Saturday, September 11, 2010

How To Be A Good Republican

"1) You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault. 2) You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own. 3) You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time." Ann Richards (Governor of Texas 1991-95)

I was going to blog about social security four weeks ago on the 75th anniversary of FDR's signing of the social security act, but today is just as significant for me because:

it was fifty-one years ago today that I applied for my social security card. This card is not my original, though I do have it, too. This is the one I received after I changed my name back to Lynam.

I honestly remember that Friday walking up the steps of the Corning Post Office and asking Postmaster Forrest McGregor for a social security card application. It was a really big deal to me. Back then you didn't get your Social Security number until you began working which for most teens was around age 16. I didn't have a job lined up, but I had hopes, therefore I wanted my card before my birthday in six weeks - just in case. It was another eighteen months before I needed it.

When I began my work career my wages were $1.00 an hour. The social security rate was 3% which meant $1.20 was taken out of my check - less than federal and state withholding. It didn't seem like much at the time. How that changed over the years before I retired!

There was only one year between 1961 and 2008 that I did not have reported social security income and that was 1963 - the one year I got to be a stay-at-home mom.

Two days before applying for my SS card, we had our school pictures taken. That's me my junior year of high school, age 15 yrs, 9 mos, 22 days the day the picture was taken. The hair style hasn't changed much, but the glasses have. The blouse was beige. I have never strayed too far from my color palette!

Saturday we went to Omaha so Grandpa Ridnour could get a new suit to wear to Glen & Mary Lou's wedding in two weeks. I got a new tweed skirt and a, what else?, olive green ban-lon sweater.

My grandchildren wouldn't experience the significance* of applying for their own social security numbers - their parents did that for them when they were babies. I wonder if SS benefits will still be a part of their lives when they are ready to retire? I hope so.

(* My parents did not think I needed my social security number until I actually got a job, so going in and applying for it on my own was a bit of rebelliousness on my part.)

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