Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Assignment Is.....

Some days, an idea pops into my mind early in the day to write about in my blog entry for the day. Other days, a kazillion things fly through, land briefly, sound enticing and I may or may not get around to covering each topic when those events happen. And then, there are days when nothing - absolutely nothing comes to visit that vast area of matter between one ear and the other. Just totally braindead days are the days I hate the most.

Today kind of started out looking like it was going to head off in the braindead arena. Nothing was coming forward, not even a slight little nudge.

Till late tonight, I got an e-mail from the lady who is the editor/publisher of the "West Branch Review" regarding when she wants to get the material for the next issue off to the publisher and she mentioned to me if I thought I could get a piece put together that we have been discussing for several months now.

Boy, wish she'd given me a trifle bit more notice about this so I could have been slugging away already, trying to get my information organized and so on. I had wanted to talk to a couple other people for a bit more background information and this only leaves me with today and Friday to try to reach out, make my contacts and then, get that recorded into a file to use to blend in with the piece.

I'll give you a heads up here as to what this article will be about.

Last year, my granddaughter was talking one day about a boy who is a year behind her in school and some of the things he does. She informed us that he plans to run for President someday. No, not president of his school class or the student council or ski club or any other activitiy like that, but he is actually planning to run for the highest office in the land - President of the United States.

Wow! Trying to imagine a 13-year-old kid who is thinking that far down his future roads to travel to achieve a goal like that is really incredible.

As it turned out, at the time Kate (granddaughter) was talking about this, my next-door neighbor, Deb, happened to be here and she said she had heard that this kid was working on plans now along those lines. She was describing him and his ideas, methods, manner of speech, etc., and her comment about him was that if he approached you to talk, it was like talking to a well-informed, seasoned adult but in this young teen's body and his manner of speaking was well in advance of his age.

I was getting more and more interested in this whole thing and eventually asked who this kid is - tell me his name. And when they did, I found yet another surprise there.

As it turns out, he just happens to be the grandson of my first cousin! His grandfather and my dad were brothers! This was even more interesting to me now!

Now, politics is not a new thing in my dad's family but it's something that has been very dormant for a long, long time. My dad was into local politics - was the township supervisor a few times back in the 30's, maybe even as far back as the 20's as I am not sure about when he was involved in that stuff. Another of my Dad's brothers - not this boy's grandfather though -was even more involved in politics as he served in several county offices in the 40's and 50's -even through the sixties. For many years, he was county commissioner, then later in life he served as the county prothonotary and even took a stab in the mid-50s to run for the office to be a member of the State's House of Representatives. Unfortunately, he lost that election though.

In 2005, as you may remember, I was heavily involved myself with the grassroots organization of -whose goal was to vote out any member of the House and Senate up for re-election in the November elections of 2006. Now some folks may say that because we didn't succeed in our original goal - to totally "clean house" in Harrisburg, I firmly believe that we did a darned good job of making a start on getting representatives and senators who were willing to work to effect changes, much needed changes as a matter of fact, in our political scene in this state and maybe if we could take down a few powerhouse politicians last year, who knows, there's hope this could perhaps spread to other states and we could even get changes to occur in the Federal government and those who hold offices there too! It could happen, sure it could!

But back to this boy and his dreams. I started thinking then that this would make for a really neat story for the Review perhaps - a "Here's someone to keep an eye on down the road" type of thing. So I called my cousin, his grandmother and explained to her I had just heard this about him and would she fill me in a bit more.

She said yes, he is really very interested in politics and follows all kinds of things that come under the politcal realm. When he gets home from school, along with doing homework, he clicks on the C-span channel and watches all kinds of debates and such going on there on the House floor and what's more, he actually tries to learn more and more about the major isses facing the running of a nation so he is really, for a kid just barely into his teenage years, he can give some pretty darned good explanations as to how many aspects of the government system really work.

So, I called him and asked him if he would be willing to e-mail me information as to how he developed this interest, how he plans to work his way into a position whereby he could run for election After showing my request for this type of information, his mother gave him permission to write back to me and give me his thoughts, ideas, plans and such. And, when I decided it would be appropriate to write the piece for the Review, before it would be published, his parents also had the final say in what data I was going to be able to write about his views.

So, now - here's an introduction for you of a young man who is very in command of himself, knows what he wants to do, is working to achieve that ultimate goal someday.

Meet, if you will, Paul J. Monella Jr - son of Paul Sr. and Ellen R. Weaver Monella. His grandparents are John "Jack" and Margaret Anne Hill Weaver from Curtis Park, in Philipsburg but the Monella's live in Morrisdale, along the main drag there in the house that had been Paul's grandparents' (Robert and Helen Ginnicks Hill) home for many years.

"P.J." - as he is called by family and friends - is now 15 years old and says he first became interested in the presidency through a book he received in the second grade, from his uncle, Jeffrey Weaver, who is a music and band instructor in the Chicago area. From reading that book as well as paying very close attention to a special that ran on the History channel a few months back about each and every president to date, their dreams, platforms, goals, successes and failures too while in office, P.J. can rattle off detail after detail about each of these former public officials. He can also tell you who was he spouse of each president and lots and lots of little trivia type bits of information on each of these men, their spouses, families and programs intiated by each while in office.

This is just a short outline about my idea for this story, what few things I have for my background writing about him and I have roughly four days time to re-read the e-mail P.J. sent me detailing his plans of how he is going to put all of these things into play over the years.

Right now, as things stand, considering his age and mine, the odds of my being around not if, but when he achieves his goal aren't all that hot as I am definitely on the downhill swing of life. So, whether I will ever get to cast a vote for him in his quest to be president is pretty iffy.

But for now, all things considered - his choice of party (which I won't divulge at this time for various reasons but sounds like a wonderful choice in my way of thinking), the beliefs he has about what could, can, should, better be done to deal with the economic factors, social security, the war, employment, gun control, abortion, equal rights - you name it, he has a well-studied response to any of those questions and lots more!

And because of all of those things, P.J. would for sure, get my vote if he were a few years older and of legal age to run for office and you can bet your bottom dollar my vote for him wouldn't be the least bit biased either, just because he is my cousin, "The Pres" somewhere done the line in our country's history will make one heck of a great politician, for sure, ten fold!

Monella for President, remember that name, that slogan too as I really believe this guy 's got the heart and potential to follow through and the intelligence level, ability to break down issues, study them in depth and make well-reasonsed, well thought-out solutions and also, that he will do it in a manner that shows the true meaning behind what a politician should be, not who the person is with tons of money and not having a clue as to how to think correctly, using that old fashioned commodity called Common Sense!

Yep, most definitely, you've got my vote, P.J.!


Smalltown RN said...

That's a wonderful story. PJ....I have a nephew PJ...but he is no presidential possibility. Children are amazing. If we truly listen to them we can learn a thing or two. I am for certain my youngest daughter is a reincarnation of a very wise person. She speaks beyond her years. She has wonderful insight. Yes our children truly can teach us if we are willing t listen.

I think your story will make a great would be nice in years to come to see how your PJ makes out. If in fact he does make it into the political arena which I think he just be able to go to the archives and dig out your article. What a wonderful memory for him that would be!

Cheers my friend

Vic Grace said...

Great post. Pity I probably won't be around when he makes President. Your writing an article is a great start for him and who knows what that may lead to.

Gene Bach said...

I'll vote for him. I can't think out far enough to cover tomorrow.