At the Senate Chamber with
Northern Michigan kids
Elect Bob Carr for
Senator 37th District
Inspiration - Inspiration - Inspiration
Patience, Persistence, Persuasion
Thank all of you for your remembrances. Karen's mom has now passed on. What a sweet lady. Mackinac Island is our home, and our place to vote. I have lived on the Island, in Petoskey, Alanson, and Traverse City. These years later, since my early work at the 'Office of Economic Opportunity' in Washington, D. C. I have done Historic Preservation and economic projects in communities throughout our eight counties, including saving the beautiful 1898 railroad sleeping coach named the 'Sault Sainte Marie'. Many of you know me. As I run to be your Senator, Karen and I will be traveling to visit you. We will love to see you! And we look forward to meeting many new friends of our Senate District. Bob Carr.
Today, Saturday the 30th. I talked with
Bill Thorn of WSOO. What a joy. He has been on radio 64 years come January. This campaign Karen and I went to every invitation event. We did not miss even one. Yes, this all about people. Voting is Tuesday. What a privelege we all have, aye! Yes!
Two weeks to go.Karen and I counted up our personal appearances at debates, forums, organizations and other gatherings. We are closing on 150. It is so rewarding. Serving in the Senate will give us such opportunities. Friday night we went to another 'great Start Collaborative' program; this time in Boyne City. Kids and parents gathered around us and gave us a home made card signed by many little signatures and messages from big people thanking us for going to so many around our 8 counties. We were so touched. As I say "it isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities". It is allright to cross over and vote for me. Karen and I will be very grateful! Upper Peninsula Education Summit, Great Start Children, and UP Children's Coalition each invited me to participate. That I did. The Education Summit was made up of host Senator Mike Prussi, (he has attended all 14 years) school superintendents, principals, teachers, and administrators as well as elected officials. On Friday, I participated in the 'main event' forum on Education's future. This was an very instructive two days. Bart Stupak spoke, Superintendents gave a forum and we had 'breakout' sessions. The other candidates who would wish to serve in an elective role in my 37th District, did not come. They missed so much. Later I spoke at the Great Start forum and with the Children's Coalition. Also, 'media being the message' I was interviewed on NBC and Fox tv as well as ABC tv. Through all of these forums it is clear to me that "it isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities" To this end I am participating in better than a dozen forums and debates in the coming days. Two new request came today; Northeast Michigan Mental Health and a 3 county Parents Coalition. Yes, many, including I am one of a honored few asked for a state wide series calLed "the Great Debates" by public radio.
August 25, 2010- Seed planter! But first, today were in the Sault where we were on hand at the Armory for the return of tthe 1437th. They came back from Iraq early, having finished their bidge building and maintenance ahead of schedule and below budget. Candidates: 'take a lesson!' Also today I went on radio, visited with the Sault mayor, the City Manager, and the Downtown Development Director. Also, Karen and I visited with the 'Evening News' editor. This is how we learn. This is how information is given I can promote when I talk to the media. We have been enjoying the County Fairs. Yesterday we were at the Emmet County Fair. Lots of people who we visited with. As the sun began to set and the 'rides' lights came on in concert with a big round moon rising above the horizon. Neat! Last week at the Islan Post Office I taled with my friend Frank. He is an Islander, one time Councilman and school board member. He told me that what I am is a 'seed planter' of ideas. True. That is why I taled to City Mayors, managers, development directors, and the media. I learn so I can share. And I try to push gently. Overtime we can make an idea become a reality. To this end I am just one member of a team. Together, our Senate District of beautiful eight counties can be 'ever onward and upward'.
August 14, 2010- I am going to tell you abot Abby; but first: We were invited by the Farm Bureau to the 'HHonor ou Vetrans' program at the Northwest Michigan Fair. Many Veterans came including some who had served in WWII. Such events are a time for relection AND inspiration. That evening we met the Fair Director, fair board members, queen candidates and lots and lots of kids and moms and dads. I had to check; sure enough, the same family that ran the school house museum for the last umpteen years, still do though the next generation. Faithful dedication. At the Cheboygan fairn there to we met hundreds of folks. Leaning on a gate at the hog barn was non-other than Carlin Smith of the Petoskey Chamer of Commerce. His daughter was going to compete with her hog in the ring. Dad was the nrevouse one. When showtime came, Karen went to watch. Daughter and hog won 'Grand Champion' for showman ship. Today is the woodend boat show at Hessel. The 'Bernida' (winner of the first Mackinac race) will be there. Years ago, with a fluke in timing, I wads able to save her from the chain saw. Last year, Islander Emory McIntyre Barnwell restored her to glory. Alanson has it's 'Riverfest', Boyne City a car show, and soon there will be the Emmet County Fair. All these festivals, are celebration of 'community'. We love sharing in their joys. Last night, a couple came to the Cheboygan fair with there three children. Abby was the one who reached into my heart. When I was in college, I stayed with Mrs. Slushureinko, caregiver to six physically and mentally challenge children. I learned to love them all. One boy was named Dean. Dean did not get enough oxygen when born which disabled his movement and his speech. Over the summer I taught him 'shoes', 'shirt', 'tie' and more. He learned them. Last night I met nine year old Abby. She is another generation 'Dean'. Her mom and dad were just delightful and full of joy. While they took time to see the animals I spent time with Abby. I sang every verse of "Farmer in the Dell" I could remember. Abby laid in her carrier and smiled, moved, and giggled. I had tears inside but joy to be in the presence of such family heros and with sweet Abby. It isn't just about me as a candidate, or just about which poltical party, it is all about service, service to the 'least of these'. That family, with their caring love for their Abby are te ones who are our community heroes. Thank you both for Abby.
August 3-10, 2010- We won our primary! Our evening was spent not a party somewhere; we visited our County Leaders and with our media reporters. At the Grand Traverse Courthouse we recorded with TV 7/4, we lined up TV 9/10 and did a half hour radio program. We stopped by the Traverse City Record-Eagle and visited their Political Editor. Finally, we stopped at the Petoskey News-Review and visited with Brandon Hubbard and Julie, watching the votes come in. I recorded a sound bite for publishing in the paper. Once I held a White House Press Pass and I believe giving total access to the media of all kinds. It is County Fair time. As a farm boy, I love going to them. This week we are visiting the Northwat Michigan Fair in Traverse City, the Cheboygan County Fair and the Anrimm County Fair. Seeing many friends and making new ones is the very best blessings of our campaigning. Through each visit we again know. That "it isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities." And this too: I see people everyday who I know or have worked on a community project with. Service is for a time, but what we do has a long lasting effect on each of us. And 'us' stay around for many years. Doing good service through each one of us really matters!
August 2, 2010- I received a telephone call from Allen Brown of Railmark last night. My response was that his call was so timely. I will explain. First, Karen and I have been throughout our Senate District as usual. When we stopped at the Bliss Store it was such a joy to step back in time again. Teressa Reed was standing behind the 100 year old counter as usual. Pictures of their elected official friends from times past still hung on the walls. Good people serving us just for a time. I also was able to participate in forums. One was sponsored by the Petoskey News-Review along with the Petoskey Chamber. The turnout was large. Special times were two telephone calls, one from Commissioner Steve Dougan of Ingham County. Yes, the County of our State Capitol and the other was from Virg Bernero's daughter. Both asked me about the 'hows' of 'grass routes' campaigning and bipartisan service? One is a Republican and the other is a Democrat. As I tell everyone, "It isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities. People from both sides of the aisle are agreeing. As I write this, the Clarion of the Island Catholic Church is playing. A church that one summer provided Karen and I shelter in the Rectory. This weekend I attended three Churches. The Petoskey Seventh-day Adventist Church showed a video about the Space X prize. Before the video the minister asked for prayer request. It was the young one who said "Pray for the oil spill!" The X prize was won by the Rutan brothers who did the engineering. I know them well and knew Mom and Dad. Google them. The young boys focus, the Rutans forward thinking are examples of why I am so upbeat about our future. In the afternoon I attended the WMKT radio debate at Landmark Baptist Church of Petoskey. The questions were many, and I always came back to putting a 'face' on the discussion. We are talking about people. Example: the 30 something lady who fell on Friday right in front of us at a Cheboygan grocery store, crying out in pain. Careful help took time. When her brother came I asked him if she had any insurance? She did not. We can talk tough but my question during the debate was: for those who still cannot afford health care, "What are we going to do about it?" Yesterday, we attended the Island's Congregational 'Little Stone Church' where I am a member. The history of service regardless of any party, of the Congregationalist is legend. Yes, Allen Brown called me. I work with railroads. He has been trying to do a 'historic train' project on the State owned railroad track in Traverse City and Petoskey. His www.railmark.com has not been able to 'navigate' the politics with the State. The conservatives say in our debates, "get the government out of the way" and sometimes they do have a fair point. Government is people. That is why I am running to be your Senator. We need to help in anyway possible our counties. Doing so, "It isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities."
July 24, 2010- We have had an astounding five days: Karen and I traveled into all eight counties. It was so much fun for it was a trip down 'preservation memory lane' for me. Those past learning experiences have set my compass for how I will serve while in the Senate. We stopped in Cheboygan and met the new Editor of the Cheboygan Daily Tribune. I reminisced about giving the Mackinac Island Town Crier a list of 'fourteen ways to save the lighthouse'. It was during the time I worked for the 'Office of Economic Opportunity'. I was asked to Direct the Island Chamber of Commerce and to work on the 'save' effort. Preservation efforts can have a lot of dead-ends. This was no different until; until I came in contact with Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan. The Durocher family are heroes of mine. They loaded up a barge with large stone and dropped the stone around the base of the ice-damaged lighthouse. That small jester was what 'turned on the spigot' and the 'Save the Round Island Lighthouse effort took off. I was in Bellaire. It was there that I learned a tough lesson. I had been told that there were two railroad coaches that needed a home. I said I would look at them over the weekend. I did! What I found was two smoldering shells. Scrapped. Since then, whenever I receive a call for help, I am on it pronto. We learn. As I walked around Bellaire this week I looked for the old downtown hardware store. Times change and it is gone. Yes gone, but now in a 'reuse' there is a very beautiful and comfortable cafe. In Mancelona, my memory was of the time I was talking to a County Commissioner. A block of buildings had burned. The property was sitting vacant and was overgrown with tall grass and weeds. He was lamenting how he wished it was a park. I said "Get a Brush Hog and a mower and mow the place. It will become a park". Three days later it was mowed. Today, you can go and sit on benches in this quainyt little park located at downtown and US 131. Yesterday, we were in Rogers City. Karen and I went to the worlds largest (yes, in our Senate District) lime quarry. It was at Calcite that I arranged the preservation of their two rare Baldwin made diesel locomotives. Yesterday, I wanted to check on the old, very old, steam shovel that is on display at the quarry exterance. Yep! It is time to repaint her to that red with black trim. The lady in the booth invited her in. She has been at Calcite for years. When I mentioned painting the shovel she beamed. She was in charge of the 'to do list' and that shovel will be on it. Tuesday evening I attended a forum in Boyne City where I closed my time by telling the lesson I learned. We had to move a Caboose or it was being scrapped. We did. However, mother nature decided to have a blizzard during our effort. We had to modify our plans. Andy told me to measure the load as we remembered that in Bayview there was an overpass to get under. I measured and said the Caboose Cupala will clear by one inch. Andy said "you sure?" I went ahead of the truck, fully expecting Andy yo crawl under the overpass. Nope. He waw me and stepped on it, causing my heart to go into my throught. It cleared. I asked Andy: "What was with not slowing down?" His reply: you measured it didn't you?" I said "yes". "You said it would clear didn't you?" I said "yes" Then Andy said this: "Well then, your word has always been good." Our word is relied on by others. We much be careful with our words being true. Thursday morning I was at a reception of the Traverse City Chamber and 25 'doers' of the area. A questions was asked in which I talked about many little efforts make for a big success. Some efforts are quickly accomplished, some take many years. I reminded them of 'Building 50' now called the commons. For several years I would go to the monthly meeting, on purpose, arriving late and leaving early and never once did I say a word. In time, each regulatory body voted to have 'building 50' demolished. I wrote a 'letter-to-the-editor' which became a 'guest editorial'. The night did come for the official final meeting. Six, I think it was, different governmental bodies gave their report supporting demolition. I said nothing. People in the audience begged and I said nothing. The 'question' was called for the official vote: I stood up and started talking and passing out copies of my guest editorial. To this day, how did it happen, we are not sure but the 'question, the vote' was never taken. Three weeks later we were in Central gym by the many hundreds, putting sticky notes on the wall as to what to do with our treasure. Where ever you go in our District, you will love to see, history preserved and history used. We were in Pickford. The old shoe store is still going. Hessel, Cedar ville, Detour village, you will see many boat builders. Yesterday, after we saw the new editor of the paper, Karen and I went to the Cheboygan Museum. A month ago, while on my way to Petoskey, I received an urgent call from them. They needed to move their railroad car, and now. That night I was there to take a look and the next day I made my recommendation. What a rush yesterday to come to the Museum and see that 'historic car' up on it's wheels on a short: 'but-just-as-wide' piece of railroad track. My job as your Senator is to help people dream. To bring new ideas or to help implement worthy ideas. Patience, persistence, and persuasion are the tools that make things happen. Together, with the help of my service as Senator, we can have the added power and resource to do even more exciting and worthwhile projects. Some will be small and some will be large. Together, we will get our economy really going again. As a team "it isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities."
July 19, 2010- Saturday I filled out a detailed questionnaire for the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce. In one answer I mentioned my co-founding of the 'Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen'. Sunday, Tom Walsh wrote in the Detroit Free-Press a fabulous article entitled "A EXTREME MAKEOVER" about Benton Harbor AND St. Joe. During my time in 1978-1980 something winters, I also served on the study board regarding Enterprise Zones. I personally have the scrap book of news clippings about those founding days of our city efforts. Operated now by some 30 churches, and open daily, the 'Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen' really never was just about food, but about a common place for community people to gather and learn respect and care for each other. Both those who came to help and those who came to be served. For the first year, the Kitchen had only a half dozen churches and a few helpers. Our helpers were the Benton Harbor needy. For now, I want to tell just the miracle beginning and mention four people. As we were working on getting the Kitchen up and open, a fellow used to come and ask me if he could play the pink and green piano in the closet. He would be drunk, and I would say, "Otha, clean up, clean up, and you can." One day he showed up dressed to a T in a suite, tie, and wearing spats. He started to play the piano, and never, ever, have I heard such glory. Glory, surrounded in the middle of a devastated downtown. When we opened the Kitchen we put that piano in the front window and Otha 'Bus' Clayborn' formerly of the Duke Ellington Band payed that piano. Yes, Otha did stay cleaned up. That is what 'the Kitchen' is about. A Gentleman's Gentlemen. Serving on our first Board of Directors was none other than David Whitwam and His wife Barb. Read about Dave in the Tom Walsh article of yesterday. When I knew Dave, he was just a middle management employee of Whirlpool. In a book in which I have been quoted: I said, "By helping others you help yourself even more". Since Dave became Chairman of Whirlpool, not only were Karen and I thrilled, I have often thought of my words and how Dave and Barb were so much the glue that held our little group together in the beginning. The forth name? Phillip Ruppe, former Republican Congressman of Michigan's First District. Then running for Senate, he took two hours of his precious time to come into Democratic Benton Harbor, down into a basement meeting room, and talk with us about our idea for an 'Enterprise Zone'. A Republican! If my memory is correct, Benton Harbor was the first or one of the first three enterprise zones in America during that era. Hold on: to this day I know that not only do we need unique help for unique communities, I also know we must be able to tell which project is genuine and which project just wants a financial advantage to better fill their pockets. Since working for the Office of Economic Opportunity when young, to running the ACT House runaway kids inter-city program, to Benton Harbor, and my many projects throughout the 37th Senate District two things I know. First, patience, persistence, and persuasion, with a steady vision will bring success. Sometime quick and sometime like Benton Harbor. And secondly, as I say again and again, "It is not just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities" I learned this from Phil Ruppe. One more thing, Dave, Barbara, Karen and I loved Otha. When I gave his eulogy for him I remember recalling how Otha sat in that front window, playing that old piano, giving us each a gift no money ever could buy.
July 17, 2010- This week I experienced a sudden jolt of joy! But first a few experiences from around our 8 counties. I was able to go to a couple forums. In Charlevoix it was the Chamber of Commerce. The Petoskey News-Review picked up on our theme: called "That's politics" Approach to bipartisan ship separates candidates". I said, "It isn't just about which politcal party, it is all about serving our communities". Another forum was at Alden, and there I reminded people to go see the historic locomotive in front of the depot. I moved it many years ago from Saint Marys College. The locomotive belongs to the College Nuns. Professor Bill Shannon of Alden, myself, the Depot Museum, we are just keepers for a time. Children love that locomotive. Karen and I were driving back from Sault Ste Marie, and took a right to Brimley. I checked on the two rail cars I had moved from Boyne City to Conway, and eventually donated them to Brimley. That was many years ago. It took years, but we are breaking ground this year for a new 'Depot'. A small beginning, taking time, now becomes a big part of Brimley's appeal to tourism. We then drove down H63. We saw a MDOT sign which explained that the work ahead is from 'stimulus money'. Yep, we ended up being the first in line to wait while traffic came from the other way. I got out to visit the flagman. He called me by name. When I set up the historic preservation project in Alanson, as a youngster he was collecting worms for the fisherman and did a lot of hunting. I mentioned I had an old Stevens single shot given to me by Dad Carr. He exclaimed "22 Caliber?". He had one too, given to him by his dad. We had a great chat. Thursday I was in Traverse City and as I drove past Ace Welding. Opening the door to his truck was Billy. When I was asked to move to cars to Fort Bragg, we had to change the bearings in the car. The locomotive that was to take them, showed up a day early. Quick action was needed and Ace Welding built 8 adapters in four hours without and prior notice. I again thanked him. When something must be done, do it! They showed me that. We also had a wonderful res-pet. Karen and I were asked over to the President's house at Interlochen. There, with the board members, I was asked about historic preservation strategies. Interlochen is a very hisoric and long-serving Academy for the Arts. It is time to think of it's past with a plan for it's future. As guest, Karen and I attended 'Collage' put on by the students. Oh my!!! Of note: the seating is major league seating obtained cheap because of the wrong color (saving money) and the many afterward concert cleanup crew is made up of volunteers from the community (saving money) while providing these fine folks a sense of real giving. And it is. Finally this: I was in a store and I saw a woman in a wheel chair stocking shelves. Yes, stocking shelves. I said to he "So what is the story of the wheel chair?" She told me she had been in a terrible car accident about 20 years ago. I asked her where and how? She was driving to Traverse City from Suttons Bay. I said, I came upon an accident about just as it happened about 20 years ago. I came upon it within seconds of it happening. The girl was in a coma and we worked so carefully. I stayed with her until she was strapped in and taken to Munson Hospital. I checked on her until she was transferred. Her prognoses was not good. Could you be her? Her name was -----. With that my friend looked down and turned over her name tag. It indeed was her. I have had a sadness tucked somewhere in me for 20 years. And suddenly, though not perfect, I have suddenly experienced such joy. I have been part of a couple forums since. I have wanted to talk about this, but so far my joy gets me close to tears. I will rejoice in her life and in her determination, without complaint, to be of service no matter her unfortunate past. I am moved! I am so inspired. The campaign goes on!
July 16, 2010- The past week has been phenomenal. I will write tomorrow! Please tune in!
July 10, 2010- Wednesday evening I prepared a letter for Ag Day coming Friday, about my proposal to duplicate in our 8 counties the Ag History Project. Thursday Karen and I traveled from the Straits of Mackinac to the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce, on down to Traverse City, up to Sault Ste. Marie and then back to the Straits of Mackinac. At the Sault I was to attend a forum at the Sherman Park Pavilion. As I walked up to the Pavilion, outside was parked a 1939 Red International W4 tractor. It was owned by Don Henderson, who was a member of the very Ag History Project referred to in my letter. Yes, his wife had helped school children milk the wooden cow. They had just moved clear across the country to live on Sherman Park Boulevard in the Sault. The forum was full of good and thoughtful questions. After we were done, and all the politicians were gone, Karen and I walked over to see members of the local Horse Shoe Club. It is a big summer club. The President walked up and said: "I know you because when you were in Charlevoix two weeks ago hosting Up North TV you interviewed my daughter who was getting her face painted". "Give me thirty of your Bob Carr bookmarks for the group". Yesterday, Karen and I went to AG Day in West Branch which was put together by the State Farm Bureau. We rode on hay wagons, met the officials, and walked through barns, touring all the areas of a 400 cow dairy. At the 'fresh' cow barn, I put my hand in a bucket and got a brand new baby calf to start suckling. I haven't lost my touch. Of course Karen thought the calf was so cute. We loved the day so much we stayed till the 'cows came home'. Finally, the equipment barn, where the food was served, was empty of people except for two. Senator Jason Allen and I were in the middle of this big old building talking about the towns throughout the 37th. Senate District and how we loved them. Karen recorded this with a photo. I will cherish these moments. You see, "it isn't just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities."
July 6, 2010- In Petoskey, on the 4th, I was asked when was the last time I was in Alanson? My reply, "this morning getting water at the spring". "You are a local" was her reply. Today, we stopped again at the spring just as Tom Fairbairn, local hardware man, drove up. It seems the drain was plugged. We go way back. Together we pulled the screen and cleaned it. Then, I pulled out a two foot screw driver and we poked out the debris. Every time now that Karen and I stop, I will have that screw drive at the ready. At 2 o'clock we attended a hour interview put on by the 'Traverse Area Chamber of Commerce' and 'Great Start' which is a 0-5 child advocacy group. My background gave them a different perspective for sure. When we were done, before seeing friends throughout the 'Open Space' Karen and I stopped in the 'Captain's Quarters' to say hi to Maury Allen. Yes, he is the dad of Jason Allen. I have known Maury for years. Karen and I wanted to tell him of our spending time with Suzanne when she was on Mackinac, and really enjoying his granddaughter Amanda. Maury has provided an important service for years; good men's clothing for us, regardless of our political party. "It is not just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities".
July 5, 2010- I will finish today's column with a story about yesterday and 'the Mayor of Onaway'. First: Yes, we had many 4th. of July parades cities in our District. I went to all six. And, I still had time for a lot of one to one with people. Over a thousand bookmarks left my hand, many hugs from long-time friends, and I met new friends. Six? That's right.The other candidates are wondering how? For starters, it helps to have done community projects all around our eight counties. There is more to it than that of course. I will not teach the other candidates at the moment. Out of the six stops I saw one Senate candidate, one time. I reminded him that all candidates running for this seat should be in the debates. After all, it is not about us since all of our names will be on the ballot in the primary, it is about the voters. The voters should be given the right to hear all of us. He and the other guy are still boycotting. The question by people IS? Yes, by 100 percent. Let me into the debate as I am not afraid. As we were finishing up talking, I reached down while asking "You are the fiscally conservative candidate, Right?" "Right" With that I picked up a plastic zip-tie and said "some people call this 'roadkill' but I see this as a perfectly good zip-tie and I am going to put it in my pocket to use later. You see, I am fiscally careful!" (I could not resist) as so many candidates think they have the corner on an issue. My first stop was in Boyne City and I ended the day in Sault Ste. Marie. There, I immediately ran into the Historical Society volunteers (I am working to get the 1898 sleeping coach 'Sault Sainte Marie' to them) and my last, by chance, conversation long after the parade was over was with the President of the Theatre restoration group. However, it was in Onaway where a fellow ran up to me and said he was in the parade but his old truck's battery was dead. I was standing near the mayors parade car. (It said so on the sign on the door) The next thing we knew, the mayors car was turned around and jumpper cables were being attached. I told the mayor I was taking a picture of him and this operation. and I would send it to the right place Tuesday. Is the Mayor of Onaway a Democrat or a Republican? I do not know nor did I ask. "It is not just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities.
July 3, 2010- Karen and I were walking along the wall of the fort when we saw some people come out of the Governor's Mansion. Soon I was walking and talking with Mr. Granholm, yes, husband of the Governor. While he was waiting for the Governor, we enjoyed a warm conversation. Downtown today, I suddenly stopped as a carriage was being boarded. I exclaimed "there are two people who I love!" They were Governor and Helen Milliken. We go back to when Karen and I were new on the Island, and the Millikens were in the Governor's Mansion. As the carriage started, I blew Mrs. Milliken a heartfelt kiss. "It is not just about which political party, it is all about serving our communities"
July 1, 2010- Yesterday morning as we were starting to drive through the District my telephone rang. It was a Museum in the District calling with a SOS. The Cheboygan Museum is the proud owners of a former Detroit & Mackinac Railroad car. They thought they had all summer to move the car to its final museum location. Not so, it needs to be moved pronto. Would I go look at the situation? Of course they do not have a lot of money. It will another one of those eleventh hour labor of love operations. Last evening Karen and I took a look. I then called to agree to go about to help get assistance and to coordinate the move. As I tell folks, "Saving our treasures is the glue that holds our communities together!"
June 29, 2010- Karen and I were in the Island post office today when a 22 year old asked us how he could get a job? He had just flown from Siberia to Moscow, to Zurich, to New York, and then a bus to Mackinaw City where he caught a boat to the Island. He had been on the Island for less than an hour when we met him. Anton wants to learn better English. I asked him about coming from Siberia to the Island without having a job? Interesting to me. That is like what I did, flying to Washington, D. C. all those years ago to get a job. No, I did not have a job either waiting for me. It worked out. I met Karen, and I landed a job at the 'Office of Economic Opportunity'. For Anton, I have made a few personal introductions, and we have given him our second bedroom until he lands a job. My guess is that by tomorrow Anton will be working. Not only is he sharp and a computer whiz, he can work to November. Now that is gold! Our world is small. Everyone is our neighbor, anyone can be our friend, and all the worlds people add a spice to our lives.
June 26, 2010- Thursday I was invited to record a segment on Detroit Public Television. The recording was in part the thinking of the Center for Michigan. The Center for Michigan (www.thecenterformichigan.net) is meant to help Michigan build a common ground, bottom up strategy back to financial health. When you look on their website, you will find that they have talked to 10,000 Michigan citizens. For those of you who have heard me say that quality of life and place is central to a strategy for recruiting new job providers, the Center for Michigan's conversations found that our people, like me, agreed by a three to one margin over the the next idea. Also, I have said that new business is looking for areas where workers are vibrant and recreational oriented. The host for this creative television endeavor is Nancy Short. Nancy is passionate, committed, enthusiastic. Nancy is a case in point: Nancy Short is a Triathlon athlete. She is indeed an inspiration as she is doing how our new Michigan needs to have it done. Friday, as I traveled around the District, I ran into a fellow wearing a bright yellow shirt. We both immediately said we knew each other years ago. He is the owner of 'Cartridge World' where his purpose is to save people fifty percent on their ink needs. Saving money is a way to help the economy too. My friend, in his bright yellow shirt, is enthusiastic. Contagious. On the way I home I stopped at a Chamber of Commerce. I handed the lady at the desk my brand new campaign piece. Very friendly, she scanned my words and then exclaimed "You are right!" "It is not just about which political party, I think it is about who can get things done." Yes, that too.
June 24, 2010- Those days when I worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity- OEO, was training that is proving so very useful today. My campaigning is all about talking to people. They ask questions. They give me their thoughts. AND, they also give me good news! Karen and I were at a Museum on Tuesday. Word was passed along that we were there. The Director of the town's Visitor and Tourism Bureau came to see me. We talked. I asked how this year was going? Answer? "We are up THIRTEEN percent, YES!", they exclaimed. My job is also to be our District's promoter. Everywhere we go Karen and I share the upsides of what is happening all around our eight counties. Economic good news!
June 20, 2010- Judge Ned Fenlon was a topic of conversation with Rand Shackelton of Cross Village. I was telling Rand about those many years of meeting for breakfast Dr. Blum, Dr. McCune, Mr. Meyer, Judge Fenlon, and Ralph. They were friends of mine. For some reason, they adopted me and I would go up the hill in Petoskey 3 days a week. Judge Ned Fenlon was a strong Democrat, some of the others were just as devout Republicans. I would sit and listen to their good natured jabs regarding party politics. That wonderful time is gone now as they are gone. Well, not so for Judge Ned Fenlon. He is still with us, still playing his banjo. He is 104 years young, or 107 years old. Depends who you talk to. Though all these great people defended their party politics, when it came to service, they put politics aside. Judge Fenlon was that fair judge from over the bridge in St. Ignace. Dr. Blum left Petoskey the 'Hospitality House'. Dr. McCune was a brain surgeon and longtime supporter of the arts. Mr. Meyer, hardware man, supported lots of non-profit causes, and Ralph was a commercial fisherman who passionately protected Cross Village and the Lake Michigan Coast line. It is not just about which party, it is all about service.
June 19,2010- Last evening we attended a Memorial Service for Dr. David Armour, 36 years Assistant Director of the Mackinac Island State Park Service. The service was held at the fort. Dr. Armour was many things during those years. He was our Volleyball organizer. My team was the Mackinac Maniacs. For many years once a week we would go up the hill and play volleyball in the shadow of the stone wall. Many, many of us shared the fort grounds. It did not matter what we did on the Island. On the Island, the ground is level for everyone. Over the course of the evening, one after another of the State Park Commissioners came over and shook my hand. The Commissioners were prominent Democrats and they were prominent Republicans. When they served on the Commission, they left that aside to serve all of us as Commissioners. It is not just about which political party, it is about serving. After the service was concluded, many of us helped put up the white chairs; an excuse to hang around those grounds. Finally, I walked through the western arch to make my way home. There was a carriage being loaded. The Armour family. Suddenly, Mrs. Armour saw me. She came to me and gave me a long hug. Those nights at volley ball bonded us all.
June 16, 2010- We had a wonderful day in the District. So many acquaintances that we see. As we got to Alanson, I saw a telephone number on a post. I knew that number. I called. My long ago business friend answered. We were thrilled. As candidates are just humans, I stopped in Oden to get a belt for our dryer. When the lady finished up and turned to help me, she said "Bob Carr!" She reminded me that she was the young waitress that spilled a glass of ice water in my lap. On we went to Petoskey to see a printer. While we were working on our project, John walked in. Did I remember him? Yes. The young 16 year old kid at the corner gas station at Mitchell and 31. He told me that I was there the day he received word that his Grandmother had passed away. We got through that day. All of us have or will receive those messages. It is important to care while folks are able to receive. I also stopped at Napa Auto for some belt lube. A lady came to the front and reminisced about my purchasing from them the paint for the locomotive and railroad cars. Yes, I said, "Centari with hardener. Carmen for the locomotive and coach, dark carmen for the 'Chief Wawatam' idler cars." Everywhere we go in our Senate District, we have these wonderful days of seeing folks we know and in making new friends. We are so mindful that we are part of their lives, and our campaign truly is about each and everyone.
June 15, 2010- Today, both a television station and a newspaper talked to me with the same two questions on their mind. They remembered that when I won the 1996 primary for Congress, at that time I always said that there must never be any drilling on the Great Lakes. I was unequivocal. No, no, and no. I always gave a very simple explanation. If there ever was an accident the damage would be total! What made me so sure even back then? I have been flying airplanes starting in college. When I was asked to photograph the two yacht races to Mackinac, I was in the air sometimes up to fourteen hours over the lake. That was a lot of time to contemplate about our Great water treasures. We would keep an attitude where we could see BOTH Michigan and Wisconsin shores or Michigan and Canada's shores at the same time. As Great as the Great Lakes are, they are not big enough for drilling. Drilling? Never! The second question was from our media friends. Why are the area elected officials just now trying to jockey for the 'against all drilling position'? Good question? I left it at that. My position remains the same. No! Our area still does it's part in giving to the world.
Agricultural History Project- June 14, 2010- IT IS TIME we create an Agricultural History Project within our Senate District. Elementary students of all our schools taking a field day to milk a wooden cow, grind corn, roll a steel wheel with a stick, pump water from a water trough, peal an apple with a crank, pit cherries, look at old farm machinery, pet the animals, and a MUST: take a hayride. Our young students will 'go to the farm' when they are in 3rd grade, in 4th grade, and 5th grade so that they really know the importance of Agriculture. In a short fifteen yours they will be grownups. Yep! That quick. Our next leaders. The Ag History Project will make that much difference. Those leaders will love and protect our Agriculture. An Ag History Project can start out at every County fair grounds. Operated by volunteers, these outdoor classrooms can be simple in setup and operation. Over time, a place can be found to start a year round location that can house a Museum, buildings with old equipment, fields to grow grain and then harvest, and a corn maze. In addition to the elementary program there will be many 'days on the farm' for the entire family. When the Ag History Project becomes a full fledge attraction, then tourism can help in the financial stability of the Ag History Project. I have started the discussion first with the Michigan Farm Bureau because the Farm Bureau is our state's largest Agriculture group. The Ag History Project can become reality by starting simply and then pursuing it's funding from the many kinds of sources that can be pursued. Visiting at he Agriculture History Project is always fun. Fun is a great equalizer in the support of a cause. Agriculture is fun! Let's get the fun started. I can tell you how. Bob Carr
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