November 5, 2016, Prescott- I sat down for breakfast with friends at the local lodge of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), enjoying pancakes, with scrambled eggs, bacon and a sausage link- for less than what Denny’s would charge for same. It was my first visit to the lodge, which sits a scant 1,000 yards from my house.
A disparate crowd comes to breakfast here- a retired district court judge, a diesel mechanic, the city’s mayor (once in a blue moon), a retired Army major and a former jet pilot, for starters. The organization draws more female veterans than does the American Legion. It is also meeting some success in attracting younger men, who have served in our recent wars.
When I checked my social media feeds, after breakfast, I spotted a photo of my second eldest paternal uncle, proudly giving his younger daughter’s hand in marriage, some thirty years ago. He passed away, not long afterward, but the expression of pride on his face is timeless. He was an electrician and carpenter, most of his adult life.My parents, as well as uncles and aunts, on both sides of the family, were , by and large, members of the lunch pail crowd- people who played by the rules, mostly worked the same jobs for decades, and took a lot of heartache in stride, because there seemed little other choice.
The people with whom I took breakfast this morning are, likewise, those who are trying their best, every day, to live life as they always have, and are seeing a multitude of changes, some good and some not so beneficial. The lives of lunch pail people are turning upside down. Many of them are buying into the hype, offered by one candidate or accepting, as truth, the white noise and innuendo regarding both main candidates.
I trust that, as the election fades into the background, those who work hard for a living will remember that it is only by standing firm, together, that the people of this nation have ever made any real progress.