents per, I got $24.00/day for my labors ... more money in one day than my Dad made in a week before WWII. Mr. & Mrs. Kramer treated us kids like big business people and congratulated us for our work ethic. It became an educational path to future success. In a sense the Kramers became parents to us all ... always there ... never turning their backs to us.
It’s a shame we don’t have those institutions of learning available anymore. We’ve progressed ... so people say ... to a new level where collecting newspapers has a new name called ‘recycling’. The only difference is that children are cut out of the collection process, and adults take all the profits. No more bonding with the Kramers... no more successful stepping stones to the future. Do we really have to wonder why there is no ‘work ethic’ today?
Wherever you are, Mr. & Mrs. Kramer, God bless you for all you did for me.
JAMES P. LAPSERITIS, MSG, USAFR, retired