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By Mary Civille:
It seemed to take forever to get started. For several months I saw the blank expanse of a huge retaining wall along DeKalb Avenue in Atlanta’s Lake Claire neighborhood from the MARTA. Sometime in 2004 a small sign appeared on the wall. I don’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of it was that someone was going to paint a mural there. The wall got a fresh coat of whitewash that year and the sign returned.
The “facts of life,” according to my father, had nothing to do with the birds and bees, but with dollars and cents. I guess he knew his daughters would figure out the first, but he wanted to be sure we knew “the rule of seven,” compound interest, employment benefits, and insurance costs and benefits. Money was only a means to an end, not the end itself. A child of the Great Depression, he knew what it was to scrimp and go without. While his daughters never knew that way of existence, he did make sure that we were prepared. We were a military family, constantly on the move, but well-grounded in family goals. That’s why in December 1974, when my parents visited me in Puerto Rico, I wasn’t too surprised when we sat down after dinner one evening to talk. They had talked with their attorney and come up with […]