Protests fascinate me. I have actually participated in a protest. It was during the farm crises in the late 1970’s. Dressed to fit the occasion in my hog-washers and protest cap, we drove the tractors into downtown Charleston to the Post and Courier Newspaper building and revved up the engines. It was fun to be a rebel with a cause. The farmers’ wives including my mother, Evelyn, Miss Ann and Miss Ada, rode in pickup trucks. That was pretty much the extent of it. Our protest did call attention to agricultural issues and the rising costs of farming. And then it was back to the farm and to work.
I have been watching the protests on Wall Street. Apparently the left-over protesters are not gainfully employed. Maybe they are professional protesters. Maybe they are too busy protesting while the rest of us work so they can carry signs. As Jeff Engvall says, “Here’s your sign.”
Initially, I can understand folks gathering and making a statement. I am married to a retirement/financial planner. I get it.
Is there a solution to help the left-over protesters? Yes. I think they need a history lesson.
I am sure if some research was done, those tents the protesters are living in had humble beginnings on some Main Street in downtown or uptown America. The now nasty clothes they are wearing also had a starting place from a small shop with a hardworking tailor or seamstress who chose to think big. It all started with a dream, bank loan and hard work.
Wall Street needs a Main Street. That is correct, a street that runs down the middle of the street. I would love to show off America’s “main street.” These are the hard-working “moms and pops” who believe in the great American dream and by God, made it work.
I would have a “building” on that Main Street representing my friend, Nido Qubein. Nido came to this country at age 15 and with only $50.00 in his pocket. He grabbed the American dream and never let go. With his amazing communication skills, Nido became a world-class speaker and businessman. Today he is the president of High Point University and a wealthy man. But he is mostly passionate about philanthropy. He has created a Scholarship Foundation to help young people live their dreams. I am proud to partner with his scholarship program.
Forrest Haltiwanger is another example of a person who is a hard worker and who has built a successful tire business in our community. Forrest will help folks stranded in the middle of the night who have tire issues. People around here admire, respect and deeply appreciate him.
Just one more example of honest, hard-working dream-builders are Danny and Lynda Tidwell, owners of three jewelry stores in our area. They are a great couple who give unselfishly and are respected by many far beyond our communities.
We have museums all over the country reminding us of facts and reality. Don’t you think there should be a Main Street tribute/museum on Wall Street?