Goodie: Always the Democrat proud to carry the load. He haw! He haw! - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Goodie: Always the Democrat proud to carry the load. He haw! He haw!

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John R. Goodie is a Gilbert resident and a Mesa MLK committee member.

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:00 am | Updated: 5:33 pm, Tue Aug 21, 2012.

We’re hastily approaching the countdown to both political parties’ National Conventions. The Republicans will meet in Tampa, Fla. on Aug. 27-30 and the Democrats gather on Sept. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C. I’m thrilled, excited and honored to be attending the DNC in Charlotte as one of Arizona’s 76 Democratic Delegates as we join with delegates from across America to nominate current sitting President Barack Obama.

My selection to this prestigious group of Arizonans holds a sacred, profound and emotional meaning for me. Growing up, my family has always been proud Texas Democrats. I remember the excitement as a child witnessing my first presidential campaign debate on a small black and white Zenith T.V. between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. I remember my family as Catholics praying for a Kennedy victory. Now let’s hold that thought. My mother was a single mom raising my sister and me, working as “The Help” in the upscale River Oaks area of Houston. We were poor but didn’t know it; we always ate, had roofs over our heads, and had warm coats, plain and simple happiness.

After my mother passed in 2002 I was looking over some of her personal papers, documents, etc., found in a cigar box. I noticed along with her birth certificate a sheet of paper wrapped and taped in plastic bag. I gently opened the bag and found an official invitation with the name Ruby Goodie being invited to the Jan. 20, 1961 inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Wow! That was a treasured discovery none of us were aware of. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to talk with her about that invitation’s significance, although I think she knew. I realized her attending that 1961 inauguration was way beyond impossible on her little weekly salary. America’s hotels and public places were still very much segregated in 1961 and she didn’t take her first plane ride until 1974 to attend one of my college football games. That presidential inauguration event was the “Impossible Dream” for her and I can only imagine as she watched in silence, possibly dreaming of what it would have been like to be there. We loved President Kennedy. The first time I ever saw my mother cry was when he was assassinated in 1963.

I’m proud to be a member of the Democrat party -- the party of compassion -- and honored always to wear the shield and badge of “Thy Brother’s Keeper.” I’ve always thought our mascot, the mule/donkey was fitting and appropriate -- never celebrated as the mighty elephant with its loud roar leading the caravans with ivory tusks, beautiful blankets, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, carrying royalty Kings and Queens perched on a straw throne riding high. The mule/donkey is simply an animal in the back of the caravans always carrying the load. Not a decorated nor glorified animal and often pictured with ears sticking out of straw hats or wearing sombreros, but again always carrying the load. Never known to have carried royalty, but once carried a Carpenter on a Sunday on a road laced with palms. Will never trample or stampede in anger but is known to kick (sic) when startled from its back side with its trademark “he haw” sound.

On Monday Sept. 3 I will join my fellow Democrats from across America to nominate President Obama towards a second term in the Oval Office with a heavy heart. Sept. 3 will mark the 10th year of my mother passing. Momma, after 51 years that well-preserved 1961 inauguration invitation will be in my iPad case on that convention floor in Charlotte. And although not an inauguration event, it’s an official one, Momma. There will indeed be a Goodie in that House. We’re so there.

Always proud with carrying the load. “He haw, he haw.”

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