Over the years, Hillman has allowed me to scribble a couple of lines in his blog. He and me go back at least thirty four years. We met at a diner in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I think it was called the Dinner Bell. I used to eat there a lot and he was in there with some educator friends of his. I could never imagine that this suit wearing guy would befriend an old redneck like me, but he did.

Over the years, he and me have both gone through some tough times. We haven’t been able to help one another, but we at least were able to share our misery.

I can recall when he was being blasted in the local mackerel wrapper for making such a large salary. I think it was about $45,000 a year. Most people at that time were making about $18,000 and were pretty head up about this carpetbagger coming in and stealing our money. Well, it turned out that he was stealing other people’s money from other parts of the state and bringing it to us. By the time he finished, he had hired a bunch of other educators who took care of our handicapped kids. That fact really never made the papers.

When my wife of fifty years, Martha died, he was there to whisper a kind work in my ear. I will always thank him for that. I was also aware of his own personal problems. We would talk about once a month and kind of lay it out for each other. We did not agree much on politics. He was one of these old timey moderate Republicans like William Scranton and Nelson Rockefeller and John Heinz. I was a pure Reagan Republican through and through. We had some heated words about government and its place in our lives.

Hillman and I kind of parted company in 1992 when he moved to Harrisburg to sue the state on behalf of rural schools. I thought it was a dumb thing to do and I told him so. The suit didn’t work out too good. It failed the court’s smell test. However, rural schools did start to get more money somehow.

We caught up with each other a few years ago. We were both in the process of deciding what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives. Hillman and his wife decided to move south to a place in South Carolina. I decided to move to someplace warm. My kids really did not want me to leave Clarion County After all, they said, your grandchildren need you. I told them that they had enough of their grandpa and that they could all make it on their own. They were also teed off at me because I had a new girlfriend who wanted to live with me in a warmer climate.

Would you believe that I am now living just a few doors down from Hillman and his wife. We don’t see each other that much. It was really a big time coincidence. I think it was meant to be. My girlfriend Linda is really involved in some of the activities here and once in a while she meets Hillman’s wife Carol at the quilting club. I am not yet involved in anything. I have gone to see the candidates who have come down here. I have not been impressed by any of them. I have not seen Kasich yet, so I guess I should not really include him.

I would not vote for Clinton or Sanders if my life depended on it. If you think the national debt is big now, if Sanders gets in, it will triple in a month. This guy has no idea of what he is proposing. He seems to have gotten the attention of the young folks. He is not my kind of presidential candidate. He is promising too much. As for Clinton, her husband did a fair job and lowered our deficit. He was not a big time spender. However, this Clinton has to bow to her far left people and promise things. I really don’t understand this Planned Parenthood thing, or the gun thing but Republicans seem to dislike her because of some of that.

She does have foreign policy experience. I will give her that. I saw her 11 hours of testimony (I really don’t have much to do) and was not impressed by the questioners. So, that leaves me up in the air about who to vote for. I would like to hear what Bloomberg has to say, if he gets in. I might even favor Joe Biden coming in. He is a real person with some experience with tragedy. Hope I wasn’t too wordy. See you sometime.



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