The Snider Family Band
About a month ago my father gave me a picture of the Snider Family Band sitting in front of their home on the Snider family farm in Somerset Ohio. We estimate that this picture was taken around 1912-1913 making it more than 100 years old. How cool is that? My grandfather, EJ, is sitting all the way to right in the picture. His two sisters (one his twin) are sitting left of my great grandpa and his brother next to him. My great grandfather and mother are in the center. I never knew my great grandfather and mother so I took great joy in seeing this picture. Within a few years my grandfather would enter The Great War, WWI.
My grandfather was a saver. Being rich with cash at the time of the Great Depression, he began trading cash for land. He would accumulate quite of bit of real estate during this time. He sat on the land until his two sons returned from WWII. Then he started Snider Building Company.
After the war my father obtained his law degree in Washington DC. After a short stint as Assistant Prosecutor at the request of my grandfather he returned home to join the family business. The building business was booming post WWII as all the baby boomers were being born and the economy was expanding rapidly. After a few years, he left the family business to become legal counsel for a local bank in Northeast Ohio. But he always had a hand in the family business.
My dad would return home from work at 5pm, have dinner with his seven children and then go upstairs to his “office” to work on the family business. Having grown up during the depression his “office” was really just a card table set up in his bedroom. He would work until 10 or 11 at night, retire, and then get up and do it all over again. This must be where mine and my son’s “Do Work” attitudes come from.
My father and mother helped seven kids get through college; something I know they are very proud of. I remember the day when the youngest, my baby sister (not so much a baby anymore at 51-but will always still be my baby sister), graduated from college. Several of us were there to mark the event. I noticed my dad over away from the family standing by himself so I decided to walk over to see how he was doing. I said to him, “this must be a very proud moment for you.” He looked over at me and said, “my proud moment was when I made that last tuition payment about four months ago!” He knew after making that last payment he would have a lot more discretionary income. I remember him telling me, “Don’t retire early. You make most of your money after 50; after the kids get out of school.” True dat! In fact, did you know that Warren Buffet made 99% of his wealth AFTER the age of 50?
My father is part of the generation known as the Traditionalists. Some refer to it as the Greatest Generation; a generation that grew up in the Great Depression and fought in WWII. I can’t help but imagine what it was like to grow up during that difficult period. The Great Depression and WWII were devastating to all worldwide. I am fascinated by the people who lived through this period. To this day (my dad is now 92 years old) he has never splurged.
I think it’s important that we remain connected to history; our roots and where we have come from. I believe it gives us better perspective of where we are now and how blessed we are that that generation, the Greatest Generation, made the sacrifices they made to pave the way for the blessing we have today in this great country. Think about how things might be different if that generation had not done what they did. I wonder sometimes if our present generations would be willing to make the same sacrifices given similar circumstances. Let’s hope we are never again tested that way.
Would love to hear about similar stories if you are willing to share. Shoot me an email at CSnider@AspireManagementInc.com.