by Jul Thompson
Primary Day, 19 April 2016
It’s a funny life I live that amidst all the troubles, struggles of raising a family, growing a business and two decades of fighting within the constraints of the institutionalized corruption that has become our government, there are such blessings in every day life that causes me pause, to be thankful.
My political life began back around 1998, and I am so grateful for the beautiful people that have become my friends, beginning with my own dear Rus who never stops fighting, then the good people of the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), Lenny & Robin Roberto of Primary Challenge and Jim Ostrowski of Free Buffalo around the time of Erie County’s Red and Green budget of 2005, all of my fellow concerned citizens that gave rise to the Tea Party beginning in 2008-2009, all those that have remained faithful to the reform movement and our own TEA New York, and all its affiliated groups. These include
Amy & Bob Deull, Lou Ann Gosch, Danny & members of the Niagara Patriots, Cathy Knight and the Erie County Patriots, Laura Yingling and the Buffalo 912 group, Ayesha Kreutz and Peter Vasquez of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York (FDF-NY), Bob & Judy Schulz and Judith Whitmore of the We the People of NY Inc (WTP-NY), Judy Pepenella and Steve Flanagan of CSA, Sheriff Tim Howard, Steve Aldstadt, Don Hey and members of SCOPE, and a whole host of others too numerous to name that have graced my life with camaraderie, love, encouragement and a shared vision of hope for the restoration of liberty and constitutionally limited government.
Some know of my desire to have a black tie event, presenting awards to everyone who has made commitments to this effort, from posthumous awards to Debbi Kiehl, Don Wilkinson, Ed McCarty and Carl Frank, to the Christian Warrior Award for Pete & Linda Weyand, Bev & Pete Rasch, Joe Mesler and others, to Ellie Cocoran, George Curtis, Mike Madigan and so many others for their consistency and faithfulness, to our own paladin Carl Paladino, and everyone in between.
Now I have the privilege of enjoying new friendships with the incredibly enthusiastic and wonderful people who support Donald J. Trump through New York for Trump, headed by the indomitable Carl Paladino and his Team of great brains. Having traveled with 50 Volunteers to New Hampshire, a small group to South Carolina, and three vans full to help out with the Ohio primary, it has been such a unique and special privilege to work with, laugh with, anguish a little and grow incredible friendships with a special kind of people, who have taken time out of their busy, mostly unpolitical lives, to join me and the amazing Assemblyman David DiPietro of Carl’s Team, on on an excursion to canvass on behalf of Trump for the US Presidency.
After spending countless hours battling liberals, media and the GOPe, facilitating initiatives and events, wearing holes in my shoes getting petition signatures for reform candidates only to lose or have them win and become a colossal disappointment, and many frustrating years trying to engage people in the process only to witness time and again a dismal 35% average turnout at any given election, nothing warms my heart more than seeing people turning out in droves for a strong candidate committed to issues that I deeply care about – our $20 trillion debt and institutionalized corruption to name two. So while everyone had their phones and cameras trained on Trump at the rally in Buffalo’s First Niagara Center last night, mine was panning the crowd. Tears of happiness were welling up in my eyes! I’ll post it here when I figure out how to move it from my phone to my computer.. not as tech savvy as I’d like! You might try it here….
With all of this in mind, something struck my funny bone this weekend. While my husband Rus was on WBEN AM 930 with Mike Lomas & Glen Wiggle, two of the greatest talk show hosts on the planet, my name came up. Instantly the boys raved about my Stuffed Shells, a culinary treat I cannot make without also preparing a batch for Carl Paladino. Clearly I need to add Mike & Glen, for a batch once a year at Christmas simply will not do! So for all of my interests, involvements, political, professional or personal accomplishments, nothing seems to be more commonly associated with me than my Stuffed Shells.
I’m reminded of William F. Buckley, considered one of the Fathers of American Conservatism. Despite all of his political influence, all he ever wanted to do was go sailing. Those who know me, know I actually don’t like politics very much, especially after all the recent maneuvering for position. I really do it out of necessity, and if I had my druthers, I’d ruther be cooking among things! So this is my fantasy and my plan: to build a restaurant and call it Casa Blanca. It would have white arches, palm trees and lovely shadowing, just like Rick’s Place, every man will be required to wear a white jacket and black bowtie, and every woman will need to wear red, red lipstick. Naturally, we’ll hire a black piano player named Sam, and on opening night, we’ll only serve Stuffed Shells. And then maybe we’ll all go sailing!