By Katie Swofford
Charles- For most of my childhood, we were pretty lower-middle-class. Um, but my dad, uh, did lose his job a couple times so we did have a couple of rough years. You know, like, peppered in between. It was tough to go from like, having money and being able to have, like, at least some sense of security you know we weren’t like, well off or anything but we weren’t like, wanting for a lot of things or starving and having to go from that to, you know not being able to pay for school lunches or do a lot of things or, you know, struggling to put food on the table sometimes. You know. It was tough to switch back and forth from that it was like, once you get comfortable, then it kinda feels like it’s all getting taken away.
Katie- And what did your dad do before he lost his job?
Charles- My dad is an electrician, and he works out of the bay area, but there have been times when, um, there’s just no work. You know, and there’s no work coming in through his company so, you know, they can’t- they can’t pay him, you know there’s no work for them to pay him for. So even going down to the union that’s down in San Leandro, you know, sometimes there’s still no work there. You know he’s done work for neighbors, like construction work and there was even a time when I was younger he was sellin’ stuff outta some catalog for a while. I think I was real young when he was doin’ that but I remember him always bringing home stuff from- like leftover stuff that like- I dunno I guess he couldn’t sell or somethin’. But- yeah, he’s always been an electrician. Since, I mean, since my whole life.