A politician gets a thank you
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
My friend, Beth Chapman, is one of the funniest people I know. She also happens to be our state auditor.
A funny state auditor – the two things don't seem to go together – but in Beth's case they do.
It was in her position as state auditor, not as my funny friend, that Beth recently spoke to a group gathered in Pelham. The event was a support rally for American troops going to war. Beth, along with other state politicians, was speaking on patriotism, our president and America.
Beth pulled no punches.
"I say we should support the president of the United States and the U.S. military and tell the tree-hugging, hippie, Birkenstock-wearing, tie-died liberals to go make their movies and music and whine somewhere else. After all, if they lived in Iraq, they wouldn't be allowed the freedom of speech they're being given here today."
The crowd went wild. And shortly after, letters, phone calls and e-mails started pouring in from across the country.
"I couldn't believe the response," Beth said. "I even got a message from Birkenstock."
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, the speech has made the rounds. People in my office have been sent copies and, just last week, my mother's pastor quoted it from the pulpit.
But it was a letter from a mother in Decatur that prompted Beth to call last week.
"You will like this one," Beth told me. "It's from out your way."
Beth said she had received a letter from a Decatur mom who's son, Jeff Crumley, is a sailor on "The Providence," a submarine helping to fight the war against Iraq.
Judy Crumley wrote: "While in the Red Sea, the first day his boat was commanded to fire their missiles upon Iraq, the entire boat received a copy of your e-mail. He was told by the captain on the boat that all the other submarines in that area received the same e-mail.
"Jeff wanted to thank you, along with the other men on his boat. He said it was exactly what he needed to hear on that particular day. Also, you probably wouldn't know how many lives you touched and he just wanted you to know. Your speech was such a morale booster for them."
The letter thrilled Beth. And it should have.
Normally, no one hears much from the state auditor. It's pretty much a thankless job. It's good to see, however, that one of our public servants took a stand and was fortunate enough to hear back from those who agree with her.
Of course, she's still waiting for some notes from the tree-hugging, hippie, Birkenstock-wearing, tie-died liberals.