My roots are blue. Not the political blue of the current climate. Blue-collar blue. My maternal grandfather had a third-grade education and spent almost three decades picking up trash for the city of Philadelphia.

Neither of my four grandparents went to college, and only one of them finished high school. My mother was the first in her family to obtain a high school diploma, which was a significant accomplishment.

And then there was my father. He excelled in high school, so they knew he had a brain. But Teddy had no money, so he went into the army for a few years, cooling his heels (literally) at a NORAD post in Greenland. When he came home, he used money from the G.I. Bill as well as money from the many jobs he juggled to get an undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland. He never asked for help, beyond what the government owed because of his military service. If he had, he would have made sure to pay back whatever was loaned, with interest.

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