There are a lot of pictures to break up the legnth of this post.
There hasn't been much down time in my life as a retired person, I'll tell you that much.
First a recap from just before I moved to Hart till this early spring.
If you know me, you know I'm a transplant from the "Little House in the Hood" of downtown Muskegon, to the "Little House in the Wood" of Oceana County. I've lived here now going on 3 years in a small beautiful house on 20 acres. I really do love it here.
This post is about what I've done as an individual person along with my new friends. I'll let you decide whether what I've done has made a difference.
The first thing I did was to start up a weekly breakfast coffee clutch for conservatives. I did this actually before I moved up to Hart. Our first meeting was at Morat's bakery in Hart at which 4 people including myself showed up. Pictured above. This was a copy of the successful Carmen's Group coffee clutch I and Jim Riley started 2 years prior to that in Downtown Muskegon and if I might add, both are going strong to this date without a break. Muskegon's next meeting will mark 267 consecutive Thursday morning Carmen meetings and 141 consecutive meetings of Hart's Cozy Conservative Corner. This tells me that there is a desire out there for the conservatives to get together.
I always remind myself that if what I do doesn’t catch on, it is because I did it wrong not that there isn’t the desire by the public.
The idea for this “coffee clutch” came from an article Peggy Noonan wrote about how a single guy, Grover Norquist was responsible for the Republican Revolution back when Newt and the boys wondering what to do in the minority. Noonan said it started with Grover setting up a Conservative "Center Right" weekly breakfast in DC and it soon became a focal point for the Angst out there for change. Well I stopped what I was doing and said I can do that where I live. I did, then I moved and did it again.
Our Cozy Conservative Corner in Hart is every Tuesday morning 8:00 AM; at La Fiesta downtown Hart. All are welcome. If you are a conservative socially or otherwise or think you might be, you will be welcomed. Dutch treat of course - we are conservatives after all. The purpose is not to build the Republican party, or the Tea Party or any religious or other conservative thing, the purpose is to gather conservatives over good food and fun to explore what we have in common – and hopefully figure out what to do about it that helps us all. As they say a rising tide floats all boats.
And here let me be blunt, even hard. The people who fight amongst themselves are cowards. They are too afraid to fight the real enemy, which is the "Organized Left" and simply withdraw to live in a cocoon made up of snappy catch phrases and all the gimmicks of ideologues of the right and the left.
Andrew Breitbart was not such a person; he would wade into it with anyone from the far left and argue with them, as the new terminology goes he demanded the right “Stand their Ground”. The last thing he did was put out a movie “Occupy Unmasked”, in which he debunked the Occupy Movement as a spontaneous affair. He showed how it was run by the unions and how they bussed in people and got all the far left groups together. The best part was footage of him wading into the Occupy LA scene yelling in their faces to “behave yourselves”. The movie is available on Netflix.
Andrew Breitbart had great success; we lost a valiant warrior with his passing.
Well forgive me for diverging, back to what I’ve been doing.
Then through the people I met at both the Cozy Conservative Corner (CCC) and the Oceana County Republican Party, I organized the first ever Oceana Tea Party. I couldn’t have planned it better as the CCC had as its first members, the leadership of the Republican Party and I was the leader of the Tea Party, so it worked out as long as I made sure the meeting didn’t turn into one or the other.
I had great success with the Tea Party and got some great speakers including our State Senator and Representative. We also had a debate with all the 7 candidates for the US Senate in Hart.
I stepped down after a year to set a precedent and the Tea Party is going strong to this date. Below is a picture of our own version of throwing some Tea into “Hart Lake” at our 3rd annual “March to the Park”.
During my tenure as Chair of the Oceana Tea Party I was always pushing the idea of getting into politics at the local level. I called it “Bottom Up Politics” after the name of this blog. At about the time I stepped down, my plans crystallized into running for County Road Commissioner. Below is a pic of my sign and slogan, Put a Carr on the Road --- Commission”.
Below is a pic of me living up to my slogan, as I’m checking out a broken culvert.
I won with the backing of the Republican Party faithful and the friends I made in the Tea Party.
Next came the County Republican Convention at which our long time chair decided to step down and I was the one who filled the vacuum.
Let me make it clear that the reason all this happened was not because I was the sharpest tool in the shed, but because I always tried to think “What can I do today”, not “Who is doing something wrong today”. I then always followed through and “Jumped in”. I’m a firm believer that we need to start doing and then learn from that experience. No one is perfect and no plan by man is perfect and the only thing that matters in the end is what we do, not what we talked about doing.
To show how interconnected things are; the fact that I first started blogging then the fact that through blogging I met the Muskegon County Clerk whom I volunteered unasked to help in her re-election bid, and all of that got me into the Muskegon Republican party and raised my standing there. The fact that I started the web site for them and this blog and later a 5 county Republican blog helped not only in the Muskegon, but the other surrounding counties of Lake, Mason, Oceana, and Newaygo. then the fact that I started to go to their meetings helped me also. The fact that a State Rep from Hart (100th) decided to run for the Senate in the 34th which included most of the above districts brought him to read a blog I made about the struggles of the East Muskegon Fair. As I was sitting at that picnic table talking with the Pancake makers I got a phone call and it was the State Rep. Goeff Hansen who was just pulling into the area and wanted to know how to get there and that he wanted to meet me.
That was the beginning of my relationship with Senator Hansen. Yes he did win. I like to think I had something to do with it. Like I told him, I would be happy to introduce him around to some of the small shots I knew from blogging but he would have to get to know the big guys himself. It soon became an obbession for me to help him get elected. It was because I was a little dispirited after Karen Bui our Musk. County Clerk lost her election in which I had helped. I was more determined to do what I could to help Goeff over the finish line in first place. I did all I could, including inviting him to Carmen’s Group, to Tea Party Meetings, introduced him to Karen Bui who was the head of the Black Women’s Caucus in Musk. I also introduced him to the owners of the new “Mia and Grace” restaurant and they hit it off as their idea was gourmet “farm to table” and Goeff knew the farm and the grocery business. Also the owner and manager at Carmen’s restaurant fell in love with him.
Between those two races I must have gone to 50 parades sometimes 2 a day, year in and year out. I've put up yard signs and gone door to door.
The point I’m making is that all those little things a person does are really very interconnected with each other and they tend to feed off each other if you give them a chance. First though, you have to take that first step.
Also luck plays a part. It was really just a coincidence that the house I found to buy was in Oceana County. Pure chance, kind of a last ditch shot in the dark.
Now to early spring, the pic below is the last of the ice on my little pond, which over flowed and is just now back within its banks.
Then the next pic reminded me that I live in Mi. as a blizzard happened the next day, but it was winters last gasp and spring had sprung.
Still the annual Ocean Tea Party’s “March to the Park” was a cold affair as we again threw our Tea into the Harbor, well ok Lake.
Below is a pic of Newaygo County Chair Sam Chansler at their Lincoln Day Dinner.
A next pic is of a CCC breakfast.
Next my first asparagus shoot and my roto tiller action in my garden. By now my garden was planted and starting to sprout.
The Hart Parade was also gearing up and I was there to help Senator Hansen and Rep. Bumstead.
Below are pics from that event.
This year is the start of my sixth parade season, Man have I given out a lot of candy. !!! LOL
This marks the end of “Nothing to Do?” Part I. More to follow. Shortly.
So don't tell me there is nothing to do.
Better yet give me a call and I'll hook you up with something to do.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be a Conservative