Sarah Palin in Eugene Oregon

Sarah Palin: "I am similar to alot of folks from Eugene...I like organic foods. I just like to catch and shoot mine."

Gotta love that statement. My take after an inspiring night – Sarah Palin is a great, passionate American. We need more like her!

Tracey and I felt like Eddie Murphy on the old comedy Trading Places last weekend at the Hilton for the Sarah Palin appearance on behalf of the Lane County Republicans. It was a special treat for us and a night we won’t soon forget. But initially we did feel a little out of place….I half-expected someone to come up and say, “What are you doing here? Aren’t you just some guy who bowhunts? You better get outta here you fraud.” I mean there were senators there, governor candidates, some of Eugene’s, or actually, Oregon’s most powerful business leaders, etc., and then there was me and Trace. Me with my standard issue RMEF belt buckle, fancy Under Armour shirt and boots and Trace with her easy smile, enjoying every second.

Thankfully, we didn’t get called out or booted out, instead we made small talk with many, had a great dinner and in the end couldn’t have felt more welcome. After meeting and posing for a photo with Sarah and talking with Todd, Tracey and I headed back to the VIP room (I probably need to thank Todd for helping us score those tickets) and as corny as it sounds, we were as giddy as kids on Christmas morning with excitement. I thought, worst case, even if it strikes midnight now, we got our photo and we had the honor of shaking hands with Todd and Sarah. I’d take that. But I still wanted to hear what Sarah had to say.

In the end, we loved the entire experience and I am certain no one there would argue she is a powerful speaker and sets a good example of what is possible with hard work and an unwavering vision of a strong America. Before Sarah Palin, I had a real hard time believing what I heard as a kid and what every kid probably has heard at one time or another..."You could be the President of the United States if you wanted to and worked hard." I didn't really ever believe seemed like you needed to come from money, be a Kennedy-type or maybe come from oil then go to an Ivy League school. That was until Sarah. Regardless of your party affiliation, Republican, Democrat or something in between, in my opinion she has proven to me and every other American, dreams can come true. That paying your dues (city council to mayor to governor to vice president candidate) and standing for what is right and just means something. Thank you.

After meeting her, hearing her powerful, “One America”, constitution honoring speech and exchanging a few words with Todd, Trace and I walked away feeling a lot of pride and bleeding red, white and blue patriotism for our country. On top of all that, Sarah Palin hunts and more importantly is not afraid to say so. In this day and age of over-the-top political correctness that means something! It gets even better. Ol’ Big Roy Roth, he of the same town as Todd and Sarah, Wasilla, Alaska, gives the Palin family and the Heath family (Sarah’s mom and dad) two hearty thumbs up.

In fact, on one memorable sheep hunt up in the Brooks Range when Roy got dropped off by the pilot he realized he’d forgotten his boots. It seems he’d just slipped on some camp shoes and overlooked tossing his boots in the bush plane. As Dave the bush pilot was getting ready to take off, Roy, in a heart racing panic realized his oversight. Sheep hunting without boots is a less than ideal endeavor so Dave said he’d head back, get Roy’s boots and throw them out the plane window as he flew over. On the return trip he had company, Sarah Palin’s mom, Sally Heath, came along and was the one who actually tossed Roy his boots. From what Roy says, Sarah’s mom and dad, Sally and Chuck, spent time helping out at hunting camps up in the Brooks Range. Dave Neil, the bush pilot Roy hired that day and a good guy we’d used prior to fly us to our backcountry caribou hunt, has since died in a plane crash. Roy doesn’t think since his passing Sarah’s mom and dad work up there any longer. But, Roy does see Todd and Sarah at church and at some of the kid’s games. I asked, “So, they are pretty good people?” Roy answered, “Oh yeah, real good people. Good family.” If someone gets props from Big Roy you can take it to the bank.

I have a few more pro-Sarah factoids. She is a lifetime member of the NRA and has run a 3 hour 59 minute marathon. From what I read her favorite meal is moosemeat stew. Sounds like she and Todd are your typical hardcore Alaskans. Their lifestyle is easy for me to respect, a refreshing change that shatters the typical politician stereotype.


Sarah Palin Pics....courtesy of photog Rick Russell. Great work Rick, thank you.


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