Alex Rudick: No Limits

1960’s Family Photo

Alex Rudick, my father, dreamed of being a writer. He was 16 years old in 1929 when the stock market crashed, and when he turned 20, the unemployment rate still hovered around 25 percent. Coming of age during the Great Depression, he was told that writers starve, so he became a CPA. He provided for his immediate and extended family with his business sense. My mom referred to him as “physically handicapped” due to contracting polio as a young boy. My dad walked using braces and a cane.

As a Dr. Spock baby, I grew up believing there were no limits to what I could do. I needed to look no further than my dad to understand this to be true. I learned from watching him how to be a businessman/husband/father/brother/friend with heart. For example, I kept this letter my dad wrote to me when I was feeling bad about not getting a promotion at work. The letter typified his attitude that “everything in life turns out for the best.” He believed in working towards making it happen. He lived his life that way, and my siblings and I have embraced his attitude in the way we choose to live our lives.

“Dear Ian,

Took me a long time to fall asleep last night. It was not that I was worried about you and your future. More so because I was so mad at the injustice of it. It is so hard to understand people. You worked hard and felt an interest in the home and its residents, while another goofs off and somehow impresses someone…

In the past, I experienced a few injustices too when I was fired from jobs. My first experience was with my second job in the office of a large shirt manufacturer. I was a “lucky boy:” my salary was $8.00 per week and I was still going to school at night. In an effort to bring back prosperity, the government raised the minimum wage to $13.00. Rather than pay me the increase, I was told that next Friday was my last day. I said, “No, today was my last day.” Today was Wednesday, so I was paid only 3/5 of a week. (20 years later, they offered me the top job.)

My second firing was in the Motor Vehicle Bureau. Our job was to inspect license applications and compare them with last year’s to find discrepancies, if any. At the end of the day, our work was measured, and my work was far ahead of most others’. But the men’s room was about two blocks from my office. The state office building is very large, and so it took me time to get there and back. One day after two months on the job, I was called into the director’s office — a Mrs. Harding — and she told me I was taking too much time in the men’s room. She did not accept my explanation and fired me. This time, I did not worry because I was on so many civil service lists, I was sure I would get another call soon. And I did.

So all I can say is everything in life turns out for the best. Not that it is destiny, but we can make it come out so. You may feel a bit disappointed, but your usual optimism will take over, and I am sure you will find what you want…

And to change the subject: one other reason I could not fall asleep is that we play the radio in our bedroom. They are all old songs of 50 years ago, and Mom sings along with the radio… so how can I sleep?”

My dad taught me not to limit myself. In sharing his story, I write to have my dad become a published author long after his death. I too wish to live my life with no limits. Thank you, Dad.

My Dad (and I)

We are both husband, father, brother, relative, friend, businessman…
 And if I could…

Live my life with the kind of love and devotion towards Beth that my dad did towards my mom…
 Then I would die a happy man.

Love and nurture Jacob and Marcie in the way my dad did Sherrie, Marilynne, Rob, and I…
 Then I would die a happy man.

Be the kind of brother to Sherrie, Marilynne, and Rob that my dad was to Aunt Ethel, Uncle Mikey, and Aunt Sylvia…
 Then I would die a happy man.

Be the kind of relative my dad was to his family…
 Then I would die a happy man.

Be the kind of friend to my friends that my dad was to his friends…
 Then I would die a happy man.

Be the kind of ethical businessman my dad was in his business dealings…
 Then I would die a happy man.

I dream of being the kind of man my dad was to all those he touched with his life. I feel doubly blessed to have experienced my dad’s love and have my own son and daughter to love and cherish. I dream of having lived my life without regrets…

I love you, Dad, and thank you for all you have given me.

Behind this good writer is a great editor; Mark Bloom. Learn more about Mark’s talents at

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Why Walk When You Can Fly by Mary Chapin Carpenter

In this world, there’s a whole lot of trouble, baby
 In this world, there’s a whole lot of pain
 In this world, there’s a whole lot of trouble
 But a whole lot of ground to gain

Why take when you could be giving
 Why watch as the world goes by
 It’s a hard enough life to be living
 Why walk when you can fly

In this world, there’s a whole lot of sorrow
 In this world, there’s a whole lot of shame
 In this world, there’s a whole lot of sorrow
 And a whole lotta ground to gain

When you spend your whole life wishing
 Wanting and wondering why
 It’s a long enough life to be living
 Why walk when you can fly

In this world, there’s a whole lot of cold
 In this world, there’s a whole lot of blame
 In this world, you’ve a soul for a compass
 And a heart for a pair of wings

There’s a star on the far horizon
 Rising bright in an azure sky
 For the rest of the time that you’re given
 Why walk when you can fly