When I was 8, almost 9 years old, I showed up on a chilly fall morning at Roger Mann's apple cider mill just off the Old Westminter Pike.

I found the place fascinating; the sounds, the smells, the taste of the cider and the people who were there to have their apples squeezed into sweet apple cider. So I tried to make myself useful. I would pick up apples that fell off trucks, help customers load their full jugs of cider into their trucks, sweep floors or dump apples onto the conveyer belt. I probably spent a good eight hours just trying to help because I thought it was fun.

Very soon into the process some of the people started to give me money, 50 cents here, a dollar there. I didn't ask for it, nor did I expect it. I was just having a great time hanging out at the cider mill that I thought was cool.

At the end of day Mann thanked me and gave me $2 and a gallon of apple cider to take home and told me I could come back and help the next Saturday. I was in heaven.

When I got home I was excited to share my day with my parents. I showed them the gallon of cider, which I made them drink, and they, like me, found extremely tasty. Then I showed them the money I had made, about $7.50. I told them how excited I was to be on my way to "middle class." Not. I said I was "rich."

I watched the Democratic National Convention and was appalled at the war on success. Most of the speakers spoke of the great middle class and the evil rich. Not one of us grows up and gets our first taste of money with a dream of being middle class. No, everyone I know wants to be rich. Every child that I have talked to talks about being rich. It is part of the American dream.

Why do we have a political party in America that is trying to rewrite that part of the American dream? Success is not something to be ashamed of or something that should be ridiculed. Work hard, dream big and hope that government will stay out of the way so that success can be realized by all.

Steve Nevin