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Friday, October 21, 2011

Richard Joseph Flanagan - Part 7

Finding a job can be hard for some people and easy for others. Dick seemed to be able to always find a job but a career was still looming in the distance for him.  When Dick returned from the war, I think he worked at various jobs here and there.  He definitely worked for the Ghisletta's.

Ghisletta's Dairy is located near the intersection of Highway 12/121 and Highway 29 near the Carneros Area of Napa.  It is actually located in the area of "Rural Foster Road".  Even today there is talk about annexing the area for houses.  For now, you can drive along highway 29 and still get a glimpse of the stucco buildings with red tile roofs that make up the Ghisletta property.  The dairy does not appear to be in operation any longer.

Dick worked out at the Ghisletta property but I'm not sure for how long.  He was friends with Joe and his wife, Billie.  He was also friends with Steve and his wife who is still living.  At Dick's rosary, Joe and Billie's daughter said that her mother wanted to be there but she was in the hospital at the time.  When the news was broken to Billie that Dick had passed away, she said that she just lost her best friend.  I asked my mother about that later.  She said that Dick was a great listener.  He was, at that, and a very patient supportive person.  Anyone who had him as a friend would agree.

Richard "Dick" J. Flanagan

At different times, things were lean for Dick and Dorothy.  They owned two lots in town in Napa.  The intent was probably to build a house in the future but they ended up selling the land for financial reasons.  Sometime in the 1950s, Dick did get a job working for the Napa County Treasurer's office.  He was the Assistant Treasurer for a time.

I believe that it was 1959 and the Treasurer of Napa County passed away while in office.  The job fell to Dick for the rest of the term.  At the next election, Dick ran for Treasurer and won.  After that, no one ever ran against him again.  He always ran unopposed.  He retired in 1979-80 with over 25 years of service to Napa County.  Now that was quite the career for him.

During his time at Treasurer, his goal was always to make sure that Napa County was financially sound and investing its money appropriately.  To his dismay, the job of tax collector was combined with treasurer during his time in office.  That was not always a title that he admired about his position.

The irony of Dick's job would hit him when he went to mass on Sundays.  At least once a year, he would hear the following reading and shrink a bit in the pew.

Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.  5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

I must say that Dick had no reason to be shrinking his pew.  He could always hold his head high as an honest, upstanding man with the respect of probably everyone he ever met. 

To be continued....................


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