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There’s No Place Like Home. Again.

In Business, Children and Family, Economy, Home Improvement, Jobs, Local News, Media, Opinion, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm


By Gery L. Deer

Economists suggest that the Great Recession is over, but the aftereffects are still quite apparent. Along with record unemployment and a troubled political landscape the fiscal meltdown left one more frightening thing in its wake … junior, who came back home to live in your basement.

According to a February 14, 2012 story in Time magazine, more than 25 million adults returned to live with their parents because they are either unemployed or underemployed, or for a variety of other reasons, primarily economic. Another piece in a recent edition of USA Today quotes Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.  “This is a case of families adapting to difficult circumstances,” he says. “Family is the ultimate social safety net.”

A temporary social safety net, yes, but it shouldn’t be indefinite. Most of the adults, single men and women between the ages of 22 and 34, moved back in with Mom and Dad because he or she could not find work in the same field or at a previous level of employment. With rent and other necessities becoming more difficult to manage, they end up on the doorstep of their family home hoping for a fresh start.

Unfortunately, because of lackluster employment growth in America, there seems to be very little light at the end of the tunnel for those empty nesters who invited kids back into the fold with open arms, but many of whom who were also ready to settle in and enjoy retirement. Instead, they’ve been returned to the days before the kids shipped off to the ivy covered walls of college.

Practical society places great importance on financial and personal independence and the idea that your job defines you. For most people moving back to the family home is a last resort and can often have a profound effect on the ego and the social life; a state to be avoided if at all possible.

For others, however, it’s just a cheap way to get out of having to actually look for a job. If you’re a parent whose children have returned to overstay their welcome, the main question now is when to show Maynard G. Krebs the door. Since you’re home with your adult kids, you can explain who he is after they read this.

It’s hard to say when it’s time to cut the purse strings. The lack of self-esteem brought on by unemployment and social rejection can really have a crushing effect on your child’s motivation to change a comfortable, safe situation.

After a time, gentle encouragement might be ineffective and you may need to use stronger, more direct measures. You might try saying something like, “Junior, it’s time for you to take whatever job you can and get back out there.” If that doesn’t work, try “Get out.” Just kidding; unless you think it would work then feel free to use the quote.

Kids, when you come back home, be respectful of the fact that it is still your parents’ house and you need to do whatever you can to make your stay effortless for them. Do your own laundry, cook, buy your own food, help with bills wherever possible and, by all means, be grateful!

Things will get better out there. There has been some improvement and there are jobs available. Sometimes it’s necessary to swallow one’s pride and take whatever work comes along, always striving to get back to wherever it is you want to be. Just keep at it and don’t give up.


Appreciating the Buckeye State

In Local News on February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines


Because of the different kinds of work I do, from writing to my involvement in film and television projects, I am asked regularly why I remain in Ohio, rather than moving to New York or the West Coast. The way people ask, it’s almost as if my skills aren’t worthy of recognition or my work’s value is somehow reduced because I choose to live where my family has its roots. In fact, if you pay attention to how Ohio is treated by Hollywood, one might think all we produce here are backwoods rednecks and serial killers. Of course, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

My diverse career has taken me from the stages of Las Vegas resorts to the decks of oil tankers. I’ve seen Hollywood Blvd. at midnight and worked alongside stars like Bonnie Hunt and Steve Harvey. I’ve watched as cranes placed the giant Oscar statues and workers rolled out the red carpets outside the Kodak Theatre the day before the Academy Awards. Suffice to say, I’ve seen a lot. But nothing has ever made me want to leave Ohio permanently.

I’ve known people living in the Buckeye State who can’t wait to get out of it, longing for the greener grass somewhere else; Florida, South Carolina, California. But they never seem to go. They just continue to complain. In fact, most of the people I know who behave this way have never really been anywhere else.

Most people forget what Ohio has produced since it was added to the Union in 1803. Even if we overlook the obvious contributions Ohioans have made, like powered flight, the advancement of minority rights, the first electric starter for automobiles and more U.S. Presidents than you can shake a buckeye branch at (8 in all), Ohio still has much to offer.

While we may not be surrounded by oceans or have perfect weather year around, Ohio offers some of the most amazing country anyone has ever seen. The name “Ohio” comes from an Iroquoian word meaning “great river” and that would certainly be hard to argue. The Ohio River connects the eastern states to the Missouri and finally the Mississippi, making it vital to trade and commerce for many regions. Other major waterways such as the Scioto and Great Miami Rivers also provided opportunities for growth to Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.

Incidentally, everyone who just cleaned up after a Superbowl party owes a world of debt to the never-ending ingenuity of Ohioans. If not for Dayton engineer Ermal Cleon Fraze, your guests would still have been fighting over the can opener! On a sleepless night in 1959, “Ernie” Fraze invented the pop-top opener, now common on beer and soft drink cans.

With the Oscars coming up, it wouldn’t be right to ignore Ohio’s contribution to Hollywood, seeing as how that’s where most of the glib remarks about our fare state originate. Oscar winners Paul Newman and Halle Berry both called Ohio home, as did MASH’s Jamie Farr, comedian Drew Carey, film director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter),  Jerry Siegel and Joe Schumacher (the creators of Superman),  and Jack Warner, founder of Warner Brothers Studios. My father even grew up with country and western star Bobby Bare, not far from Roy Rogers’ childhood home near Portsmouth, on the banks of the Ohio River. The list is practically endless.

No place is perfect and, like anyone else, I have my share of complaints about how things are run here. In my experience there is far too much small-town, good old boy politics, and little doubt that the people we have sent to Columbus need to be reminded that they work for us, not the other way around, as seems to be the case lately.

But in spite of these shortcomings, Ohio is a good place to call home. We have weathered floods, tornados, a Great Depression and numerous recessions. But Ohioans are of America’s most creative, innovative and intelligent people and we always seem to come out on top. So the next time you start your car, pop open a soda or fly away to your favorite vacation spot, give a little nod to the Buckeye State, truly, the Heart of it All.