It just occurs to me that if today was April 5, 1911, my boy, Joel Natalie Jr, a son of Silician-American and Irish-American parents, would not be celebrating his birthday getting a good education, making plans, overall enjoying his life and looking toward a bright future.
Today would just be another 10 hour work day in his 6 day work week, pouring molds at a foundry, or working the fields getting them ready for planting. He probably would have been working the past six years, since turning 14. Working conditions were brutal, pay was weak. It’s hard to tell if he would ever have the opportunity to break out of the immigrant social class he might have found himself in; certainly options at the time were few.
His world would be amazingly small. Information would be limited to the daily newspaper, if he was fortunate enough to have gone to grammar school and was literate. It might have been a dream to save up for a Model T, which was released three years earlier. Technology such as commercial radio, TV, and of course the internet were still years or decades away.
I just wanted to take a moment and note what a difference four generations makes! Even with all of the negativity and strife in our day, no one can deny that the best time and best place to live is here and now.
We are blessed to have Joel in our lives these past two decades, and know God continues to unfold His amazing plan for him. We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for his rich blessings on our family, our community, and our country.