Daily Prompt: Mentor Me

Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?

I have had 4 mentors in my lifetime. The first was my maternal grandfather that practically raised me. You can read more about him here: https://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/daily-prompt-karma-chameleon/

My 2nd mentor came into my life when I was 20. I had led a fairly sheltered life and was very naïve; I tended to believe that everyone thought like I did and would accept anything they told me. I started working at an Arrow Shirt Factory, when I was 19, but didn’t meet Annette until the following year. I worked on long-sleeve shirts the entire 16 years that I worked there. I started working on cuffs, but got laid-off when short-sleeve season hit. The factory ran short-sleeve shirts from April – August and long-sleeve shirts from August – April. When they called me back from my lay-off, they offered me a job making what we called “dog-houses” on the long-sleeves. Here is an example:

Arrow Shirt

I’m not sure how well you can see it; you may be able to click on it for a larger view. (I’m not tech savvy!) If you can see it, look from the buttons up the sleeve and you will see that it ends in a ‘dog house’ shape about midway up the sleeve.

Anyway, to get back to my story, Annette was my trainer when I started on the “dog-houses”. She was 10 years older than me and was a red-head, but instead of a temper she had humor. She was always telling jokes that made me blush. Once she, and the ladies I worked with, caught on that I was naïve, they became determined to change me. They said all sorts of ‘cuss’ words around me. It took me quite a while to get to the point that I did not blush every time.

Once they got me that far, they were determined to get me to say a ‘cuss’ word. We worked on production and some days were difficult; bad material, sewing machine acting up, and all sorts of things that would make you work slower, e.g. not making money. One day had been very difficult, and as I was ripping out yet another seam, Annette said, “Just say it. I know you want to. Just spit it out.”

I tried, but the word just would not come out. It wasn’t long though, with Annette’s encouragement, that the words just started spilling out of my mouth. Annette, among many other things, taught me how to ‘cuss’. She was a great lady, trainer, and friend for over 20 years. We lost touch about 7 years ago, but I think about her often. Our lives just went in different directions.

My 3rd and 4th mentor came into my life when I was 18, but didn’t really play a reverent part in my life until about 14 years ago. My dad signed me up as a member of “The Echota Cherokee Tribe”. He was already a member, but I had to wait until I turned 18. We were members of the Bear Clan and Ed was our Clan Leader. You know the thing about life taking you on different roads. Although I was a card carrying member and paid my dues annually, I was involved in other things at the time. It wasn’t until I was 40 that I became an active member and Ed became a big part of my life. He taught me a lot and we were close. I’m still close to him today, but with my health problems and his health problems, we don’t see each other as often. We do stay in touch.

My 4th mentor was Billy, the Tribe Chief. He is a great and wise man. I still seek his counsel often. I can’t tell you more than that for fear they will cut my tongue out! 🙂

So, there you have it; my four mentors.


All pictures are courtesy of Yahoo Images

I will post today’s Daily Prompt later today.



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