I had the pleasure of visiting a friend down in Appalachia country recently. It was a delight, the countryside was beautiful, and everyone I met was not only a character, but someone I could easily spend time with.
One gentleman was the Sheriff of a neighboring county. He related many stories of interesting arrests, puzzling homicides, and even emotional vignettes.
Of the latter, the story that should be more public was when he was interested in soliciting the vote of Mr. Big. Mr. Big had too much money, even more power, and liked everyone to know it. When our Sheriff wannabe went to visit, Mr. Big immediately reminded him who he was, and eventually proceeded to offer him a wad of cash to help the campaign, under the table.
Our Sheriff said, “I came for your vote. Besides, you once gave me a contribution worth more to me than all your money.”
Mr. Big was thrown for a loop. When? We met before? You asked me for money? I remember everyone I buy off.
Years earlier, our Sheriff hit a bad patch. Wife up and left, young son and he scraping to get by on a meager policeman’s salary. He’d gotten to the point where he’d stopped eating to make sure his son was fed and the rent was paid.
They went to a fast food place that had kid toys in the boxes. But you had to buy the box, and our Sheriff didn’t even have an extra dollar. Mr. Big was walking by, and without taking notice, bought the meal including the toy. Mr. Big left.
Our Sheriff didn’t forget.
Mr. Big immediately had a huge check written to the campaign, as much as the law allowed. He also took out two full-page ads, on his own dime, stumping for our Sheriff.
Our Sheriff won and started doing great things right away, saving the county money and solving crimes. He and Mr. Big became life-long friends, even up to the day Mr. Big passed on.
So, here’s to our Sheriff. There have to be more out there like him. I thanked him personally, and I’d like to thank all the others out there that have integrity, honor, and do the right thing.