Tuesday, November 8, 2016
I remember November 2, 1952 quite well. It was the Sunday before election day. I was sitting on our living room floor looking at the comics in the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. My dad came over and threw down the Sunday supplements for each paper. There was a full page photo of Dwight Eisenhower on one and Adlai Stevenson on the other. My dad gave me one of those ubiquitous life lessons fathers give to their sons. He told me to NEVER VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN BECAUSE ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS MONEY. He said the Democrats care for working people. At that moment I learned I was a member of the working people group.
It was in 1960 that I developed the bug for politics. I admired John F. Kennedy so much. He was so not like Ike. He was young. He spoke in prose that evoked visions of pride in our country and what we could become.
I got to see President Kennedy in Berlin in 1963. Thousands of people were there screaming and yelling praise at Kennedy. I was so proud that he was our President. Later we got to go to East Berlin and I saw what not having the freedoms we enjoy in the United States looked like. Shortly thereafter we ere on our train riding through East German where we had to stop. German guards boarded the train and went through each and every compartment looking at our passports and bags. A schoolmate of mine, Nina McKitrick, had take a couple of photos of the guards. One grabbed her camera and ripped out the film and handed back to her. She was in tears. I think the rest of us were pretty terrified. Things like that do not happen where we came from. At least not where I lived. A little more than three months later John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He had spoke to my generation to be our better angels. And then he became one. Sometime between his being elected and before his death, I decided I wanted to go to law school to become a lawyer. I planned eventually to run for public office. I did become a lawyer but I never ran for office. Now I sell houses in Key West.
The lessons I learned as a little boy about God and Country live with me today. I have been horrified at the prospect of Donald Trump becoming President. He is not from the mold of an Eisenhower - he ran away from war not toward it. He is not a skilled politician like Nixon nor a statesman like Regan. Just about everybody has a word to describe him. I don't know what will happen today. I already voted. VOTE. Fifty years from now how will you look back on what you did today?
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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell
- Gary Thomas
- Key West, Florida, United States
- I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.