Joe Pace III
My name is, Joe Pace III. I am originally from Birmingham Al, where I migrated from to Chicago at the age of eighteen. I enterd the US Navy one year later, after being employed in two jobs that barely paid my rent and board. My father, Joe Pace II, had worked as a rail road switchman for US Steel, gotten his left leg amputated in an accident while working, making my goal to attend college quite nebulous. My being only fifteen at the time, compelled me to grow up quickly.
I could say I went through what most young black men go through in America. But I won't, because the opportunities I had along the way are ones not experienced by most. And coming from where I came - growing up in the dusty streets of 1950's Birmingham, Alabama - is in itself a giant leap.
After leaving the US Navy, I returned to Chicago and quickly landed a good paying job with a national factory that did contract work for military arm forces. After six month, I was called by the Chicago Transit Authority and offered a job as conductor on the subway system.i worked that job for thirteen months. For a young man of 21 years, the night shift was simply too much to bare. After all, this was the hay day of life and I was, with those hours, missing every bit of the fun. Soon after, I tested,interviewed and was hired by Chicago Northwestern Railroad. I was offered a choice of wo jobs. I could become a brakeman or general clerk. Thinking of my father and his unfortunate accident as a switchman, I chose the general clerk position.
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