I lived in Melbourne, Florida from 1960 until 1985. I was there when Bill Nelson ran for the House of Representatives in 1972. I felt he was a hick then and I am glad to see him finally lose; once a hick always a hick. He was a lawyer then but he was friends with Democrats and also friends with my hunt camp buddies who were mostly Southern Democrats. I was a damned Yankee Republican to them but was generally accepted except for politics.
I was an executive with Harris Semiconductor, Inc. and witnessed Nelson’s run for Congress. Typically he and his family would climb onto a hay rack surrounded by his adoring fans. He would say, “This is my waf and my chillen and my dawg, we call him digitee dawg.” Then applause and shouts from Democrat fans.
It was more than I could stand so I wrote anti-Nelson letters to the editor at the Orlando Sentinel, causing Nelson’s wife to write letters criticizing me.
My boss was the company president and he called me in to make me stop condemning Nelson. He said Harris was going to support Nelson because he promised to help them get government contracts. I reminded him that Harris was breaking the law because they twisted the arms of executives to give money to a political pool, implying the donation was built into the annual bonus. But since you reserve the right to make donations to those you choose, I have never asked my staff to contribute and I never will. My boss tried to get board members to convince me, but they soon gave up.
Here is how Nelson won. One reason was Harris Corp. gave him substantial donations. Another, somehow Nelson and his wife had a woman and a child standing on every street corner leading to the polls with large Nelson signs. That got him into Congress and in subsequent years he won a Senate seat, befriended astronauts and even took space flights with them.
Tallahassee’s mayor was a black Democrat named Andrew Gillum who ran for Governor in the recent election. His opponent was Ron DeSantis. As is usual DeSantis was accused of racism because in debate he said that in election matters voters shouldn’t “monkey this up.” Democrats give me a break. Should we throw the dictionary away? Gillum’s handling of Tallahassee has caused friends I know to consider moving. Democrat administration is anti-NRA and anything involving guns.
Can you imagine how my hunt camp friends would deal with all this? The hunt camp was a 15 year experience and I remember my friend Bud Stewart calling me every November 11 to remind me big game hunting season opened, as if I didn’t remember it. The season started with bow hunting which was fun except for mosquitoes. Then shortly before the 10 day hunt each camp gathered wood for the roaring fire we gathered around with adult beverages at each day end.
It was interesting that the camp rules at the time only allowed use of black cooks. They were allowed to bring a .22 caliber rifle to hunt squirrels and snakes. They enjoyed the event as much as we did.
Florida is full of great outdoor activities, but also bugs, heat and humidity. Air conditioning makes life livable. Endless beaches, scuba diving, fishing and hunting are all available.
Lets hope Republican majorities continue and oh, bye Bill Nelson, enjoy the retirement.