Born in Mount Vernon, Washington (hey, that’s the same town Glenn Beck is from!) in 1960, I grew up in the Seattle area until I was about 14 when we moved back up north to Burlington, Washington just across the Skagit River from Mount Vernon.
Burlington is a small town in a rural farming area and I spent a lot of my “free” time earning money working on dairy farms bailing hay, milking cows, picking strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, tulips as well as a few other “jobs that Americans won’t do.”
My mother was a single parent struggling to raise four kids on her own, so working on one of the local farms or in the fields was the only way to have any money of my own.
With no formal education beyond high school, Mom worked a variety of low paying jobs to make ends meet. I learned the value of hard work.
I dreamed of being a Naval Aviator but those dreams were dashed when I found out they wouldn’t accept me because I wore glasses. Fortunately, my mother saw an opportunity that I couldn’t. She made an appointment for me at the local Army recruiter’s office.
I tested high in the Army’s aptitude tests and discovered new possibilities for my future; it was 1978 and I would learn to be an electronic technician. I liked being in the Army; I liked the structure it provided and had I finally had some focus in my life. I got to live in other parts of the country and even spent two years in Germany.
After six years in the Army I put my electronics training to work and started a TV repair business out of an apartment after moving back to Mount Vernon. I worked hard for nearly a year before realizing it was going nowhere financially. Later, I learned that you can learn from your failures.
When I moved to Kingman, Arizona in 1985, I got into the casino gaming business in Laughlin, Nevada as a slot machine repair technician. I would remain in that business, in one capacity or another, for the next 24 years. I worked in Minnesota starting in 1991 for a number of years at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Treasure Island Casino, and in the corporate world of casino development and management.
I was able to eventually realize my dream of learning to fly and for a time even owned my own airplane! I learned that hard work and perseverance can pay off. I also learned that sharing your blessings can be very rewarding; I took friends and family flying every chance I got.
The casino industry is struggling right now and may continue to for some time yet. It doesn’t help much when the current President scolds businesses and people for visiting casinos. I was glad to hear the Mayor of Las Vegas say recently, “This President is a slow learner!” No kidding.
I am currently designing and managing websites, including RogueOnMinnesota.org. I’ve learned that I’m happiest when I’m charting my own course.
Over the years I’ve discovered that life is full of lessons to be learned and aside from some thoughtful PSAs, it’s not the government’s place to tell you what to do. It’s not the government’s place to provide health services to anyone other than active duty military or wounded vets.
The government is not, and should not be, our nanny or big brother. Government’s purpose is to protect our rights as enumerated in the Constitution and to provide limited services as enumerated in the Constitution. Period.