Robert farrow
by on April 19, 2020

by Robert Farrow


Why does the sun shine? Why is the sky blue? How does a record player work? Why? My father, a hard working blue collar man who seemed to have worked every blue collar job imaginable, had no idea how to answer these questions. I bet I drove my father nuts with all these questions. But, as he told me several times when I grew older, he wanted me to be better then him. So my father bought for me the book, “Tell Me Why” Does anyone remember that book, pre- internet children? It was a big book full of hundreds of answers that children ask.

In some ways, I feel sorry for today's generation. Kids growing up in the 70's did not have the amazing toys kids today have. But we made our own fun, and were much more adventurous. Before seatbelt laws I remember sitting in the back of my fathers mail jeep where there were no seats, and joyfully bouncing up and down with each bump. Our playset was made of metal, We jumped trash cans, made homemade rockets. We were expected to hurt ourselves, and thus learned that it was not a big deal, and grew from that. I made my own toys rather then wait for Christmas every year. I learned that you had to bust your ass if you wanted to make something of yourself. I learned to figure things out myself. That is the way my father wanted me to be. My father was a Democrat back when the Democrats really were the party of the working class. He held himself responsible for where he was in life and did not blame others. He believed in family, country, and order. I respected the Democrats back then. I was one then, but not now. Do you wonder why?

I like the why. The why can be amazing. The why can be a bitch, but it is always important. It is usually hard to understand, but you only really understand things only after you understand the why. For example, you never really understand why a boat full of metal beams float until you understand displacement. I loved stuff like that, as it opens up new worlds and new ways of looking at things. I expected everyone else to love the why too, but they did not. In fact, the older I get, the less people seem to like the why.

I grew up in Baltimore city and was in many fights. That is okay, as losing a few fights made me stronger. I worked out, trained in martial arts, tournament fought, and then confronted my bullies. Not one would fight me. Never got into a fight again. My family life growing up was not always great. But others had it worse and I did not use it as an excuse. I paid rent at home. Often worked 2 jobs to make ends meet. I worked while I went to school and used credit cards to finish college. I rented when the housing market was crazy and saved up so I was in a position to buy a house after the market correction. I waited to marry until a found a girl who shared my values and then had kids. My house is nice and my family is great. Yet I am told I have white privilege. Where? Please show it to me. Why are you attacking me for making good decisions? And why does seeing everything through a racial lens and reverse discriminating make racism less likely to occur?

Years ago my father drove by the area in Baltimore city where he grew up. Its near the reservoir past the zoo. There are some beautiful houses there, yet he did not want to get out of the car. Why? I remember listening to 2 people at different times discuss the increase of crime in Baltimore city. I asked them WHY did crime increase? Funny, though the two people were as different as different can be, the answer was almost the same. The liberal blamed whites. The other blamed blacks. Neither is right. Funny how one racist comment is acceptable and the other one is not. Why? That why can be a bitch sometimes.

My father taught me that family mattered. When I became older and I had some Jewish and Asian friends I saw the real meaning of a strong family. Every family was nuclear and the extended family was just as important. It's odd that most of the more affluent cultures also have the strongest extended family structure. I wonder why? Liberals don't seem to think a traditional family is important or something to emulate. So how does destroying the nuclear family or having kids out of wedlock help the kid? Isn't kids the reason why we created the institution of marriage in the first place.

Politics has become more bumper sticker slogans and less platforms that require thought. Hope and Change? Change as in what? What exactly are we changing? No one asked that. The newspaper is becoming thinner as are the details in a TV news program. And there is less and less why. My father has since passed. But before he died, a blue collar proud union worker voted Republican for the first time in his life voted Republican. And myself, a lover of the written word who used to read the Baltimore Sun from front to back when he was young, has leaned to hate journalism. Why?

Posted in: Family & Home
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