Tales from the trail….final Tuesday Edition
– 4 more hours in today. 2 in New Llano, 2 in DeRidder. My blitz team kept up the good work and covered big chunks of Lee Hills today on my behalf. So grateful for my hard-working friends and family. One of my brothers in law escorted me today. New places and old places
– Heard yet another bad and sad news story today from a local businessman. He told me how Louisiana’s unbearable insurance is making life next to impossible on HIM as a business owner and on people trying to buy his product—cars. He told me about how insurance and harassment from the State in terms of licensing are crushing him and forcing citizens to live on the edge of legality. You ALL HAVE MY WORD—I will stand with and for rapid decisions to uncork the mess of high insurance in Louisiana. If you want someone to maintain the status quo, I am NOT YOUR GUY.
– Looking forward to walking in freezing temperatures on Wednesday. Everything from triple digits to frozen pipes in this campaign. I am NOT tired. Just hoping I don’t slip on the pavement. I don’t bounce as well as I once did…
– Good news for us all: The mail and the TV ads will be stopping next week. So will the robocalls and the polls. And then….it will all start again for the federal election. One thing you can count on is NOT seeing my picture, nor getting phone calls on my behalf
– Funniest thing I have heard in a while, and I can’t remember if I’ve shared this or not. Someone said that I was “only running because he wants to be governor.” Oh. No. I. Don’t.
Tales from the trail….final Monday edition
– My campaign trail today took me back to a number of neighborhoods I’ve already walked and to a few new ones. One guy knew me by name and asked where my dad was….as most of you know, my dad passed away almost 20 years ago. But, my 82-year young uncle has walked with me a number of times. Inexplicably, he and I have begun to look like each other and we are NOT blood kin. I just know I can’t keep up with him. Please…no one tell him I only walked for 3 hours today—he’ll think I wimped out
– Two days ago, I took my 3rd dog strike of the campaign. Fortunately for all involved, the dog was VERY small and only could manage to take a bite at my ankles and fortunately for me, I was wearing cowboy boots. No harm; I was in his yard, anyway
– I visited with a nice lady who chewed me out back in June. I knew when we visited back then she’d not vote for me, but she was civil and well reasoned in her chewing. I thought I’d stop by and tell her hello as I made my way back through her neighborhood; she was pleasant and surprised I’d come back. She had signs in her yard of the guy I’m NOT supporting for governor and she told me she wasn’t for me. But, her civility was heart-warming. I hope mine was, too. Truth in advertising: She’s close friends with one of my sisters in law, which helped me immensely. Some people come to the conclusion you might NOT be a monster if you have a nice family. Family….I need to address that sometime……
– Great event at the Leesville VFW today. I hate I was in attendance as a candidate because when you’re in politics, people are always suspect of your intentions. I was honored to be under the roof with all the warriors and the great citizens who appreciate their service.
Tales from the trail…10 November
– Did my final Saturday walk on the 9th. Two hours in DeRidder and two hours in Leesville. I met some nice people, went to places I hadn’t been to. I keep meeting people who tell me “you’re the first candidate to come by here.” Some have even said, “our neighborhood is forgotten.” All I can tell them is that I did my best. I’m at 4500 houses now. And I won’t forget anybody or any neighborhood once in the legislature.
– By and large, I’ve done these walks alone, until last Saturday when friends and family stepped in on the “blitz.” Another group stepped in on the 9th and I am SO grateful. My teammate from LHS Oscar Joiner and some of his family and friends helped me cover a lot of ground. You do find out who your friends are at times like these
– I bumped into a young school teacher at a coffee shop in DeRidder. I was in getting re-charged and he saw me. He came up to me and wanted to chat. Asked me to sit down and visit. He wanted me to drill down on what I wanted to do in education as a legislator. He said he’d seen my ads and I’d left a hanger on his door and he was curious as to what I thought and what I really planned to do in terms of supporting education. I think I satisfied him.
– Early voting ended on Saturday…..we’re down to the last week.
Surveys, Endorsements, Clowns and Clown Acts
Felt compelled to pass along to those who follow me some “inside baseball” information on how this campaign is panning out here at the end. Like many things in life, the info here is NOT suitable to a sound byte, so if you don’t want the info, go ahead and read something else. I’m about to pass along some info that I didn’t know when this started and I suspect many of you do not know. It may or may not be illuminating, but I’ll pass it along, regardless.
When a person qualifies for a legislative office, they get immediately inundated (that’s overloaded for you Ole Miss fans😊) with surveys, questionnaires and the like, trying to find out what each candidate believes, says they believe, or what a candidate might be willing to commit to if elected. I can tell you I got about 2 dozen of these critters in the mail and in email. The groups who send these out are either (A) Genuinely trying to find out if they are a good fit in supporting you as a candidate; and, or (B) Trying to compartmentalize you and find ways to marginalize if you don’t fill out their survey.
Running for office if you do it the way I’ve done it is time-consuming. I’ve spent a LOT of time going door to door, and I do this digital stuff in the periods of time I’m NOT going door to door or at events. If there are free moments, I’m using them for sleep or watching a game or two while I eat. Filling out EVERY survey that came in was not my priority. Some groups are easily identifiable by their names. Some I didn’t have time to, nor take time to open up their correspondence. Just not enough time and not worth the effort to do them all. I picked and chose the ones I carved out time to respond to based on my gut instinct and MY research of these outfits.
An example: One group from over in Austin, Texas sent me a survey. Their name seemed harmless, so I weaved into their survey and saw they were a left-wing bunch that was asking questions that were meant to elicit an answer they could bend one way or another. A few weeks after NOT answering their questions, they sent me an email, threatening to expose me for a lack of political courage. I thought about it and decided I don’t need the approval of everyone in my life. They are a left-wing bunch pretending to be moderated and wasting my time on them was just that. I didn’t sense they were even-handed, so I left them alone.
I’m waiting for them to transmit a message about me not having political courage. Fine. I don’t need their endorsement.
Another group hounded me for weeks about signing up to support Term Limits. I support term limits for our Congressional representatives. That could be a state issue and I wanted to go on record. I took the time to fill out a survey, research this bunch and send in their form. In response, they sent out a mailer supporting one of my primary opponents and telling everyone in the district that he supported term limits. In fact, at the time, he hadn’t signed the pledge. The mailer had a nice picture of President Trump and my opponent. They got his pledge a few days after their mail went out, as I understand it. I got them on the phone and they told me they made a mistake and sent out a mailer helping the wrong guy. Lesson learned. There are clowns everywhere.
I got two surveys from gun rights organizations. I filled them both out. I haven’t heard anything. I’m guessing if I hadn’t I would have been lambasted. I see that’s going on.
I also filled out forms and surveys from everything from restaurant associations to oil and gas lobbies to school advocacy groups to universities. I filled them all out honestly, and with no intent other than to be transparent. I did skip a number of surveys. One came from a group called “The Municipal Action Committee.” When I dug into who these folks were, I found out they were a socialist (admitted by themselves) group working to fix legislative districts. There’s nothing I could say to those guys that would be helpful to them, or helpful to me or illuminating to my district. UNLESS we had done this many months back and I could have opened a dialog with them and tried to discuss things rationally. In truth, there’s no chance I could sway a group of socialists who are trying to rig legislative districts. I’m pretty persuasive, but even I couldn’t pull that off that hat trick.
So….that’s it. Over the course of the next 10 days, do not be surprised at what you see around here. As I said a few days back, outside parties are coming in here to try and influence our election. I encourage you to do your own research. Don’t dismiss anything out of hand. Don’t believe anything, just because it’s written. There are groups who are genuinely trying to disseminate information. There are also groups who are sending out filthy trash—some hit me in the nose on Saturday. As a free man or woman, you have the right and the access to find out who these people are finding out what they believe.
Your vote belongs to you. Information is not mudslinging if it is true. You can pretend or believe anything you wish, but I wanted to let everyone know what is happening around us.
Tales from the trail….28 October
– Met a guy today who owns a concrete company. He has 40 trucks. It started with 10 trucks about 10 years ago. Told me the State of Louisiana’s bloodthirsty, law-suit happy culture is crushing him. His liability insurance in the past year went UP over a half a million dollars. Yes, it went from 880K to 1.3 million in one year. His fleet of trucks had one accident in the year and the end result was a $1400 bill for a vehicle. He told me he lives literally check to check while doing all he can to employ people who try to feed THEIR families. He speaks, too, of abandoning our beloved Louisiana because of the culture here.
– I visited with a gentleman who has worked for Conoco for about 3 decades. He told me that the liability of Conoco doing business in Louisiana exceeds the rest of the WORLD combined. Not the south. Not the US. The WORLD. The threats to Conoco—which, by the way, employs people and produces useful products—are singularly greatest in this, our beautiful home State. Money goes where it’s treated best and we don’t do something, we’ll be losing more and more employers in Louisiana
– When this is all over, I’m going to miss running into people who knew my mom, dad and sister…doing my best to keep track of the who and the where…life is precious, and sharing good memories of times that matter has made this journey very much worthwhile. God is good. I sure miss my mom, dad, and sister; they’d have enjoyed this ride!
Tales from the trail…26 October
– In my efforts to help the top of the conservative ticket in Louisiana, I was lifted up in a tractor to get a Rispone sign up a few extra feet in the air. Carolyn was nervous, but I used my cat-like agility….all is well. Let me know if you need a Response sign
– Heard one of the best bits of country wisdom I’ve ever encountered—“I like friends better than money”
– Visited with an owner of a dirt and gravel hauling company; he told me, as others have, that his business insurance cost has spiked in recent years. Told me to do the same work, across the magical Sabine River would cost him exactly HALF what he pays now in our Louisiana. I hope he doesn’t give up on Louisiana before we can get him some relief
– Early voting begins one week from today
Tales from the trail….24 October
– Phase 2 of Operation Sore Feet is well underway
– Met a retired Army Senior NCO who told me he is now in the contracting (construction) business. His company was taking on a large, mostly outdoor painting projects in July and August. He told me he went through about 3 cycles of employees who were under the age of 30 during an excruciatingly hot period; to finish up, his team consisted of 3 x men over 50 and 2 x over 60.
– The same guy told me he once traded a 10-year-old truck for 30-30. I do love America.
– Stepped into the yard of a family in DeRidder where I found out that the good folks had been forced to go over to East Texas (Jasper, as I recall) to purchase furniture. The mother of the house told me she made a conscious decision to pay Texas’ 8.25 percent sales tax as opposed to the 10.25 she has to live within her hometown. Lost opportunities for business happen like this all the time in our part of the world
– Early voting starts on 2 November
Tales from the trail….21 October
– Met a guy in his driveway tonight who, upon finding out what I was doing said “…here, let me give this to my wife. She does the voting around here.”
– Saw two Dobermans in an adjacent yard tonight that looked like the twins of the dog in Fletch. They were REALLY interested in me—-and I am thankful for a fence
– I had a good conversation with a fellow GI down in DeRidder. He was a soldier who served in the 70s and 80s and early 90s. Like MOST soldiers, he got a kick out of the fact that I had done this event called REFORGER—a massive exercise that was meant to demonstrate the Soviets we could get a bunch of forces returned to Germany quickly to take on the Commie hordes. I worked for an obscure Air Force unit called an ASOC back when I was a young lieutenant and we were, well, like red-headed, adopted stepchildren. The USAF didn’t know what to do with us and the Army kept us around for circus tricks and to watch us try do mobility. These are usually fun conversations. I guess this conversation went well enough—after we’d said goodbye he came out of his house and asked me for a sign. His idea.
– By this point in a campaign, I’d expect people would be more surly to a political candidate appearing on their doorstep. Nope. I had a bunch of great visits today. Still, we haven’t met anyone who is happy with our high car insurance rates. By the way, do YOU know anyone who thinks our insurance rates are ok?
– Early voting is 2 – 9 November.
Tales from the trail……20 October
– I met a guy yesterday who worked in my line of work (intelligence) in the Air Force between 1960 and 1981. The depth and breadth of what he saw in the height and most intense times of the Cold War must have been breathtaking. He told me the most intense moment he lived through was the 6 War Day. While the US was not directly involved in the hostilities between the Israeli’s and their neighbors, the world was at the precipice of annihilation…a fact few know or wish to contemplate. Though this took place over 50 years ago, this retired officer was still deeply affected by what he saw, read and knew. He lives a quiet life now, out on the river in Evans. You can almost see the ice water in his veins
– And, no, I am not going door to door in Evans—met this guy at an event downtown
– Two young people came to Leesville yesterday, delivering Eddie Rispone signs to be deployed around town. It’s good to see youth involved in a movement. They are 20 somethings, they were driving a truck filled with 4 x 8 signs, and they had a Trump sticker on their vehicle. Kinda felt like a family. If anyone in Leesville or DeRidder wants a BIG Rispone sign for a high traffic area, let me know and I’ll get it to you
– If you haven’t registered to vote and want to participate in the November runoff, you can still register—albeit online—for a few more days. Here’s the link https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/VoterRegistration
Tales from the trail….19 October
– I started round two of the door to door yesterday… went back to a neighborhood I walked in June
– Tapped on the door of someone who knew my family well. The most interesting part of the conversation—a lady asked me about my “sister”, Marilyn. I let her know Marilyn was my aunt, but that she had aged a lot better than me. (For those who don’t know Marilyn was my FATHER’s sister).
– Knocked on a door of a few people today who didn’t know the election was still going on. One said “hey….you’re back!? I thought it was over.” Another said, “….so I can vote for you again?” That’s a legitimate question in Louisiana, regardless….
– One guy I visited with today probably steered me away from a bad scene; a house I was about to call on had just had a run-in with Animal Control. They apparently have an energetic pitbull that runs loose in the neighborhood. Another neighbor called the authorities and there was a scene. I’m glad I avoided both the pit bull AND the scene
– As FYI to all, Early Voting for the 16 November runoff runs from 2 – 9 November
Tales from the trail….17 October
– Visiting with a potential voter today and noticed a picture in an office. The pictures were of the voter, at the time an Army captain, shaking the hand of a 2-star general. I asked the guy “what was the story here?” He said: “That was me, getting a two year without AWOL Award.” I wondered if the captain had been running away from his office or if it was people in his office who were going away without permission. I was a little afraid to ask…
– The areas in our cities look a lot less bad without ALL the political signs. Hang in there. The rest will be gone right before Thanksgiving
– Does anyone read this KNOW of anyone who was ever influenced by a robocall? If you still have a landline, you know how much fun they are at this time of the year. I think if I do one, I’ll get an actual robot to make the call. I know a guy who is out of work…
Tales from the trail….election day
– I’ve held the best tales from the trail close to my vest. The stories I’ve passed along here are true, but they aren’t the most remarkable ones. Will circle back after the election and relay those poignant moments
– I wanted to say thanks to all who’ve followed this little blog (of sorts). Carolyn and I have had a remarkable journey for the last six months or so and I’m glad to have been able to share some of it right here. I have lots of people to thank and will do so in time…
– I’m very thankful to the good Lord for our now arriving Fall “ish” weather. It sure beats July 75th
– Remember that your right to vote was paid for by the blood of patriots long ago, and has been maintained by the sacrifice and hard work of citizens ever since. While we are an imperfect country, I firmly believe the United States of America is the greatest place on earth. I also happen to believe that Louisiana is the absolute best place to live in these United States!
Tales from the trail…10 October
– The trail remains on our landline phone, mainly. Making phone calls to try and reach folks that I haven’t met at their homes and circle back to some who might not have made a decision
– I told one gentleman yesterday “I’ve been going door to door since just before Easter, but I haven’t made it to your house.” He told me “No, you sure haven’t.” Guess that means he was either waiting for me and I didn’t come by or he was glad I hadn’t bothered him. Not sure who he was voting for, but he was polite
– A friend of my mom and dad took out an ad for me yesterday in the Beauregard Daily News. It touched me greatly that someone would take the time and spend the resources to come on board with my campaign. I hope I can leave such a legacy of respect for our children.
– Everyone’s mail is being flooded with last-second political ads. A lot of these critters are designed by folks who do this professionally; I wonder what they do when there is no election going on…?
– Speaking of those ads: My last group was put in the mail on Wednesday. They were brought here via special delivery by my college teammate and friend of many decades. True Air Mail Delivery!
– If anyone around here is going to see President Trump in Lake Charles, take some good pictures!. I wish could be there!
– The election is in 2 days. Make sure you know the location of your polling place. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING our journey here on this page!
Tales from the trail….9 October
– The trail has somewhat taken a different turn. Been spending the last few days calling friends and family and other voters who haven’t made it to the polls yet. But, some good inputs!
– I talked to two folks yesterday who were students of my dad decades ago. Both were cordial, and one reminded me of how good my dad was with a paddle! I told him I had the same memory. Corporal punishment was just fine at my house. The conversation turned to life in general and this gentleman passed along this piece of sage advice. “Ain’t nothin free in life except butt whooping, and they can wind up costing you a beer.” I’m still chewing on that one…
– Some weeks back, I told you all here about coming up on a family home of a schoolmate that I had lost track of and wondered about her route in life. Well, phone follow up is a good thing. I talked to this person’s dad and my classmate is well and has had a good life. I love getting good news. She was a good friend of Mae Ann and I hope she makes it in for Homecoming
– Bumped into someone at the fair the other night who had seen me running in town last week. He said “I didn’t know you were a runner, you don’t look like one. How long have you been trying this?” He didn’t believe me when I told him since 1976. I don’t know if he said I didn’t look like a runner because I have the frame of a shot putter or because I stagger around like wild beast who was just been bitten by a croc. Guess I should keep practicing
– Election day is Saturday
Tales from the trail….2 October
– So much is happening right now that I don’t know if I can pen a useful note for the day. The events in DeRidder and Leesville were all outstanding. Sure hope everyone is enjoying their fairs and rodeos (in Leesville)
– Met a great man today who was errantly incarcerated by the State of Louisiana and spent a quarter-century and change behind bars. He’s a productive citizen and has great thoughts and a genuine heart. Our state needs to do MUCH better for people who are errantly incarcerated
– I had a quick visit today with Congressman Clay Higgins! A Louisiana original. If you don’t know his story you should! An unexpected star but a REAL star for our state. An unapologetic conservative and dedicated public servant
– Stay hydrated, friends. We are revisiting July in October
– Leesville Rodeo Parade is on Thursday! Great fun on the way!
– Keep praying about who you will vote for. These rights are God-given and most in the WORLD doesn’t have them
Tales about the trail….2 October
– I’ll be at the Amerisafe Pavillion in DeRidder today from 0830 – 0930 at an event for Congressman Ralph Abraham (candidate for Governor)
– I’ll be doing an on-air interview on FM 102.7 KTXJ at 9:35
– Carolyn will be joining KWLA at the Vernon Parish Fair from 9 – 12 today for the Senior Citizens Day and I’ll be on-site by 10 AM
– We’ll be back and forth between Leesville and DeRidder, enjoying both great fairs!
Tales from the trail….30 September
– While out on a run this morning, a young man—I guess in his 30s—saw me running and yelled: “don’t pass out, old man.” I didn’t. To my knowledge
– Later in the same run, I saw a guy in his yard and stopped for a quick visit. I’d already knocked on his door some weeks back and we had a good chat. I asked him today if he’d voted and he said he hadn’t but was getting ready to….I told him I hope he’d consider me and said: “I’m 79.” He stared at me intently and said: “…really, you don’t really look that old…”
– Happy Fiscal New Year to those who pay attention to the Federal government. What a mess. Who calls 1 October New Year?
– Early voting remains open at your local Registrar of Voters. Go vote! It’s your right, given to you by God’s merciful hand through brave patriots. Don’t waste it!
Tales from the trail….29 September
– Met a guy who has worked in the steel fabrication world for the past 20 years. Told me during the second term of our last President, his income was cut in half and many in his company lost their jobs—strictly as a result of national policy enacted by said, President. 2.5 years into the current president and his life is starting to recover. The desire by the national Democrat party to crush our industrial base is undeniable. Thanking God for the guy I met and our country that things are different
– I visited with a lady yesterday who told me she was harassed across the parking lot of a large retailer in DeRidder by someone who was offended by her Trump sticker. Let’s frame this situation: This lady is 77, the guy who harassed her, cursing, and calling her names was under 40. Pitiful. Simply pitiful.
– I still feel very bad for the grass in our area. All these metal stakes from signs are going to play heck on our beautiful grass
– Someone asked me if I was getting tired. I told them “no.” I’ve forgotten how refreshing rapid eye movement deprivation really can be…reminds of the cholic days when the girls were little
– Remember early voting!
While it’s not time for a closing argument in this thing we call a campaign, it is getting NEAR time. I wanted to encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote and to prayerfully consider the important votes you cast in these elections.
The best advice my dad ever gave me was ‘think for yourself, son.’ I have tried to do just that and Carolyn and I encourage our daughters to do the same. Our right to vote was bought and paid for by blood, sacrifice, and commitment. I take my right very seriously. I see it as an obligation.
If elected, please know I will represent the people of the 30th District with honor, accessibility, and frankness. There is no unanimity of thought and reasonable people have to be able to disagree. Some of my best friends in this life are people with whom I have significant disagreement, but we respect each other enough to remain friends and try to work for the betterment of our state, country, and world. Disagreement is not hated, or at least it doesn’t have to be.
Believing for better days for our beloved Louisiana. We live in a great state and a great country.
Tales from the trail….28 September
– Early voting starts today and runs through next Saturday! Take advantage of voting and avoid the rush on 12 October
– Met a retired Command Sergeant Major today. He listened to my pitch politely and I think he was considering voting for me until I told him a number of my former Senior NCOs had come on board and supported — then he decided he was definitely with me. The word of a person who wore stripes means a lot to others who wore stripes. (Thanks for David Hocutt, Robert Callaway, Bo McMillan and Chuck Benz!)
– A young man called me yesterday and wanted to have a discussion about my positions on the 2nd Amendment. He is a 20 something. I am heartened to know there are people who still care about complex issues. We had a good discussion and we are of the same mind
– Within the past couple of days, a number of parents of school-age children reached out asking about complex, school and policy questions. We didn’t agree on everything, but the discussions were very good. I do appreciate an opportunity to speak frankly and have a dialogue.
– As early voting begins, I am more convinced than ever that we can have bright days in Louisiana. Our people hopeful for a brighter future.
Tales from the trail….25 September
– While I was visiting with a fellow vet the other day, a young Girl Scout knocked on his door. He invited her in, and she IMMEDIATELY started in with a sales pitch, selling some type of candy. “I am a Girl Scout” she quickly and proudly proclaimed, and she was wearing a nice uniform. What impressed me MOST was her audacity. If she was 12 years old, I’d be stunned. She has a great career ahead in sales. I’m out nearly 20 bucks, and I can’t remember what I bought.
– Made a new friend! I had the occasion to meet a Volunteer Fire Fighter who has a number of Christian ministries and goes into places to share the gospel right here in our community where others might not go. Truly inspiring to meet people who put action with their beliefs and carry the Message. He has a boldness and love for people that are unmistakable.
– Ran into an old friend the other day who’d lost both her husband and her mom, not only in the same year but in the same month. I can only imagine the grief. Her smile was as sweet as ever.
– Met a lady who my dad helped get her undergraduate degree out at Northwestern-Fort Polk. Her comment was “He changed my life”. The context was him helping her piece a course of study together where one didn’t exist. My dad was a “make it happen” person and he did SO much for SO many people. He inspires me to this day, and he’s been gone for 17 years. Hard to believe.
Tales from the trail….24 September
– Met the widow of a multiple Purple Heart recipient. Her husband has been gone for several years, but she beams with pride when she speaks of him. She told me she was ‘studying’ me prior to coming to her door. It’s heartening to hear of folks who take their vote serious enough to study
– One of the first things I ask people when they open doors is “are you a voter?” I have databases, but they aren’t always correct. Usually, folks say “yes.” Today I had someone say “we haven’t done that yet.” The person who answered the door was probably in his 70s. We haven’t done THAT…..YET? Ever? Your whole life? Free country, but that is truly puzzling
– Happened upon the home of one of my dad’s students from DECADES gone by (he taught in the 50s and 60s). The stories are consistent: “He inspired me so much”…..”He would read us Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare and make it come alive”…..”He was such a great man.” I’m sure my dad had enemies (I KNOW he did), but I haven’t met any since I was on this trail. I hope to be thought of as well when I am gone.
Tales from the trail….23 September
– A little “Inside Baseball” about Louisiana politics. I’m sure this will be “shocking” to you all. In the final 3 weeks of a campaign, candidates are required by law to report any donations received over $500 within 48 hours of receipt. I’m good at and understand reporting requirements. But, until now, we had to report in January…then again on 4 September….now again on 22 September….but from this point on, its anything over $500 IMMEDIATELY. In the Air Force, every onerous safety regulation had a thread back to someone doing something stupid. There’s NO telling what prompted this reporting requirement. Probably the history of the State. My, my, my…..
– Got kicked off my 7th porch the other day. Simply because of the party. The gent asked me what party I was in; I told him and then handed him my card. He handed it back and said, “I don’t want it.” When I told him there were no representatives from any other party in my race, he said: “well, then I probably won’t vote at all.” I appreciate his candor. I do know plenty of Republicans who went decades without having anyone to vote for around here.
– Met a person the other day who was a Katrina evacuee. Some horrible stories. I told him I was very sorry for all that happened. When I told him I had family and friends who lost everything in Katrina, as well, in Metairie he told me “no one got hurt in Metairie. There wasn’t any flooding there at all.” He got up and left me on his porch. Technically, I wasn’t kicked off, so I’m not up to 8…
Tales from the trail….22 September
– I had the great pleasure of meeting the father of an old high school teammate. Did my heart good to see this guy; he was always at our football games and track meets, always had a smile. He still has the smile
– About two years ago, I was running in a neighborhood, and two BIG dogs with blood in their eyes broke out of their back yard pen and did a dual pincer movement on me. One would come from one angle, I’d yell at it and startle it, and while his buddy was getting closer on the other side. The owner saw the fracas and came to get his dogs. There was so much screaming, neither of us said anything to each other. Fast forward to today: I knocked on the guy’s door, seeking his vote. I asked him if he remembered me, and he smiled and said: “oh…that was you?” Yes, it was me. He was very apologetic today.
– While going between apartment units in a complex the other day, a guy suddenly darted out of his apartment and started asking “where’s Percy?” He was asking me. I didn’t know Percy, but he thought I did. He finally made it to Percy’s apartment and knocked on the door. He needed to tell Percy that the “horses are about to run.” I wonder if he had a tip on a race. I wish I had asked. I did ask for his vote, and he told me he was studying the ballot.
– I got the “you poor guy” stare from a gentleman the other afternoon. It was hot. Pretty hot. The gentleman who answered had been a multiple tour Police Jury member. He said, “I know what you’re doing….good luck.” Staring at me as if I were a kid about to put his hand on a hot stove
– Speaking of Police Jury: How do you pronounce the “Police” word? Is it “po lease” or “police”, like it sounds?
Tales from the trail….20 September
– Passing along sincere thanks to the good folks from the Leesville City Wide Singing Convention for hosting their “Public Interest Forum” last night. Great turnout and another great opportunity for the folks in Leesville to hear candidates for the upcoming election
– Early voting begins a week from tomorrow—getting close
– I talked to a veteran who was recounting his time in Southeast Asia; he told me about his time in Thailand. Said some buddies got into trouble in the local community and were arrested and put in a local jail. When their First Sergeant bailed them out two weeks later, they were nearly starved to death. The Thai police, apparently, don’t worry about feeding inmates. Important safety tip
– Met a nice lady the other day who answered her door with a snarling pit bull in tow. She was holding him back as she talked to me. Had a nice visit. As the visit ensued, she told me how good God had been to her. I always love to hear people telling me God has been good to them, but I was kinda thinking I needed to make sure I was right with the Lord if that pit got loose. She let me put out a sign….I think
Tales from the trail…19 Sep 2019
– One of the things I love to see most when I’m going out to meet people: Flags on houses. I love seeing flags on houses in neighborhoods. I love seeing flag poles in neighborhoods. The unity of purpose and belief when others are around is great. But what I like the BEST: A flag pole or a flag on a house down a country road where few if any can see it. A statement and an effort. And the best of the best: Multiple flags. US Flag. POW/MIA Flag. Sometimes State flags. Sometimes service (Marines more than any others) flags. Sometimes LSU. Sometimes Gadsen. I do love this country.
– Happened to meet a Louisiana native who owns an oil exploration company, in Houston. Told me he’d left Louisiana because of our hostile business environment. For years, he had offices in Louisiana and Texas; he’s closed his Louisiana office because of what happens here to people in the oil business (lawsuits, governmental harassment). Makes me sad he’s gone, but I understand
– Within a day of meeting the guy in Houston, I met the owner of a successful construction business here in Louisiana. Very big business. He’s been in business here for decades. He told me he’s not leaving and that he is digging in to try and make our state better. It makes me very thankful he’s here and I applaud his tenacity.
Random Stats and Trivia from the Trail
– The most commonly asked question to me: What party are you in?
– A most common concern from voters: The roads
– The highest number of doors knocked on in one day: 120 (me and my 81-year-old uncle)
– The highest number of doors knocked on in one day: 110 (by me, with Carolyn driving)
– The number of porches kicked off: 6. Sort of
– The Number of falls due to clumsiness: Classified
– The number of times compared to a dog: One. To my face
– Dog bites: 2. No real blood is drawn
– Flea attacks: 1—but it was bad
– Times I frustrated my driver, Sam, by forgetting to ask about yard signs—Lost count
Tales from the trail…15 September
– Two weeks ago, I told y’all about my 81-year-old uncle who came to help me with some door to door activities. He was back this week again. We stopped by a fast-food restaurant to get some ice cream when the temp made it to triple digits. Several folks were sitting out on the porch, eating and smoking. It was very hot. My uncle, who is in sales, is great at visiting with people in any location. He appeared to run out of my push cards, and went back out to my truck to get some more. He came with some cards, but also a fan; he gave the fan to a lady who was sitting in the corner of the room. When we got back in the truck, he told me the lady who got the fan was the same one who chewed him out on her porch two weeks ago. It’s never wrong to be nice.
– Remaining thankful for fences. One house I walked up to the other day had HUGE German Shepherds on the other side. They looked like they meant business.
– Tapped on a door the other day, and as a lady was answering, she blurted out “what’s up with the cable?” I think was wearing what the Cable Guy wears. I told her I didn’t know but offered to take a look. I might have fixed it…
– Funerals and wakes during a campaign bring on an air of discomfort for me. I do not go to funerals, etc, unless I know the deceased person or the family. For whatever reason, people sometimes say “well, there’s another politician at a funeral.” No, it’s not. My conscience is clear, but I wonder if it might be better if I DON’T go to any more until this is over.
Tales from the trail…13 September
– Met another guy who didn’t let his bosses put him in for a Purple Heart. Twice. Shot in the leg during one engagement and absorbed a bunch of shrapnel during another one. Dude was a Crew Chief of a Huey and simply had let it go for the entirety of his life (since 1968). Finally got around to going to the VA for an evaluation about 5 years ago. He’d been living and working a productive life and never thought it mattered. Luckily, his medical records reflected everything he told the VA and the VA moved on it and has taken care of this fine citizen. It’s good to hear good news stories. He’s also a great singer, but that’s another story
– Have another finalist for in the great door sign competition: “We don’t rent pigs anymore.”
– I visited with a guy who was a local football hero 60 years ago. He still gets around like an athlete and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to tackle him today. I need to start stretching
– Heard a truly funny one-liner (or maybe two) at a candidate forum the other night: “All of my animals are neutered or spayed, except my chickens.” I don’t know why, but that struck me as funny.
– Special thanks to the Fort Polk Area Realtors for hosting back to back Candidate Forums in Leesville in DeRidder. DeRidder’s was last night and it was well attended. They also had tough questions. I tried to call Donna Brazile for the questions ahead of time but she didn’t return my call. I made off with a box full of overage cookies—so I’ll consider it a successful night. I wonder if I need to report that to the Campaign Finance people?