Sunday, November 25, 2007

Run Granny Run

I just watched a documentary about Doris Haddock...what a spirit:

The bio on Granny D tells the story of a lifetime of dedicated activism and care: Born January 24, 1910 in Laconia, New Hampshire, Doris Haddock attended Emerson College for three years before marrying James Haddock. She was awarded an honorary degree from the college in 2000. Haddock worked and raised her family during the Great Depression, and later worked in a shoe factory in Manchester for twenty years. With her husband, Jim, she helped stop the planned use of hydrogen bombs in Alaska in 1960, saving an Inuit fishing village at Point Hope. The couple retired to Dublin, NH in 1972, where Doris served on the Planning Board and was active in community affairs. She nursed Jim through 10 years of Alzheimer’s disease.After the defeat of Senator McCain and Senator Feingold's first attempt to remove unregulated ‘soft’ money from campaigns in 1995, Haddock became interested in campaign reform and led a petition movement. On January 1, 1999, at the age of 89, she began a walk across the country to demonstrate her concern for the issue, walking ten miles each day for fourteen months and making speeches along the way. When she arrived in Washington, D.C., Granny D was met by 2,200 people, representing a wide variety of reform groups. Several dozen Members of Congress walked the final miles with her. When the presumed Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate dropped out of the race days before the filing deadline in June of 2004, Granny D – having just completed a more than 22,000 mile voter registration effort directed at working women – surprised everyone by deciding to challenge the incumbent. She was eventually defeated in November, but carried proudly the progressive banner which has inspired millions.
A sampling from one of Granny's speeches:
Certainly Mr. Bush has done all he can to speed the demise of the old order and to lay bare the issues and the competing forces at work in the world. As he has undermined America's position in the world and America's security, he has also set the stage for the economic collapse of the American economy--now propped up only by dwindling foreign investment. We do not take joy in that coming crash, but we can look joyfully to the new life that will come forth in the spring--the emergence of the natural human economy, long suppressed by the joyless self-colonization by corporations--corporations that, during the deregulations and corporate raiding of the Reagan administration, became community-destroying Frankenstein monsters. For every hundred dollars now earned by the average American worker lucky enough to have a job, the top CEOs make $30,000. That's a 300-to-one wealth gap that has put the advance of the American dream into the deep freeze.

“It is my belief that a worthy American ought to be able to run for a public office without having to sell his or her soul to the corporations or the unions in order to become a candidate. Fundraising muscle should not be the measure of a candidate --ideas, character, track record, leadership skills: those ought to be the measures of our leaders.”- Doris Haddock, July 23, 1999

“In my long walk I have indeed seen quite a bit. I have crossed the Mojave Desert that I thought would never end--its dust and sand swirling around me. I have landed in a hospital and a rodeo and more than a few parades. I have slept in the modest homes of Native Americans in the Arizona deserts, and walked with children and senators, mayors and vagabonds. I have met elderly women who have pressed their precious food into my hands, though they themselves buy pet food to stretch their budgets. I have cried with them when we parted. I have watched Texas cowboys and cowgirls break horses in the cool dusk under Texas stars. I have cut my way through weeds and waded across the Pecos River. I have walked with the great leaders of the American civil rights movement through the South, and even found myself preaching from a pulpit where Dr. King preached. I have stood and made speeches here and there, on the steps of Senator's offices and in the tiny meeting rooms of so many little communities along the way. I have met and spent wonderful walking time, with so many, many wonderful people of every race, every age, every income and political persuasion. Through it all, I have yet to meet one person who believes we should hand over our democracy to those who would use their big dollars to take it from us.” - Doris Haddock, January 01, 2000

Granny, you may have lost an election, but you have won the hearts and minds of every person who watches this documentary or hears your words. You are an inspiration - a real person, a real grandmother - passing on the wisdom of the tribe when the "leaders" are so clearly lost.

Thank you, your time, energy and love - we see your flame and have the torch -
we'll be sure to hold it high.

Granny D. celebrated her 97th birthday this year and the "gentleman" to whom she lost the election in New Hampshire...he won the Powerball lottery, a prize of $850,000.
Quite the lucky guy. I wonder if they used Diebold machines for both the election and the lottery?


Anonymous Joe Cary said...

I just watched "Run Granny Run" also
on Netflix. What an amazing woman!
We love ya Granny run.

7:52 PM  
Blogger James said...

Yes, Granny D is an awesome woman. I am so proud of her accomplishments. I first learned about her when she was doing her walk, and I followed her schedule as she progressed accross the country especially when she came through my state--Texas.

I am proud to share the name of her husband--James Haddock.

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