In Moth Balls Author:John Parkkila What is it like to be "in moth balls"--retired at 65 and headed for a rocking chair and idleness on Social Security? Are you ready? Ready or not, you'll be fascinated by this story of Americans in moth balls--Social Security pensioners living in Florida. — Teller of this frank and often startling tale is John Neva, edged out of a job in 1962 to... more » make way for a younger man, and Florida bound in search of a place to live on his Social Security "moth balls"--$59 a month. He finds a house on the Gulf Coast, settles down, and discovers his neighbors--fellow moth ballers. It is of them that the story tells, sometimes hilariously, always sumpathetically, and, at times, with undertones of tragedy, inevitable and moving.
You will discover why unpopular Gloomy Gus was gloomy; why Andy the ever-resourceful, had to be resourceful--his line was moonshine; and why the Social Security plutocrat known as the Bullhead outraged his neighbors with wild schemes and scandalously wild behavior.
In serious vein John Parkkila speaks of things closest to his heart: the arbitrary retirement of older workds still in their prime; the sense of being "surplus" a man feels as he is retired to moth-ball status; the fact that some of Neva's neighbors received scarcely enough Social Security to keep body and soul together....
Mr. Parkkila sees the whole problem of Social Security, of automation, and of the tendency toward shorter work hours (and probable earlier retirement) in the round. And he sees cause for very real alarm.« less