Richard Diem

          When I look back on all of my working days, the word “service” jumps out at me.  Service more or less, recognized or not, I was always doing things for others in some capacity.  Even back when I was an eight or nine year old going with the big kids as a tag-a-long to meet the Daily News newspaper trucks on Queens Boulevard, taking newspapers to sell in the many bars on the Boulevard.  When a little older, I became a newspaper delivery boy, serving over 100 customers a day.  I also worked in two different drug stores on 43rd Avenue, Whelan’s and Worth’s, making deliveries, waiting on customers, stocking shelves, and any other task asked of me.  During high school, I worked at both Woolworth’s and McCrory’s on Greenpoint Avenue.

 

          Surely it was service to our country when, just past 17, I enlisted in the Marine Corps.  I served three years in active duty, and then five more in the Reserves.   After the Service, I had several different jobs until I settled down as the franchised manager of a newspaper home delivery service.  I loved that business, working with young boys and girls, and of course, I was once again not only giving service but I was teaching service and the rewards and value of it to many boys and girls.

 

          I stayed too long in that business and in time, it became a thing of the past.  Caught in changing times, delivering papers for boys and girls came to an end.  I was without a job at the age of fifty.  Then, on one particular day, my wife saw that there were tests being given at the Post Office.  So I went down to take the test, and scored well enough to be hired.  For the next fifteen years, I worked there as a mail carrier. Once again, service.

 

          On retirement, I was fortunate to discover what could be called a calling to a truly pure form of service that I have thoroughly enjoyed for the last eighteen years.  I have served my Catholic Church parish as a minister to the homebound.   At the same time, I took a job as a caregiver and was trained to help take care of men and woman who suffer with Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases.   I also worked privately through word of mouth recommendation.  I have been blessed and privileged to bring a little sunshine into the lives of many men and women through these last eighteen years.