From the August 2017 magazine.

Down & Out in DC

An old-timer remembers when he couldn’t keep a job or a marriage. But he sure knew where the liquor was

My parents were Irish Catholic, devout, hardworking and non-drinking. They had great expectations for their five children. Though materially poor, they believed getting a good education would prepare us for a promising future.

We lived on a farm in northern North Dakota, just 20 miles from the Canadian border. Our living conditions were harsh (we didn’t have electricity the first two years). However daunting the conditions, it didn’t stop my sister and three brothers from receiving full scholarships to prestigious colleges by working hard and using their talents.

-- Bernard R.

Dover, New Hampshire, USA

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