Category Archives: family

Sandy’s a Free Agent for the GOP Presidential Primary…Readers – who do I go with?

I said I would stay with former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore until the bitter end (or if he wins):  Well, it is the bitter end.  Gilmore has suspended his Presidential campaign.

I am sincerely sorry.

Godspeed, Governor Gilmore.  All the best for you and Roxane and your family.  I’ve hit my knees for you and yours already tonight.

Memo to the GOP winner:  Gilmore would be an awesome Vice President – with the experience and background to step in if God forbid it were necessary and would be loyal with integrity to the President.

Memo to my readers:  Who should I now support?  Campaigns can ask me too.  i am now a free agent.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

The Martha Boneta Legacy: Harvesting Hope & Prosperity in Virginia

By Alex McGrath, Guest Contributor

 

Virginia’s Favorite Peacemaking Farmer and American Property Rights Hero, Martha Boneta was honored with a Commendation by the 2016 Virginia General Assembly.

No individual is more deserving of a commendation than Virginia’s “Gentle-Woman Kind-Hearted Farmer,” Martha Boneta.  Adored and respected by all, from the far left to the far right, Boneta is the ultimate game changer. So what’s her agenda? Is she climbing the ladder to be Governor one day? Wants a job as a lobbyist? There’s got to be a conspiracy here somewhere, right? Not at all. To the shock of the jaded cynical operatives, Boneta wants nothing to do with running for political office.  However, she does have an objective,  Boneta dreams of growing the the very best heirloom “Rebel Freedom Tomatoes” in Virginia on her family farm.  Yup, that’s right. Boneta can move mountains and has changed the course of history, but all she wants to do is grow delicious tomatoes.

Boneta created a national tsunami of advocates for property rights, economic liberty and family farms. Plowing through the “Grass Ceiling” in a highly politically charged volatile climate. Boneta is a rare jewel of grace under fire.  Becoming a political king maker without even trying, candidates now flock for Boneta’s blessing.  Yet, this cause celebre’s humility is surprisingly refreshing. Asked daily if she will  run for office, Boneta responds “I’m humbled but I’ll never run for office. All I ever wanted to do was grow vegetables for my community and take care of animals. That’s all I ever dreamed of and that’s what I’m going to do.” But don’t be mistaken, Boneta’s tenacity is unshakable, “It shouldn’t be this hard for a family farmer to grow and sell a tomato! Property Rights matter, Jobs matter and People matter. I’m not going away. I love Virginia and our great country,” said Boneta with a smile and twinkle in her eyes.

Boneta is the subject of an inspiring award winning documentary about her struggle over coming corruption and over regulation on her family farm.  The film is now being shown in Universities across the nation.  Boneta’s well-documented multi-year memoirs of a vicious land grab attempt to force her family off of their farm is also the subject of an upcoming PBS special and book expected out in the fall of 2017.

Boneta’s legacy will be remembered in the halls of the Virginia Capitol as proof that truth, justice and the American Dream are alive and well in the Old Dominion. “We are blessed to have principled leaders in Virginia,” said Boneta adding “Don’t give up. We have some of the greatest legislators in the nation.”

Visit Martha Boneta at her farm. You’ll find her in old ragged boots mucking stalls, feeding chickens and goats and fixing fences. Be prepared to walk away shaking your head amazed that this seemingly unassuming woman has the Rolodex of some of the most powerful people in America.

We can all learn a lot from this passionate humble farmer.

****Martha Boneta’s farm is located in Paris, Virginia. Find out more by visiting www.parisbarns.com or www.marthaboneta.com***

 


Article written by: Tom White

The Final Thanksgiving

Most Americans love the holidays. Some dread them and are filled, not with joy and good cheer, but anxiety. And as Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas and goes out with a bang on New Year’s Day, a lot of people feel a bit depressed that the Holidays have come and gone.

But as I do the final bit of shopping to prepare for “Turkey Day” and another big family gathering, I always reflect on the past Holiday seasons.

I was born in November so for my first Thanksgiving I was only days old. And of course I don’t remember that day, but I know where I was and who was there. Perhaps my knowledge of the family attendees that day over 60 years ago comes from the stories, or the old and dulling photos, black and white of course. But mostly I know who was there because the same people were always there. There was no place on earth they would rather be.

We were at Granny’s old and rather spooky Victorian home in the Highland Park section of Richmond, Virginia. Granny was my Great Grandmother and the matriarch of the family. Grandpa died a couple of years before I was born, but I have no doubt Granny ruled the roost. She owned a Real Estate Agency and was a successful business woman in an era where that was a rare thing.

And over the next 12 Thanksgivings, the old Victorian House was where we spent the Feast of Thanks to God along with my parents, and as they were born my brother and my sister. And my Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and cousins that seemed to grow in number every year.

And Thanksgiving 1966 was the Final Thanksgiving for Granny. Of course we didn’t know it would be the last at the time. And if we had, I am sure there would still have been Turkey, Smithfield Ham that would make you drink water all day (it is very salty for you Yankee’s information). And giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans and carrots and other sides. And pies and cakes.

So in 1967, the venue was moved a few blocks away to Nana and Pop’s house. And the entire crowd from Granny’s moved to Nana and Pop’s. And the same feast was held in that same house for only 3 years. In 1969 Nana and Pop moved to Hanover County and his brother moved into an identical floor plan house that they had built next door.

And this house set a record, at least in my lifetime, for the most Thanksgiving dinners in one house. Every year from 1969 until 1994, 25 years in all, we all got together each year. And during that time, another generation was started and we were the uncles and the aunts with children and nieces and nephews running around. And 1991 turned out to be my Dad’s final Thanksgiving and 1994 was Nana’s Final Thanksgiving as she passed away in July 1995, just 2 weeks shy of her 85th birthday.

So in 1995, the home I grew up in became the next venue. My Mom still lived there and we had the feast there until 1999 when she moved to Hanover into a small, but brand new house.

I nearly missed Thanksgiving in 2000. I was in Manchester UK for work and was unable to get a flight back home to the states on Thanksgiving Eve, so I flew out first thing Thanksgiving morning. And let me say, flying on Thanksgiving was very pleasant. No queues and I was the only person in Business Class. We got into Philadelphia over an hour early and that allowed me to catch an earlier flight and I made it to Mom’s house around 4PM just as they were sitting down to eat. I was not expected in until 6:30 PM. They would have save me a plate, but it wouldn’t have been the same.

And that was to be my Mom’s Final Thanksgiving. And I have always been grateful that my flight was so early I had the extra time to spend with her. And 2003 Was my Grandfather Pop’s Final Thanksgiving. Pop managed to enjoy 93 Thanksgivings, a family record!

And that left my generation as the family elders. So our children and grandchild along with my brother and his kids all congregate at my sister’s house. Initially, my sister got the duty because the had the largest house. But she sold that house a couple of years ago and moved to a smaller place on the river in West Point, Va. We find plenty of room and set food out all over the house. Like so many buffet tables.

And there have been a couple of additions to the fare, but the Turkey, Smithfield ham and the rest are still the same as my first Thanksgiving in the old Victorian House in 1954. And prior to my birth Granny bought a place on the York River that remained in the family until my Grandfather passed away in 2004. So as the generations have come full circle, somehow the York River location brings back such wonderful memories.

Eventually we will all enjoy our Final Thanksgiving. And probably won’t know it at the time. It is a part of the progression of life.

This Thanksgiving, remember all the family and friends that have gone before you. Talk a little football and politics. Eat your fill of whatever it is you traditionally eat. Because while reflecting on those we have lost can be sad, it is these memories, more than most, that jog our memories of the silly uncle or grandparent making everyone laugh, nodding off with your head in your Grandmother’s lap, and going back for more Pecan Pie just before your parents leave.

And taking a sip of the eggnog from the container they told you not to drink from.

The connection to our ancestors we knew are never stronger than this amazing period of celebration in America that runs from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day.

And as long as we keep these memories alive, tell the stories, write about them, then there never is a Final Thanksgiving, is there?

(Remember that time Nana poured whiskey in her Fresca and called it a Frisky? They will, because I will tell it again!)

I wish everyone that takes the time to read my writings a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I am thankful for every one of you.


Article written by: Tom White

From Martha Boneta: New Documentary, “Farming in Fear,” To Debut At Anthem Film Festival July, 2015

Martha Documentary

Film Tells the Story of Farmer Martha Boneta’s Struggle against Power and Privilege

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Virginia farmer Martha Boneta is the subject of a riveting 28-minute documentary, “Farming in Fear,” which will premiere at the upcoming Freedom Fest summit in Las Vegas July 11, 2015.

Directed by Sean Malone of Honest Enterprise, “Farming in Fear” features commentaries by renowned defenders of property rights, including author/farmer Joel Salatin, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute and Constitutional scholar Mark Fitzgibbons.

Martha Boneta’s dream of becoming a farmer is realized when her family purchases a 64-acre property on the edge of Virginia’s fabled Shenandoah Valley. But Martha soon enters a Kafkaesque world of phony documents, trumped-up charges, and GESTAPO-style “inspections” of her property. Her dream becomes a nightmare until she does the one thing her tormentors never counted on: She fights back. Over time, the elaborate web of deceit spun by the well-heeled interests coveting her farm is exposed for all to see.

“Facing overwhelming odds in the form of collusion involving a ruthless local government, a rapacious environmental group, powerful real estate interests, and even the IRS, Martha Boneta stood her ground,” says Bonner Cohen, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). “The film documents her struggle against corrupt forces intent on driving her off her land.   Her ultimate triumph is inspirational and so is this documentary.”

“I’m grateful that after seeing what had happened to me, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation providing additional protections to family farmers and local landowners,” Boneta said.

 


Article written by: Tom White