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Chasing the American Dream

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In keeping with the theme of the Fourth of July, and Independence Day thoughts, I am bringing you a different type of article. I am sharing stories of three different people, who have been chasing the American dream. Not only did I enjoy doing the interviews for this piece, but also came away with a sense of feeling better about how this community has some really good people in it.

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The first story I share with you comes from down the street from me. There is a salvage yard that helps people get rid of “bothersome” metal debris, and our family needing his services is how I developed this story theme. The man’s name is John, and he runs the VFW salvage yard. While on site, he mentioned that he came from Poland. It was his dream and goal to have a successful business here in America. In speaking with John, I decided to do a three part story with not only a small intro, but also purpose to ask two main questions; 1) What do you see about America that makes you feel good? 2) What do you see going on in our country that you think needs some change (or causes you distress).

John’s first answer was interesting. He said that most people he has had contact with were not only kind, but honest as well. He had mentioned that he had more than one occasion where he had either left his wallet on a seat, or it somehow fell out of his pocket. He said that on each occasion, honest people in the community either chased him down to give it to him, or they called him by phone to mention that they found it. Each time this happened, nothing was missing from it!

When I asked him to comment (with regards to the second question), he told me this, “I saw what communism and socialism does to a country and its people in Poland, and it bothers me much, that people care so little that bad people in powerful places are trying to do this to America.” (Wow, is all I can say there)!

My second story comes from another eatery that our family frequents, named Roosters Café. The restaurant owners are Christine and James Park, and are Korean Americans. James was in property management, and his wife was a paralegal prior to taking their “leap of faith” into the food service industry. Both are of the Christian faith, and there have been a few times that we have come to their store and seen James taking time to do a short immersion into God’s word, (in his Korean dialect bible).

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I sat down with Mrs. Park over a cup of coffee, and a tasty piece of Coconut Cream pie, and she was gracious enough to share some past history, as well as answering my questions. It is their goal to give the best products and services possible, and do it with hard work, kindness, and smiles! She mentioned that her sister led her to the Lord when she first came to America, and that their family instilled in the children that hard, honest work will get rewarded in this land of opportunity. Their parents that went through the tough times of the Korean war were very poor and pushed the kids to strive for excellence. She also said that education and hard work are the keys to success. Her thoughts of what pains her about this society (at present) is that either the last generation of parents did not care enough to push the kids to excel, or this younger generation of workers have been given too much to have the drive to succeed in life.

My last story is of a man named Jack Martin (“Pastor Jack” to his congregants, and those that are close to him). Pastor Jack is running for the congressional office (in District #12) for the House of Representatives. I save his story for last because this is one that I hope you remember the most (especially at voting time). He made time to come to our house, and we talked for about two hours. Now, I had seen him and his wife the day before at a political “stump” meeting. (And they actually had the top part of a stump brought into the meeting hall!)

Mr. Martin has taken a break from the pulpit to try to do his extra part in helping this nation be all that it can be. He had experiences in his early employment working and learning to negotiate with unions up in the New Jersey area of the U.S. His pastorate spanned over 35 years and was divided by congregations both up in Missouri, and down here in mid-Florida. He was also involved with a group called “The Black Robe Regiment” (a pastoral group that formed to look for the betterment of this USA).

When speaking with Pastor Jack, it is evident that meekness here is not associated with weakness. This man may not have the wallet thickness of his opponent, Gus Bilirakis, but where he lacks in funds, he more than makes up in his platform, and love of country. He had also served as Chaplain of the fire dept. when Rich Nugent was in congress. When Mr. Nugent decided not to run the next voting cycle, he put his name on the political ballot back then. But as Daniel Webster came on the scene, Jack withdrew his position (so that Mr. Webster would have a better chance at the win).

Last August, he had a severe case of COVID-19 that almost killed him and as the Lord (and Ivermectin) pulled him through it, he decided to give his all to help his country again. Personally, I believe in Jack so much now that he will have my vote (as well as a contribution)! Oh, and I also need to mention that among his many recognizable endorsements, Gen. Mike Flynn was one of them!

On my final notes, his answers to my two questions were as follows: 1) Jacks loves the freedoms that we have of this land, and that a person can come from a family of share-croppers, and end up a leader (such as Senator Tim Scott, of So. Carolina). What pains him is seeing that the “Marxist mentality” is moving in on this land, and that too many able bodied Americans would rather take the hand out than the hand up (of a job placement). Also, seeing God’s Word diminished aches not only his heart but most of the spiritual leaders in our country today.

These 3 interviews made my heart feel good to be an American, and it is my hope and prayer that you glean something from it as well. And, that you may take this with you as you are “Chasing the American Dream!”

Mr. Jack Martin, (and Rep. Gus Bilirakis) at the republican “Stump” meeting of June 25th, 2022. (Photo by Steve Goodwin).

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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