Immigration: What it means to me.
My father emigrated (legally) from Italy in 1906 at 16 years of age. He had a sixth grade education, a good work ethic, health, good common sense, and a desire to become an American. He married my Mother (a first generation Italian) and raised four boys and one girl. There were three things he required of his children; education, hard, honest work, and to be a good American Citizen.
As an immigrant family, speaking English was first and foremost in our education and our communications. My Father learned how to speak English from his wife and from his children. There was no question that he learn to speak the language, but the desire on his part was enlightening. He spoke his English at work and at home, but when he was visiting his Italian-American friends, they resorted to the “old country” Italian language.
We never had the local, county, state or federal government give us anything…nothing except the opportunity to earn whatever we needed. The five children received an excellent grade and high school education, and my Mother would never hear of us missing classes unless we were sick in bed.
With the exception of my Sister, all four of my Father’s boys served our country in the armed forces. All of us, including my Sister went on to receive college educations with many degrees (which we all presented to our Father upon graduation). None of us went to jail, divorced, or went on “welfare”.
Am I bragging about our first generation immigrant family? No, indeed. It was commonplace at that time and it was expected. What has happened between that time and today is a mystery to me and the rest of my family. Work was expected, going to school and learning every day was expected, working (hard and ethically) was expected, getting married once was expected, raising a god fearing and patriotic family was expected, staying out of jail was expected, and none of us ever heard of the word “victim” as it might have applied to any of us.
There are hundreds of thousands stories like this one, but I just wanted to make two points: education and hard work are still the answers to the “victims” cry that America is unfair, doesn’t care about the poor, and favors those us who have made the American Dream come true. I for one, have had enough of the “victims’ plight”, and suggest that they give up that cry, get educated, go to work, and thank God they are living in the greatest country in the world.
(The following is a letter written to Maryland Gov. Martin O’ Malley. A copy was sent to this paper for publication.)
I met you at an Ocean Pines Democratic campaign meeting last fall and decided to vote for you because I was impressed with your sincere devotion to Maryland and its communities. I recently read the letter from Doug Trimper about the likely loss of the Trimper Rides in Ocean City, and am attaching a few articles from local papers that present the details. I am writing to urge you to do all in your power to develop priority legislation to save Ocean City, and other attractive aspects of Maryland, before it is too late. Some of my rationale for the urgency of this matter is presented in the following Letter to the Editor, which I will be sending to a number of news media in order to garner more public recognition and support for the need to immediately stand up for the general public good in the beautiful State of Maryland.
The letter to you by Doug Trimper, Vice President of Trimper Rides in Ocean City, has prompted me to write down my continuing concerns about the ways in which improper taxation, and non-recognition of the appropriate roles of government, are pointing to the eventual destruction of Maryland’s most attractive assets. Effectively, the high taxation of entrepreneurial property that provides the community with important social and recreational advantages is essentially a subsidy for the small community of builders who will reap large short-term profits at the expense of the welfare of the general population. Such a subsidy is certainly not the proper function of governments that are elected to serve all citizens and preserve our beautiful vacation community. I ask urgent action to provide the Trimper family with enough subsidy, or at least relief from all of these taxes, to prevent them from tearing apart their valuable, long-term, contribution to Ocean City. Their tax contribution, certainly the majority of it, should better be spread out among the many more resident owners who benefit from a community whose property values continue to increase; otherwise, their properties will surely devalue as time goes by. And I ask a follow-up of appropriate consideration of legislation and other means to prevent further destruction of the recreational attractions of one of the world’s greatest vacation and living areas, and our other Maryland attractions.
We have already seen the destruction of the charming Shantytown Village, where we enjoyed taking our children to see the shops and ride boats. We now see only overbuilt and unattractive condominiums blocking the view as we cross the bridge into Ocean City. We have enjoyed the Trimper rides with some of our grandchildren and want them retained to enjoy with our other grandchildren. We can not blame the builders; it is their function to take any opportunities to build and keep their workers employed. However, it is the function of our representative government to limit in the interest of us all where these builders obtain properties that will not reduce the value and beauty of our communities. I have worked a fraction of my career in government and know that legitimate private entrepreneurs understand the government roles in providing fair regulation to them and their competitors. If we expect the Trimper family to pay tax on their property as if it should be available for condominiums, we are effectively subsidizing these condominiums. Eventually, we will find all or most of Ocean City’s attractions to be gone, with the value of these properties decreased from overbuilding, and then reach the state of depression of Ocean City some decades ago. This time, Ocean City might never recover again. Then, we will see how the Ocean City tax structure will collapse.
The logical progression of this type of taxation, and neglect of the social, recreational, cultural, and athletic needs of our communities, will lead to the ultimate turning of Ocean City into a vast complex of mostly empty buildings that will no longer attract vacationers and businesses from throughout Maryland and the nation.
Thank you for your service.
Allen Brodsky, Sc.D.
(Born Marylander; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University)
This is Mr. Bill, who has worked for the Fresh Pride Food Store in Ocean Pines for seven years. We at Fresh Pride, the manager and other employees have worked together in respect to helping each other and our customers. We worked to have a fair, friendly and competitive market place for our customers who could respect, enjoy and come back to our store to shop. I believe we at Ocean Pines have served our customers well.
On March 13, 2007, I received a letter from the President of Camellia Food Stores, Inc. It was a letter of appreciation for my loyal and dedicated service at Fresh Pride and it thanked me for choosing to grow with Camellia Food Stores. Apparently he spoke with a forked tongue because on May 11, 2007 I received a letter telling me I was fired for being sick. I had a life-threatening problem with my heart, which needed fixing immediately so I was fired. Over the years, I have worked at a number of places none of which fired an employee for being sick.
It’s good to have a book of rules to be guided by, however, if you can’t use those rules with common sense and compassion it would be better to throw the book of rules out. To my friends and customers at Ocean Pines Fresh Pride, you won’t see Mr. Bill because I was fired for being sick. Fired by the top brass of Camellia Food Stores, Inc. that is.
Thanks For Donations
On Sunday, May 20, 2007 the Worcester County Arts Council welcomed members and friends to enjoy the afternoon at the 30th Anniversary Annual Meeting. This entertaining event was held at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club Restaurant. Music Entertainment was provided by Pam Miller Trio.
Over $1,400 was raised through the live auction conducted by Billy Burke (ReAuction). All proceeds are to go towards the various art programs of the Arts Council.
The Worcester County Art’s Council would like to thank all of our sponsors for the donations to the Live Auction.
Ocean Pines Players, O.C. Jamboree, ReAuction Services, Sassafras Station, Fitzpatrick Design Studio, Lower Shore YMCA, Marjorie Hagood, Mancini’s Restaurant, Mac’s Catering, Gold Crafts, J.J. Fish Studio, Boardwalk Hotel Group & Bay Shore Development Corp., The Treasure Chest, Sue’s Grooming, Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Barrett Chevrolet, Kirk Burbage (Merry Sherwood), Just Like Mama’s Restaurant, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Cody’s Christmas Shoppe, Candy Kitchen, Robert J. Davis, M.D, Susan Beverly, Stephanie and Billy Burke, Jim Connolly, Bill de Coligny, Charlie and Carol Dorman, Don Klein, Jim Falcon, M. Hamilton McKay, Tom Range, Charlie and Sharon Sorrentino, Patricia Young and Raymond Bert.
Worcester County Arts Council