Sitting in my cottage in the heart of the opulence of Palm Beach, Florida, it’s difficult to think back to the early years of growing up in poverty during the late fifties, and the hard tasks that would lie ahead. Two loving parents ameliorated my situation, along with five supporting brothers and sisters.
Because our house was in great disrepair, I think many suspected that the shack we grew up in was abandoned. My mother, father, and five siblings shared a twelve by fourteen foot cabin. I was the youngest of six children and I am sure that it was easier for me since I didn’t know what being poor in Okemos, Michigan represented.
My father quit school when he was in the eighth grade to work on my grandfather’s farm. I’m not sure when or where he got the training, but he was regarded as a master carpenter. I would watch him agonize for days on end over a lathe to make a new spindle leg for a chair.
Dad never knew how to charge customers for his hard work, he was way too gracious,and that got to be a problem. Consequently, he would work on a single chair for several days’ and only made a small pittance.
Our little cabin was split into two rooms and a hallway. The hallway contained a small refrigerator and a sink, which had a hand crank for getting water. My three brothers and two sisters slept on four bunk beds in one room, while my mother and father, with me between them, and my little sister using a chair for her bed, slept in the other room. When I recall our sleeping arrangements I smile knowing how romantically delightful that must have been for my parents.
Our cabin had no indoor plumbing, and trekking to the outhouse in the middle of a Michigan winter wasn’t fun. For me as a four-year-old, it wasn’t terribly traumatic, but for my brothers; Dick twelve, Don fourteen, and Jim fifteen, along with my sisters; Marge eight and Terry ten, this had to be tough.
The old shack was built on very shallow ground, making it extremely prone to flooding. One night during an exceptionally strong rain storm the cabin flooded, the water had risen to two feet deep. I remember standing on my parent’s bed so that I wouldn’t get wet.
The rainstorm got to be the last straw for my father and shortly thereafter; we moved to a new house that seemed like a mansion at the time. It was a three-bedroom home with one bathroom. The 1600-sq ft. home cost $16,000. It had indoor hot and cold running water, a toilet, and even a shower!
What a step up. My sisters had a bedroom that they shared, and my three older brothers also shared a room. I bunked in with my sisters. Finally, my parents had some much-needed privacy.
So, how did I go from such poverty to creating the first political action committee to support candidate Donald J. Trump and having the opportunity to drive with the motorcade of President Donald J. Trump?
It took a lot of hard work, grit, determination, and commitment especially when I faced insurmountable odds. I decided to share my life journey to empower others to believe that the impossible is possible if you never give up.
I would like to invite you to to grab a hold of your autographed copy of my book, “From Poverty to Polo to Politics – A Life Leading to Trump”…