The case for more trade ed­u­ca­tion

Ripon Bulletin - - Opinion - Marie Evans Man­teca

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 busi-

ness. 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.

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