As a teenager in the mid-1950s, I followed behind a mule plowing our 4-acre “cotton farm” located near a highway. Often I rested on the plow handle as I watched passing cars and wondered: Where is my fair share?
I wanted to drop out of school, but Mom wouldn’t allow that. She nor any of her seven siblings had gone past the fourth grade, so she understood. I also knew if she didn’t feed me I might starve, so I finished high school. I was in the Air Force two days after I graduated.
Three years later I was still waiting for my fair share. Then an officer in my unit looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Airman Clark, get your young (you know what) to the base education center and get your college degree.”
After years of night school and correspondence courses I got that degree. Then in 1963 I was accepted into the last class of Air Force Officer Candidate School. I retired at the same military grade as my military “mother,” then completed another rewarding career. Major Constance Ziemba, a nurse at Keesler AFB, pointed to that fair share waiting for me.
A fair share is not given from government or anyone who promises it. It begins from “mothers” who guide young people to understand visible goals of aspiration. A fair share waits for you; it’s not given to you while you wait.
God bless America, and guiding “mothers.”