With $227 Million in BREC Taxes at Stake, Will Anyone Vote?
The right to vote is a right bought by the blood of our ancesters — men and women who believed in our country enough to risk and ultimately sacrifice their lives for our country and the principles it stands for, such as free elections.
At every election, I am amazed to see the people who go about their business as though it were just another day. To me, it’s a day of excitement and celebration, because it says that those men and women did not die in vain — they were successful. They lost everything personally but they gave us everything.
How can a person ignore an election? How can he be so tuned out to the world and everything about him? My father always voted and he told me to be informed and vote.Of course, I guess my dad was different. During the Depression, when others had lost their jobs, their homes, and their possessions, my dad was very successful.
He always told me, Find a need and fill it. When the Depression geared up, my father realized people would be eating less because they didn’t have the money they had in the past.So he got the idea that the business to be in would be coffee. He reasoned that people would be drinking a lot more coffee, because coffee is a cheap way to calm the pangs of hunger.
So my father invested in building a coffee roaster. He began importing coffee from South America, bagging the fresh roasted coffee and selling it.Then he realized he could sell more coffee by establishing routes in the rural areas of the Florida Parishes. Eventually, he had 15 route men to work established routes from Baton Rouge to Covington. He delivered weekly, and people paid monthly.
My dad was located in Ponchatoula. In 1937, he built a beautiful modern brick home and he bought a brand new convertible and a private airplane. He was licensed as a pilot. He owned five or six businesses. He was on top of the world.
Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and everything changed. My dad wanted to be a pilot and he went to volunteer to fly for the Army Air Corps. But they wouldn’t take him. At age 32, he was too old and too short (and too ugly, Dad said) to be a pilot for the Air Corps. He tried the Marines and the Navy. Both rejected him.
My dad loved our country and he was willing to fight and die or make any sacrifice to save this country of ours. And he was not alone. Millions of other Americans were willing to risk it all to preserve our freedom. Finally, he was able to volunteer to serve as part of a “suicide mission” to the Caribbean to search for German submarines.
That is a story in itself. But let me go to the end of the war and simply tell you this. When he returned to Ponchatoula, he had been burned over much of his body. He had suffered a broken back that gave him constant pain. He had lost all his businesses, and his wife had divorced him.
He was disabled the rest of his life and was never successful financially. Yet, so many times he told me, “I love this country. I’d do anything for this country!” My dad told me, “Son, I fought so you could vote! Never let me down!” So, yes, I vote! I’m proud to vote! Aren’t you?