Open Iron Gate
To remind you of what Americans are about, consider Johnny, a friend of mine.  Here is a man with only a high school education, yet he is one of the most brilliant cats I know.  He is a master machinist, there is no machine in the shop that he can't run, he can fabricate parts on a lathe where most folks would be totally stumped by the geometry.  Johnny has vision, he can visualize things that you and I cannot.  What a gift!

He loves cars and horsepower, and more horsepower!  He has been building small-block Chevrolet engines for over 30 years, and there is nothing he doesn't know about them.  This cat is so precise, in every little detail, it blows my mind.  Like Johnny says, "there are no little details, everything matters."  Everything!

I have been to his home, and he has carved it out of wilderness, he bought some land, and then had to go about shaping it into what he wanted it to be.  He had to cut down pine trees, use his tractors (he has several, and one of his hobbies is rebuilding tractors) to pull up the stumps, and work the land that was his.  He put in his house, and he built his own shop.  The garage area is in front, and is large enough to accomodate tractors, and he added a machine shop to the back, and he bought his own machines.

Lathes, drill press, band saw, he has all that stuff.  Today, he doesn't work for anybody but himself.  He has full facilities right at his place to do whatever work needs to be done.

His place is absolutely beautiful, an oasis in the middle of the East Texas forest.  He built a pavillion in the back of his house, and he has 4 barbecue grills out there, enough space to entertain the whole church congregation, should they ever come over.  And they might, on any given Sunday!  He could easily entertain 50 people under that pavillion.  His facilities are awesome, and the grounds are kept immaculately, and Johnny is the groundskeeper.

His place is gated, and he uses a garage door opener which he converted himself, to open and close the gate.  Brilliant!

Johnny is the epitome of the self-reliant American, he has built his own facilities, he has his own shop, and today, he only works for the people he chooses to work for.  He doesn't just deal with anybody; if Johnny doesn't know you, you might have to take it somewhere else.  He has earned the right of selectivity!

In my opinion, Johnny is what all of us should be... totally independent, hard-working, fiercely defiant, and a good steward of the blessings God has given him!  He also is one of the simplest and humblest cats you will ever meet.
Mike's Musings...
A Real American