Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Lions on the Campaign Trail

I've got some lions and a bit of an inspiring story for y'all today.  

A little over two years ago, my mom was serving on the Iron County School Board.  She was up for re-election, but since she'd already been serving for twenty years, she had all but decided that she was going to retire, not run again, let someone else pick up the torch.

As she prayed about this decision however, she got a pretty clear answer that it was the Lord's will that she not retire, but rather that she run yet again for re-election.  Meanwhile, a very qualified, media-savy candidate had filed to run for the office as well.
Cedar City, Utah

Long story short, it was a difficult campaign (like they all are), of which the end result was that my mom was unseated from the school board.  Rough stuff. We all took it pretty hard, and there were (I hate to admit it) hard feelings towards the new school board member (whose name happens to be Becki--just to make things a little easier for the rest of our story), in spite of the fact that she ran a fair campaign, and had every right to vie for the seat.

Many of us (or maybe it was just me) wondered why, if it was all going to come to naught, was it so important in the grand scheme of things that my mom run in this particular election?  Was it simply a test of obedience? If so, sheesh!  What a hard test!  It seemed kind of unfair to me, I'll be honest.


Time went by, and as my mother continued to be involved with some educational associations and commitments that she had made, she and Becki ended up spending time together here and there, and (to  both their credit) struck up an acquaintanceship that was surprisingly friendly, all things considered.


Fast forward to last summer.  Different people throughout the state start whispering to my mom that she really should run for what will be an open seat on the Utah State School Board, come November.  She blows them off.  The suggestions/requests continue, and she continues to blow them off.  Then, at some point from what I understand, she has a similar experience as she had had two years prior, and as she prays about it all, feels very strongly that once again, it is the Lord's will that she campaign to win this seat on the state school board.  So, she does.

Zions Photography, Cedar City, Utah.

It's rough. The electorate is large, much much larger than any she's ever dealt with before.  It includes two counties, the bigger of which is not her home county, but is the home county of her opponent. She feels out of her league, a fish out of water, not a little lost, definitely insecure, and probably even frightened.  She wakes up each morning with a pit in her stomach.

It is at this point that Heather and I come down for our week-long fall vacation in Cedar City. As mom and I strategize a little about this and that, particularly social media and other things that are more "my generation" than hers, she keeps mentioning different ideas and (really pretty stellar) counsel that she has received from, of all people, Becki.

Close-up, Zions Photography, Cedar City, Utah.

One thing leads to another, and in a chain of events that I consider a small (or maybe a big) miracle, by the time Heather and I are on the road headed back to Logan, Becki has accepted my mother's offer/plea to be her campaign manager, and has her (my mom) lined up for parades, radio interviews, baby-kissing and many other appearances.  Furthermore, she has convinced my mom to invest in a fair amount of really big signs, all of which feature a headshot, quite prominently.  All of this is way out of my mom's comfort zone, but she can see the necessity of it all, and so she bravely steps out of that comfort zone, and goes (as Becki so encouragingly puts it) "Full steam ahead to victory!"

Cedar City, Utah.

You can probably guess the rest of the story.  If not, here's a really big clue:

I took this shot with my trusty digital camera on election night, 2012.

Want me to spell it out for you?  Okay.  After several months of exhausting campaigning, fundraising, and strategizing, Barbara Corry won the election for State School Board #15, and won it quite handily.

Close-up, Cedar City, Utah

Throughout the whole thing, I've been really impressed with both Becki (who incidentally is one of my old high school classmates) and my mom. All mention of politics and general savvy-ness aside (and I was impressed with them for those traits, definitely), I think it says quite a bit about both of them that neither let the outcome of that original election be a roadblock to their becoming comfortable acquaintances, then allies, and then friends.  I'm not at all sure that my mom could have won without Becki's help, and I am sure that without it, those months would have been absolutely tortuous, and she probably would have come out of them with an ulcer, and I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say that.

I take my hat off to both of them.

Becki cheerfully checks people in at a Corry for School Board Fundraiser

What's more, I think I just might have a better understanding of at least one of the purposes of both of them running in that earlier election.  Beyond just a test of obedience, of course.  

(An added side benefit for yours truly?  Pretty cool lions, no?)


Harmony said...

Oh good. Glad you got all those lovely lions and campaign signs into the blogsphere!

Came to the land of quirkiness tonight after a rough couple of days, hoping for a little distraction--a smile or a laugh or something to lift my mood, as you so often do. Got a heart-warming, uplifting story, and a needed reminder that there are good people out there doing good things in the world. Thanks Charlotte! And way to go Becki and Mom C!

Charlotte said...

Oh Harmony--I hope you're on the tail end of rough days for awhile. Thank YOU for your kind kind words!

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