The American Dream

My father loved Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, and the American Dream. Crossing the Atlantic in the early 1950’s from Denmark to North Carolina, he soon wrote to his sweetheart back home to come over to God’s own country and get married. A year later I was born. The American Dream took hold.

But not so fast. My mother didn’t like it. She missed the old country. And they went back. There, I grew up with American cars, 50’s and 60’s style. I listened to Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, and the American Dream. And I knew. I was American.

The promise of a better place. Where dreams do come true. I was ready. Ready to make the crossing with husband and kids in tow. Same year as my parents, who also made the crossing, once again. My father naturalized, quickly, to become American, picking up, where he had left off. And we both voted for Ronald Reagan.

The American Dream was there to be had.

Always a devoted conservative, my father voted republican. Since Reagan, I have voted democratic. And the American Dream? He believed he knew it, lived it, and could tell about it. Blood, bones, and flesh, he fought the good fight: Tomorrow will be the day where the American Dream will come true.

I was lucky. I went to school to learn about the American Dream. College degree and all. My kids went to school and got their degrees. Are we living the American Dream? Or are we merely living? Figuring it out, finding a way, planning a life?

The dreaming is over. It’s time for real knowledge, for real support, for real living.

 

 

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