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.