What is a being a real American mean to you?

Essay by Trey029College, UndergraduateA-, February 2003

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From the California coastline to the tip of Maine, Americans enjoy the freedom to do whatever they please, whenever they please. Some choose a path for success while others go down a path of failure. I believe the ideal American wakes up every morning choosing success rather than failure by focusing on hard work, attitude, and giving some of their riches back to society.

Dave Thomas is a perfect example of an ideal American. His hard work enabled him to live the American dream. Dave Thomas created a successful hamburger chain called Wendy's. Born out of wedlock and adopted by the age of six weeks, Dave began his life with several strikes against him. His adopted mother died when he was five and he spent his childhood moving from town to town while his dad looked for work. One bright light in his childhood was his grandmother who taught him the values of honesty and hard work.

Dave went to work in a little café at age twelve and dropped out of high school age fifteen. At this time he was only making $1.75 an hour. He did not have much money, but he really wanted his own business. So, he started meeting bankers and other restaurant owners. When he turned twenty-seven, he met the one and only Colonel Sanders. Dave impressed Sanders so much he was asked to manage one of Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. He was eventually given shares and then sold them to make the millions of dollars required to begin his own restaurant chain. Dave learned a lot from Mr. Sanders, and being thirty-three and married, he decided to open up his own hamburger joint called Wendy's. He named the restaurant after his first daughter Wendy.

Through publicity and good quality, Wendy's became a...