Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mr. President - He Built This

Over fifty years ago, my Dad, Don Maisel, built this cleaners. He and my Mom took all their savings and started Cowboy Cleaners. Yes, President Obama, HE BUILT THAT!!!!

When they first decided to join the dry cleaning industry, Mom and Dad were young with three young children. I was in kindergarten. I spent many an afternoon doing my homework in the cleaners. Dad would be at work until 3am getting customers clothes cleaned so he could go back at 6:30 to start the day pressing them. My grandfather, Tom Maisel, was an accountant and once told Dad many years after the cleaners was established that those first years my Dad was too stupid to realize he was bankrupt. My Dad told him "no- I just figured I could do it". HE DID IT BY HIMSELF!!! Thank you very much Mr. President.

We never went on vacation. Dad could not leave the business. I am not complaining. Whenever my Dad had free time - he spent it with us. Heck, we spent so much time with him at work all of us knew the business by the time we were 12. Dad thought we needed to learn the value of a dollar - so all us kids worked here after school and summers. No cushy jobs for us - I was the shirt presser.

I know the happiest day was the day he hired his first employee, Richard Basaldua. Richard stayed working  with Dad until he died. Does that not tell you what kind of man my dad was - his first employee worked for him for over 35 years? HE HELPED OTHERS!!!Thank you very much Mr. President.

When my mom wanted to go back to school, it was Dad who encouraged her.Mom and Dad were married when Mom was 19. She finished her college degree, a masters and legal degree. All before I graduated from 8th grade. All the while Dad worked this cleaners and Mom after school would come and work the counter with the customers and bag the clothes Dad and Richard cleaned and pressed. My Dad would tell us, his daughters, to believe in ourselves and if WE worked hard enough there was nothing we could not achieve. He would point to my mother and say "see she did it". My Dad ( and this was the sixties) taught me how to play football. I mean really play - I could kick,pass and punt as good as any boy my age. Dad never believed a girl could not do anything she wanted. WHO HELPED WHO  Mr. President?

Fifty years later, Cowboy Cleaners is still here. Dad is not. He died in June. I take tremendous offense to the remarks the President made. My Dad worked late nights, weekends, holidays and gave up golf (unlike you Mr.President) for many decades.Dad wanted his family to be better off than he. He never complained. He was happy. He loved what he did. He loved his life and his family. HE BUILT THIS. He did it without any help- Thank you very much Mr.President. He believed you treat your employees fairly. He was a father figure to many of those employees over the years. Many of them sought his advice and he gladly took the time to help them.He gave generously to charity and organizations. HE HELPED OTHERS!! Thank you very much Mr.President.The government did not help him - but did he ever help the government. He paid social security taxes ( businesses match the part an employee pays), sales tax, income tax ( for both himself and the company), the state's margin tax, the dry cleaner remediation tax, medicaid and medicare tax,and unemployment tax for every employee. The company pays gas taxes (which pay for roads),water bills, and energy bills. We have bought hundreds of thousands in equipment which have in turn helped other small companies pay all those taxes ,too. So DO NOT TELL ME -HE DID NOT THIS ON HIS OWN!!! He did - and I have the honor and privilege to carry on his legacy. I have the honor to be his daughter - and I will be damned if I will let some man ( President or not) degrade all that he achieved. I will not sit here and let some man ( President or not) say "HE DID NOT DO THAT ON HIS OWN". Yes, he did. YES, MR PRESIDENT - HE BUILT THIS !!!