Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 9

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 9

could find in neighboring lots, and the bits of coal spilled from the coal-bin of the grocery-store, or left on the curbs before houses where coal had been delivered. The mother remonstrated with the boys, although in her heart she knew that the necessity was upon them. But Edward had been started upon his Americanization career, and answered: “This is America, where one can do anything if it is honest. So long as we don’t steal the wood or coal, why shouldn’t we get it?” And, turning away, the saddened mother said nothing.

But while the doing of these homely chores was very effective in relieving the untrained and tired mother, it added little to the family income. Edward looked about and decided that the time had come for him, young as he was, to begin some sort of wage-earning. But how and where? The answer he found one afternoon when standing before the shop-window of a baker in the neighborhood. The owner of the bakery, who had just placed in the window a series of trays filled with buns, tarts, and pies, came outside to look at the display. He found the hungry boy wistfully regarding the tempting-looking wares.

“Look pretty good, don’t they?” asked the baker.

“They would,” answered the Dutch boy with his national passion for cleanliness, “if your window were clean.”

“That’s so, too,“ mused the baker. “Perhaps you’ll clean it.”

“I will,” was the laconic reply. And Edward Bok, there and then, got his first job. He went in, found a

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