When I was 19 I legally immigrated to the USA. I left my country on Mother’s day 1963. Circumstances were such that I for a short time became homeless but then found a job at a Mission in East Los Angeles. I was able to live in one of their staff houses, and went 3 hours to school each night. I had very little money but felt abundant.
Mother’s Day 1964 arrived and I needed to call my Mom in Germany. I had a little paper sack of quarters for $12. It was a LOT of money for me. I walked up 2 streets to a phone booth. It was a pretty hot day.
Anyway I dialed the operator: ‘How may I help you?’
I said I like to call my Mom in Germany.
She said: ‘$ 12 for the first 3 minutes.’
I fed the phone all the quarters I had. As soon as that happened I heard the phone ring. It was my Mom who picked up. She was extremely excited to hear my voice for the first time in a year. We talked fast and excitedly.
After a while she said: ‘Child this must be very expensive?’
I had forgotten time and space. We talked on and on.
The call ended and all my quarters tumbled out again. I was stunned.
We had talked for 45 minutes and this kind operator gave us such an amazing present.
It was only 1 of the many kindnesses I have experienced in this wonderful country.
I never asked for anything. But because I worked and studied hard, people seeing it supported my efforts.
I know the American dream is true if one wants to honestly work their way up.