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A Matured Story of Love and Emotion

On January 24, 1965, I reached the mature age of nineteen years and left Michigan State University in a snowstorm. It had snowed more than a foot and the drive south to Baroda took over six hours. I have reflected on that day upon more than one occasion in my life, and still marvel athow seemingly innocuous events canhave such far-reaching repercussions.
I had left school after one semester. It was not that I didn't like engineering. I had worked on cars with my uncle since I was fifteen, and I wanted to be an engineer morethan I wanted anything else in the world. I had a singularly difficult problem with continuing my education. My father had died when I was ten, and he left few assets. Mom's salary as a secretary didn't provide all of the toys my friends owned, but had been sufficient to see us through my high school years. I had not been fortunate enough, or smart enough, to win a scholarship, and Mom had been able to save only enough for the first semester's tuition and expenses. I didn't want a student loan, so I decided to come home, get a job, and try again next year.
I soon found that temporary employment in an inflationary economy was only a dream. I appliedat all the factories in Benton Harbor, but as soon as I mentioned I was going back to school in the fall, the interviewer would relax and switch to idle chat. I tried finding farm work,but most of that was done by migrant labor from the South. In February, I took my draft physical, and the doctors discovered the twisted left leg that remained as a reminder of a childhood accident. They sent me home with a 4-F status and the embarrassment of explaining it to my high school buddies. I watched them board the bus for basic training, and soon was nearly the only guy my age left in town. I was also still without a job. I had six months to earn about three thousand dollars, or I would have to let another year go by.
I found a two day job moving boxes of peaches at the local Co-op, but that wasn't going to do...

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