A Glimpse into the Past - 1983

A Glimpse into the Past - 1983
Newspaper clipping with photo of Detlev painting
Carlsbad Journal: Saturday, July 2, 1983

I do remember our team painting Valley Jr High School, I did not remember that we were published in the local newspaper. So when my mother handed me some clippings yesterday, low and behold, you could not mistake surprise across my face.

This experience was a lot of fun and many of us felt a bit more like grown-ups having a chance to “go to work” and earn some money —a whopping $3.35/hr— while gaining life experience and developing a skill. In this case, we’d paint the school’s external walls in a Spanish brown while the overhang over each classroom entrance was painted in a orange/red tint. Our work looked so good and we were pround of our accomplishment!

Then came the painters’ union, the best I can recall from several decades ago, who complained that the Carlsbad School District was obligated to hire them for this project. While I cannot remember why a union could force anyone to do business with them, I do recall that the union ended up painting over our beautiful work! Especially the red awning was changed to an ugly brown … { SIGH … FACEPALM }

In retrospect, I understand union members have bills to pay, while we as kids don’t. At the same time, this experience allowed us to grow up a bit, learn and have fun while doing it and have a small reward. There’s time for Dungeons & Dragons and boogie boarding and then there’s a chance to start exploring life and learn a bit, take on a little responsibility and explore more meaningful and constructive outlets for our energies. This is invaluable discovery of experience!

I remember feeling like our work was all for nothing … is that what you want to teach kids?! In other words, if you want to see more teen pregnancies, mass shootings, drug use and other aberrant behavior, just repeat the above experience enough times … for not everyone has my inner resilience.

So let’s not do that going into the future, shall we: some business entity snuffing the joy out of living for others.


If in society money is god, then I am afraid the Zombie Apocalypse has already arrived.


PS: Life is not living in one’s head, it’s not about ideologies, so forget capitalism, socialism, communism, … ~ism ad nauseum