I could see Sandy’s ears perk up when I mentioned I was the detention teacher at Lenape High school for 9 years. Sandy, the spry 73 year old patriarch of the clan that we took out fishin this morning, suddenly became interested in the conversation. “You would’ve had me in there every day,” he said, while laughing heartily “In fact, I was one of only 5 people in the history of Nichols College in Webster, Ma. to ever be kicked out of that college. I was expelled 6 weeks into my Sophomore year and fought to get my tuition back.” What happened next could only happen in this country. His father, not mincing words, told him that life is cruel. Now that he failed at the college game he had to work hard for a living. Not just any hard. His dad told him he had to work harder and longer than anybody that was employed with him at whatever job he had. That’s how he would have to make a living if he didn’t get a college degree. His dad was hoping that he would be scared straight in a grueling job and return to college. So, his dad found him a dirty, lousy job at a discount tire place. And he worked harder and longer and better than any other employee, just like his father said to do. But a strange thing happened. Instead of quitting and slinking back to the womb of college, as others had hoped, he BOUGHT the place. Sparta Discount Tire! And for good measure, opened a couple more over the 40 some odd years he owned and managed the business. Wow, suddenly the great whale show and all the fish we caught took a back seat to a story of a man whose success was based on hard work, determination and perseverance. The cornerstone of how this country became great. Only in America!