As I campaign to represent the people of Cumberland County as County Commissioner, I feel it is important to explain how I learned my work ethics and values using them to continuously strive for success in life. I cannot express the importance of persistence better than Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States, in his quote “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
My work ethic, values and appreciation of the value of the dollar were learned during my high school years while living at the Drumm Farm Institute in Independence, Mo., a 360 acre farm where boys from broken homes could go and live until they graduated from high school at that time. While I was there, from 1965-69, the Drumm Farm consisted of 50 boys ages 6-18 years of age.
I was sent to Drumm Farm to live due to a couple events in my early life. When I was 10 years old, my mother and younger brother had sudden tragic deaths, which left my father to raise me as a single parent while still serving in the Army. My father retired from the Army in 1964 but soon after became very ill. He had to be hospitalized for an extended period of time. It was then that I went to the Drumm Farm to live — thanks to the help of the sisters at the elementary school I attended.
At the Drumm Farm, we were 90 percent self-sustaining. We slaughtered our own meat, raised our own vegetables, had dairy cows for milk, gathered eggs from our chickens and cut and baled hay for the livestock. Each boy had his own chores he was responsible for in the morning and evening, before and after school. We were rotated among the different chores to learn all the different aspects of farm life. We also learned domestic skills such as washing, ironing clothes, cooking and setting tables. We were taught all the skills we would need to know to function on our own in society.
I remember receiving a $2-a-month allowance as a high school freshman and $3 a month as a sophomore. This was money we could spend on ourselves (usually treats) when the house parents would take our list and go to the grocery store to buy on a Saturday evening. We did not have cars and had little money so not much dating occurred with the Drumm boys on weekends. My time at Drumm Farm Institute is where my work ethics, values, and respect for others were formed, and I believe I am a better man because of my time there.
Photo: John Czajkowski Candidate for Cumberland County Commissioner (At Large).