The summer month of July has interesting celebrations. The World Almanac reports July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, National Hot Dog Month and Women’s Motorcycle Month.
For members of the Catholic faith, the Feast of Saint Ignatius is on Thursday, July 31. However, the most celebrated day in July for most people in the United States is the Fourth of July and this year, Independence Day landed on a Friday.
Moving from dependence or codependence to independence is a major step toward maturity. But mature and intelligent adults also know that life is easier and more enjoyable when people cooperate. They know that moving from independence to interdependence demonstrates the greatest maturity of all. Maya Angelou said, “Nobody but nobody can make it out here alone.”
At some point in life, most adults make that first major step from being dependent or codependent to being independent and go out into the world to fend for themselves.
In honor of what it means to be independent, “Asked On the Line” conducted brief informal interviews with 18 men on the mainline and asked: “What was the first job that you ever had and how old were you? At what age did you leave home and what type of job did you have when you left?”
Many of the men in blue left home at a very young age.
Pedro Espinal’s first job was delivering groceries. “I was only 12 years old,” said Espinal. “I did that until I was 18 and then I enlisted in the Navy. I left home to go serve in the U.S. Navy.”
“I left home when I was 17 and enlisted with the United States Marine Corps”
Rudy Walker got his first job when he was 15. “I worked the fish counter at an Asian food market,” said Walker. “I left my parent’s home the following year when I was 16 while still working there.”
Quinton Walker said, “I was 18 years old when I got my first job as a security guard. When I was 19, I left home and quit my job to enlist in the Navy.”
Stan Baer and Kevin Valvardi were both just 9 years old when they started their first jobs. Both of them were paperboys. “I left home when I was 17 and enlisted with the United States Marine Corps,” said Baer. “I left home when I was 18 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy,” said Valvardi.
Danny Ho’s first job was in electronics assembly. “I was 19 years old when I started working and I left home the following year,” said Ho.
Rafael Cuevas was 18 when he got his first job in construction. “I left home that same year while I was working in construction,” said Cuevas.
Jose Luis Flores was 19 when he got his first job. “I was a busboy at Sizzler’s,” said Flores. “I did not live with my parents. I and all of my siblings were sharing a home until I was 20 years old before I left to live on my own.”
Tim Goins was 15 when he got his first job laying television cable. He made enough money to leave home that same year.
Forrest Jones was 17 when he got his first job working in a city recreation department. “I left home when I was 27 while I was working in a pharmacy,” said Jones.
Jesus Flores was 15 when he got his first job working at Kmart. “I got my first job working part-time as a stock boy,” said Flores. “I left home when I was 18 and I was working at Domino’s Pizza.”
Terrell Allen was 12 years old when he got his first job mowing lawns in his neighborhood. “I left home when I was 17. I was working for the Foot Locker at the mall.”
Richard Latham got his first job as a nursing assistant when he was 18. He had left his parent’s home the year before when he was 17 and unemployed.
Bo Segsavang was 13 when he got his first job delivering newspapers. When he decided to leave his parent’s home, he was 16 and he was unemployed.
Paul Chen was 19 when he got his first paycheck in graduate school. In China, graduate students got paid to be in school. “They got rid of academic pay in China in 2013. When I was 21 and attending UCLA, I got paid to assist teaching assistants as a ‘Reader,’” said Chen. Chen left his parent’s home to come to the United States and attend college.
Miguel Saldana got his first job at a printing shop when he was 14. He would later leave his parent’s’ home when he was 21 while working at a shoe store.
Antoine Brown never had a job before his incarceration. “I never had no job on the streets. I left home when I was 15 ’cause I came to the prison,” said Brown.
James Mays was only 12 when he started working in construction. He left his parents’ home the following year while still working in construction.