Letter To The Editor: Father


To The Editor:
I write this letter in honor of my father, Wilbert Nickoless, who loved me, his first son.
He was brought up in Virginia and worked from sun up to sundown plowing lands with two mules. He said to me more than once that he was hung twice because they wanted him to work more and he refused. The hanging were to scare him. Pop left Virginia one night with my mother, Alice, carrying me in her stomach plus my two sisters, Alice and Mary and came to Brooklyn, New York. I was born John Nickoless on December 27, 1928 at Long Island College Hospital.
I was told that I got lost at 5 years old in Brooklyn and when my father came to get me, I was in jail with a big red apple. From then on, I kept hearing from my father, keep out of trouble. Stay out of jail! I remember living in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on Moore Street for many years.
My pop taught me to work- to find something to do to make money. Now adays we call it a hustle.
He built me a shoe-shine box and painted it, and I got around making money that way. He liked to build things to make money.
We sold wood on some weekends for he built a large wagon and painted it. Pop worked for Jefferson Salt Co. for years and walk to work everyday about 2 miles and never missing a day. My first point: He taught me to work, and always look for work, taught me to love and respect all people, say yes sir and yes ma’am to anyone older than me!
Heard this at least one a week- treat people as you wish to be treated and your days will be lengthy.
Whatever you do, do it good. Do your best- if you’ve got to wash the dishes, wash them good. If you’ve got sweep the floors, sweep it good.
The salt company went out of business and my father went to work for the W.P.A. (Work Projects Administration) started by President Roosevelt and we made it, but when he got called by The Longshore Man Union, we were doing very good. Pop loved that work and the pay was very good.
The Teamster Union gangs that load ships in New York and Brooklyn piers were mix at war times.
My father passed at 81 years old, but took care of the 10 children he produced. Six of us are still here. Children may not inherit their parent’s talent, but they absorb their values. Pop kept thing neat and painted, and people who know me can say that some of his talent and values have rubbed off on me.
Average American,
John T. Nickoless
Bennettsville, SC

Print Friendly, PDF & Email