Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I enjoyed your column (Dennis Wyatt: “Building a future for high school students while addressing housing needs”, Jan. 20).
My father brought our little family from Minnesota to California during WWII. When we came to California, my father and my uncle built our little house in the manner of building a barn. It is still standing and occupied, although it has been modernized and enlarged. Earlier, he sold this house to my husband and I, by then a wreck as had been a rental for years. Our little family moved in and worked very hard to fix it up so we could sell it and buy our first home. My husband was a vet who had served for 6 years, 1 year in Korea where he was wounded. We were married and moved to San Diego where he finished his 6 years enlistment. Before he left the Marines Corps, he earned his high school diploma. He then went to work and also went to university. When he graduated, we had two children and one on the way. We were able to sell this home and buy another new one with the help of the GI Bill.
Our seconnd (and very independent daughter) came in to speak to us one day and said basically that she wanted to marry this young man who lived hours north of us; she had met him when visiting my parents who had retired in redwood country. We had never even heard of him. This marriage was to occur soon (and no, it turned out she was not pregnant) or she was going to just run away with him. Being a very strong-willed young woman, I knew she meant it. Her fiancée then came down to meet us, a very handsome and tall young mountain man (we lived in the Bay Area) and very polite. He was a bit older than our daughter. He explained that he would always love her and care for her but he was intent on marrying her soon as they lived so far apart.
Well, we ended up letting her get married; they were as poor as could be but he always worked and always took care of her and their children. Eventually, he started his own business, without ever asking us for so much as a penny. It turns out he had developed this interest in high school and later attended a trade school in Arizona. They bought a huge property covered in Ponderosa pines and with a great view; built a small house which they later enlarged. She had the horses she had always wanted and the dogs. They asked for nothing but the education, they worked as hard as they could; they had a vision and he had learned what he needed to learn to do this, partially from a trade school and partially from his parents who were also very independent hard-working people. My daughter who never finished her senior year in high school, does the payroll, taxes, etc. for the business. They have been very successful in their work and their marriage and family.
The point of this is: Bring trade back into the schools. If the government is going to pay for college tuition, also pay for trade schools. This couple now has a large family and a large home by adding to the original one. They travel, they work hard and have earned every cent and deserve every cent. They are still very much in love and a joy to our family.
My husband and I are both university graduates but we need plumbers, electricians, automobile mechanics, along with doctors, dentists, businesswomen and men. We all need each other and everyone does not have to go to college. As a society we need the trades, the professions and everything in between. Every work is valuable and should be respected. This is something our society seems to be forgetting.