1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Inheritance: The act of inheriting.
That which is legally transmissible
to an heir: legacy.
Dan Duff 2/09

It is a common belief in my family that every Duff ever born, died hoping one day he would be rich. I think many of us who go through life doing a job and paying the bills would love to either hit the lotto or have some uncle leave you a pile of money in his will.

Somewhere along the line reality sets in and we finally accept the fact that what we have is just about all we are ever going to get and we let that little secret dream fall back into our brain along with those cards and letters we never wrote and the friends we never called.

My father left us very little when he died. Then again I feel he left us plenty. His biggest legacy was his name and reputation. He was a man who could be trusted. When he told you he would do something, he did it. When he made a debt, he paid it. More than once I was able to get a loan on his name. I of course tried to keep the reputation of the name in tact by paying back loans and keeping my word whenever I gave it.

Now that I am reaching the other end of my existence on this earth my thoughts turn to the question, what am I leaving my heirs? What will be my legacy? I will, like my father leave very little behind as far as earthly belongings are concerned. I would, like my father, leave a good name and reputation. I would also like to know that I have or have had some positive results for mankind. That I ran my life’s race as honest and as above board as it was humanly possible to do so. I would like it to be known that I treated everyone fairly and honestly and tried to leave a better place than I found when it is all said and done. If it is by todays standards that I would have become rich, I feel very fortunate that I never made it.

This is why I question the directions of our esteemed leaders of business and politics. Have they really given any thought to the legacy they are stockpiling for the future generations of this country and the world? Do they ever stop and think of the consequences that will follow their deeds? I have to answer, absolutely not. From the actions of the last couple of years in this country, they all seem to be racing to put the government and business into the tank, while stuffing the nations jewels in their rats nest before they leave the scene.

We have always had charlatans in business and in politics. Somehow in the so called "good ole days", they were found out by their own and put to the curb with the rest of the rubbish on garbage day. Somehow now, they have all seem to come together as a group and there are so many of them that there are none of their own who will speak up against them to have them ousted from society. They are all trying to fill their pockets as fast as they can and get out of town, leaving the citizens to pick up and clean up after them.

So the question is, is there not one politician in the country who is honest enough to point out the mistakes of the scoundrels? Is there not one business leader or CEO with enough honest breath left in him/her to point out the Madoff’s and rid them from our midst? It is one thing to dream of being filthy rich. Its another when you get so filthy while becoming rich.

There have been thousands of people who have become rich doing it the old fashion way. By earning it. If it is done any other way, then no matter what your name or the titles you carry, you are no better than the common thief who steals hub caps or holds up the local gas station. A thief... is a thief.... is a thief.

As for me and my house, I hope that a good name and reputation is enough to leave the next generation. I have discussed it with most of my heirs and they seem to think it will be plenty for them to get on with their life whenever mine is gone.