BY MARIE SAMIDA
The greatest gift we can bestow on others is a good example. As a child in the mid-thirties, I lived in a three-generation household with my grandparents in a rural area near a small mid-Michigan village (no larger today than it was 80 years ago). So rural that we did not have electricity or running water in our house. We did have two churches, two bars and two grocery stores, and a drug store.
My grandparents had lived in this area their entire lives. They were middle age adults when the 19th amendment was passed. They did not travel far geographically but connected with people with a wide view of the world.
My grandfather was a tinsmith and plumber who worked for the people in the town and surrounding area. He was a tall, thin man who wore bib overalls that were so loose they only touched his body at the shoulder straps. This was his every day attire until election day rolled around.
On election day, he dressed in a shirt, tie, suit and hat. This was the year that Roosevelt was running for his second term, and I was just five years old. We drove a Model T to town and socialized until my patience with adult conversation was exhausted.
That image stayed with me my whole life and made me realize that Election Day was, and is, a very important day. This day also taught me that an ordinary, unpretentious person can have a huge influence impacting future generations with one small act.