When I turned twelve, I worked summers at my father’s small brick cleaning business. I remember the harsh acid smell of the cleaning solution, and the scraping sound of stiff iron brushes against rough brick. It was tempting to have your job just finish. But anybody who worked for Thomas Kahoon had to meet his standards, and that include of me. If I messed up, he made me stay late until I got it right.
My father wasn’t been me. He demanded the same at himself. Every brick he cleaned on the house stood out like a red jewel in a white setting. It was his signature.
In 1970, when I was twenty, I got married. I moved out my parent's modest place into a housing project.
Drugs and gang violent were just beginning to plague the projects.
Some of my friend went to jail. Some were killed. My wife Verllen, was 18, and nobody gave our marriage a chance. But we believed in each other. And our faith made us strong.
When we married, I worked as a stock clerk at Southwest Super Food. It was hard, tedious work. Each Friday night a truck came, with cases of food that had to be unloaded, priced and placed on shelves.
Most of stock clerks try to get Friday night off. But I was always ready to work. By Saturday morning, all the kinds and drawers in my aisle would place with a label facing smartly out, like a line of soldiers on review. That was my signature. I took pride in a job nobody wanted.
Questions 19 to 21 are based on the passage you have just heard.
19. What do we learn about the speaker’s father?
20. What does the speak say about the housing project?
21. What do we learn about the speaker as a stock clerk?