Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Man Speaking, Mansfield, Ohio Town Hall Meeting 8/24/09

This past Monday night our local area was blessed with an atypical, and what I believe was model Town Hall meeting. The meeting was held at the local High School. It was the result of a spontaneous idea and action of a local TEA Party. Two hours were set aside in the evening at a time when those of us who work were able to attend. Proportionally little time was allocated for the presenters, the bulk of the time was given to hear from the people. The people did speak. The frustration of the people over the ever expanding big government and its even bigger spending practices were expressed. The two representatives aides seemed to hear. Not sure if the liberal Senator Sherrod Brown would ever depart from the Democratic Party line, however, at least he sent someone to hear, whether he will listen is a very different matter.


The sponsor of the Mansfield, Ohio Town Hall Meeting on Government Run Health Care and the Cap & Trade Legislation, the Mansfield North Central Ohio Tea Party Association, wisely chose a respected, no-nonsense local judge to moderate this Town Hall. After all those unruly (and many for good reasons) meetings, Judge James DeWeese would have none of it. He reprimanded and cautioned the crowd and one individual, in particular, when it or she got out of line. Out of the Town Hall Meetings I have viewed on the Internet, this Town Hall was a model.

From my vantage point on the front row looking back across the expansive auditorium I thought two-thirds of the 1200 seat Mansfield Senior High School Auditorium were filled. The cup of wrath and indignation was more than ½ full with citizens wanting to share with their representatives. Lame duck (emphasis on lame) Senator Voinovich’s office said that he has never did Town Hall Meetings and will not be starting now. He was invited, but declined. Senator Sherrod Brown sent a representative, the State Director of his office, John Ryan. I don’t think Sen. Brown is in the mood to endure the questions about his beloved health care reform monstrosity. Senator Brown has been and continues to be an extreme liberal on almost all of the current issues. On the other hand, Congressman Jordan is a very conservative member of Congress. Just a week earlier, Congressman Jim Jordan was present in Lucas, Ohio, a small town just east of Mansfield, speaking before 200 or so people. Ray Yonkura, Rep. Jordan's Chief Of Staff represented him at this Town Hall.

The program started at 7 and was to run until 9 PM. Judge DeWeese opened the Town Hall with a few remarks, he was followed by Mr. Ryan then by Mr. Yonkura. Mr. Yonkura was on the correct side of nearly all the issues and had the support of most of the people present. I would declare him the winner of the "debate." John Ryan did his best to disguise the very liberal positions of Sherrod Brown, the Mansfield native.

After the presentations, which lasted until around 7:30 PM, two lines formed, one on the right of the stage, and another on the left. The question and answer period lasted 90 minutes. On most question, both representatives had an opportunity to respond. When the time approached 9:00 PM Judge DeWeese wisely cut off the comments by the two representatives, but allowed everyone remaining in line to ask a question or make a statement. I am very glad he did this, otherwise we would not be able to here the wisdom of the last person in line.


At around 9:15 PM, or so, the last man standing was an elderly gentleman who slowly but deliberately made his way on his own volition and took the microphone. It turned out to be a marvelous and fitting conclusion to an evening when a lot of folks got a lot off of their collective chests.

This man was so symbolic of America, that I had to transcribe his entire remarks. His words follow the embedded video below. His comments were low key, yet he was every bit as passionate and profound as Michelle Malkin on the View TV Show. He's my new hero. He's a great American. His entire words of wisdom are captured in the embedded video below. Roy Wagner of KRose Video was on hand to record the entire Town Hall Meeting. I was particularly appreciative of his documentation of this important and historic event.

To me, this geriatric giant of a man in many ways represents the best of America past and present. His words encapsulate the sentiment of most Americans past and present. He spoke for the silent and moral majority. A well grounded, respectful, conservative voice that is seldom if ever heard as clearly in the censored media called TV News. A man with the mental agility that could outperform most Mansfield Senior High students right now. Inspirational!

Here to me was the highlight of the night. Here to me summarized the previous two hours. So simple, yet so wise. The words of a patriotic, average American, whom we should try with all of hearts and minds and spirit to emulate.

“Thank you for being here, Judge DeWeese. You conducted a very good thing - meeting. [applause] I admire you, greatly, Judge DeWeese, for putting morality into your office. [Sustained applause]

“I may be the oldest man in here (tonight), I don’t know. I’m 95 years old. [Applause] I was born in Richland County and I graduated from Madison High School in 1932. There are only 3 of us left . . .

“I love this country. [Applause] I had a son killed in Vietnam. I’ve have a young grandson in the Marines now. [Applause]

“I am a registered Democrat now, because I wanted to vote (in the primary election) for my grandson, who ran for mayor of Ontario (a suburb of Mansfield). And he made it. And he will be on the ballot this fall as a Democrat.

“But I am a Republican, and I voted Democrat because I wanted to see my grandson get elected. He’s a good man. Judge DeWeese is also a Democrat, and he is a good man. [Applause]

"Now, I want to recite a poem I learned many years ago and it never crossed my mind until the President started going across the world criticizing our country.

[The last man standing & speaking said,} Has anyone heard of the . . .

The Lay of the Last Minstrel
Sir Walt
er Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying,
shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.

“I’m sorry to say, but I think our president is doing us some wrong by going around the world criticizing the greatest country in the world, that ever existed. [Sustained applause]

'It is by the grace of God that we are the greatest county, and we may be the last. Think about it people. We got to do some sober thinking in our country.

“I grieve.

“Thank you. May God bless all of you!


At 95, this man gave an amazingly powerful and inspirational closing challenge to all Americans. It capped an intense evening at this model Town Hall meeting. For those who left this ballgame early, they missed the game winning home run!

While the two representatives got peppered with questions and comments from those assembled, this elderly gentleman put it all into proper perspective. He saw his president "doing wrong" by defaming and insulting our nation abroad. The majority of those present (and I believe that they represent the majority of Americans) vehemently oppose what this president has already done on foreign soil as well as what he and his administration are doing and trying to do domestically. I absolutely concur with Congressman Jordan and his Chief of Staff, Ray Yonkura, that imposition of both Government-Run Healthcare and the new tax scheme called Cap and Trade must be defeated along with halting out-of-control and wasteful government growth and spending.

One closing note regarding this seasoned citizen, he is walking visualization or demonstration of why we don't need ObamaCare. This vital man is still contributing value to society, and I would say he will continue to do so until God takes him. Their is a real danger under ObamaCare or socialized medicine that this man would be "expendable" or not worth "investment" of health care because of his age . . . Now that would be a great shame, wouldn't it?


  1. Thank you for your excellent article about the Townhall meeting and about the final speaker.
    I am happy that you included the video in your article and only wish we had the name of the gentleman who spoke so that we could properly credit him for inspiring us all.

  2. Roy -

    Thanks for your comments. If I find out who that man is we'll let you know.

    Thank you for taking and producing this timely and historic recording!

    - gregjaye

  3. Well done Greg. Very good recap I also posted this link on my Facebook.

  4. Fred -

    Thanks for the comment. This guy is a quiet hero . . .