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There was a very heart-warming article in the LA Times just recently-it was about an Armenian baker who hired and trained two men from Zacatecas, Mexico to work in his bakery starting way back in 1975.  The men were childhood buddies who came to the Los Angeles area to learn a trade and make a life for themselves and their families.  They were working as dishwashers.  Not a new story by any means.  It's what happened afterwards that made me appreciate what was being told.

When Jose Gonzales and Francisco Rosales were hired by Leon Partamian they received much more than they every imagined.  They not only found themselves a trade, they found themselves "adopted" by their boss.  He taught them how to make all of his ethnic baked products and run his business.  Then as any good "father" would do, he put them as heirs to his estate in his will.  So when Partamian passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack 17 months ago, the two men found themselves the owners of everything, including the happiness of all the faithful customers.   Most of whom couldn't have been more pleased that the storefront shop wouldn't be shuttered and used for something else in a neighborhood that has seen more than its fair share of ethnic changes.

All of the supporters knew that the owner planned to leave the bakery to, what he referred to as "his boys".

What I loved about this report was that in this day and age where we have way too many disagreements between neighbors, businesses and points of view, in general, here was a story about how immigrants met and worked together to build something extraordinarily successful-in more than just a financial sense.  I don't know about you-but I wouldn't mind working for a boss that considered me more than someone to do a certain job and treat me with a modicum of care and respect, would you?

Here were essentially strangers who became a family.  For over 30 years, they shared the good times and the lean times.  It didn't stop at the end of the business day either.  The original owner helped get the men their green cards and gave jobs to their family members as well.  In fact, Rosales son worked in the bakery as a teenager and his wife worked there until she gave birth to their first child almost a year ago.  Both referred to the elder man as "grandpa".  Another title never occurred to them.

When you hear about such a wonderful set of people-you begin to think there is hope that many other stories will surface and teach tolerance to many of the troubled areas of our country.  I know that there is a similar story in the little area where I live about a man who also wanted to be trained as a baker.  He also came from Mexico, but he found a job as an apprentice in a kosher bakery.  You've probably guessed-he now runs the store, thanks to his mentor.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear more feature articles about how people get along and work to build something up-instead of the all to frequent ones splashed over the internet, the television and the daily papers on how something has been blown-up or torn down?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Mar 21, 2008
    • I think that would be wonderful and positively influence the people in our society.

      This is truly a wonderful story.

      However it is unfortunate that the media chooses to only report on the negative events that happen, rather then informing the people of positive events as well.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Mar 21, 2008
    • thank you Stephanie-I found it very heart-warming.  I couldn’t go into the entire article-but the gentleman never went to a lawyer to put his wishes down in a document-but his cousins knew what he wanted and made sure the men I wrote about we made the legal owners-even nicer to learn. Imagine relatives not grabbing something they had no part in and ousting them!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Mar 22, 2008
    • Wonderful, heartwarming post.
      It’s true that “we” immigrants tend to lend a helping hand a lot quicker than anyone else, simply because we’ve been there.
      When I immigrated here with my family it was the other immigrants that gave us jobs, advice and made sure that we didn’t drown in the unknown. Armenians are very generous people that will give you the last piece of their own bread and take care of you.  

      I agree with Stephanie, I wish media concentrated on this kind of stories instead of reporting every time Britney Spears or Lindsey Loghan gets pulled over.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Mar 22, 2008
    • We do need more good news reports in today’s world.  As you said too much of Britney, Lindsey and Paris.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • It’s a great story, Carine, I love it. You are so right about not hearing all the good stuff that warms the cockles of your heart. My husband is a firefighter and hears of many, but they don’t get reported.
      her’s anothe rone to make you feel good about fellow (wo)men.
      My husband was in Edinburgh Scotland for a big rugby match so the city was heaving. he and my daughter got a taxi into town and in the cab were discussing where to go and eat.  

      They got dropped in middle of town and walked onto the restaurant where my husband discovered he had lost his wallet. He rang the taxi firm but before they could do anything the taxi driver arrived at the restaurant bearing my husband’s wallet.

      It seems two girls had got into the cab after him, found the wallet and handed it to the cab driver (love to them wherever they may be). The taxi driver recognised the photo ID and remembered my husband and daughter discussing restaurants so had driven to the first one and found him!

      I also had a great experience when visiting the US last autumn but that’s enough for now! There is a lot of goodness in the world.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote May 1, 2008
    • I think that story should be published and both the girls and the driver should be commended publicly!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • Another book idea? I have another story about a fantastic chap who stopped when we had broken down. A heartwarming book. It’d be better than ‘chicken soup...‘!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote May 1, 2008
    • you should write it up-I’ve sent in either 3-4 to them, but they get so many stories they tell you up front it might take literally a couple of years to either say yes/no or holding it for an unnamed book!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • No, YOU write the book! Factual like you like doing...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • I’d buy it!And recommend it through changingpeople!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote May 1, 2008
    • It’s a deal-send me the facts (of course there will be questions following knowing me)and I’ll start asap.
      I’m such a dweeb w/ the e-book thing. Bev Mahone tried to help me get one started-oh the pain I caused my dear hubby.
      And now-I can’t get my form opened to get paid by the newspaper I write for!!! They‘re seeing if there’s a simpler form.
      I’m so not a technical person.
      and now, on to the stupid day job.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • Brilliant! I will send you a long e mail tomorrow. Maybe you should send me your home e mail? Mine is on web site [Link Removed]and I have actually incorporated the story into an article I wrote (on site)called 'Do You feel Lucky?'
      OOh this i sexciting. I can collect lovely stories for you through my network and blog (haven't started blog yet but it is the pipeline!)
      Jane


      Changingpeople, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • Whoops, it's not called that! here is the link
      [Link Removed] 


      Changingpeople, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jane Woods wrote May 1, 2008
    • Oh flip, that doesn’t seem to be working! It’s under FREE RESOURCES and called ‘How to create your own luck’ and is in last paragraph about ‘the kindness of strangers‘. Good book title? International best seller. You could get stories from all over the world on the kindness of strangers. We could start a movement, be kind to at least one stranger every day!  

      Actually I do try to do it, even though that sounds a bit twee. I expect loads of people do but maybe not in a conscious way.



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