TMI from HRW #1

What follows is an email I’m composing in the blog to be sent to a potential campaign volunteer for the Welty for School board campaign. It may very well decide him against helping me. It will be longish thus TMI (too much information) as for the HRW. That’s me, Harry Robb Welty. If my PCV agrees and continues to volunteer this might become a regular feature of this blog for the duration of my campaign for school board.

Dear PCV, (potential campaign volunteer)

My dithering is putting me at risk of losing your help. After our cup of coffee at Sara’s Table it appeared you were eager to commence. I’m afraid that it now appears to you that I am not eager to commence and you are already looking for other avenues to spend your time and talents. Arrrrrgh!

I have to step up my game if I’m not to lose you. Your help doing what I can’t bring myself to do will be very helpful – namely calling up the two-thousand Duluthians who gave money to Let Duluth Vote and asking them if they would help my new campaign for the School Board. I’m interested in two things a little contribution and or a location to place a lawnsign. It will also be useful way for me to get feedback on what these former fellow travelers of mine think of the Duluth Schools their taxes, their rights, and me, the candidate.

1st. You must soon go to my blog and see that all this has been placed on it in a post titled TMI from HRW. If that’s not self explanatory it is explained in a brief prologue at the beginning of the post. If you agree to this becoming a regular feature of my blog I’ll be very pleased. If not, I’ll continue to write to an imaginary campaign volunteer because I almost can’t help myself. I’m the TMI candidate. I’m no Wiener(the ex-congressmen from NY,NY who is running for Mayor with his poor spouse glued to his side telling everyone she loves her man). I’m far too much of a prude for that and I’m content to let my imagination do what a new generation of hipsters now do on line – let it all hang out) More on this shortly.

This morning I woke up after a good night’s sleep anxious that I get half a dozen projects completed very soon. Its a kind of anxiety I don’t much appreciate. It will shorten my life and I’m already so far behind on projects I intend to finish before I die that I just can’t afford to die. As my coffee was brewing I was walking figure eights between my kitchen and dining room to keep from exploding. I almost didn’t get that good night’s sleep. I thought I might wake up early (say 1 or 2AM) to start writing my next 650 word column for the Reader Weekly. Instead I woke up at 1AM with a cramp starting in my lower thigh. I tried to fall back asleep but I kept cramping up and the vigilance required to make sure I wouldn’t flex my leg in such a way as kicking in a new paroxysm of shooting pain was too much. I had to go out and buy a banana to put some potassium in my system to quell the pain. I don’t know if that’s and old wife’s remedy for cramps or not but I couldn’t sleep.

At this time in the morning there aren’t many options. Wallgreens might have had some bananas but Cub’s food, a ten minute drive from my home, was the only sure bet. So I hoped in the car wearing my white t-shirt and sprinted for relief. While there I saw a lovey bunch of yellow lillies that would look spectacular on our dining room table and bought a bunch to brighten up our living room for the next couple of cloudy days. Once home I cut them to size put them on the table and began writing the Reader column.

Fortunately, I had had an epiphany for a column a week ago and ran in from mowing my yard to hand write it before forgetting it. It will be called “The Democracy of Stupidity” or some such thing. I putzed around for an hour and found that the idea was still serviceable and half of that time pouring through my Aunt Susie’s ancient Bible concordance unsuccessfully looking for a recalled bible verse. No matter that I did not find it it wasw apparent that I would be able to crank out this column in about four hours which would get it done by the 2PM Friday deadline. I could go back to bed. I did and I slept despite having spent an hour with a bright computer screen shining up into my eyes. A neat trick for me. Maybe it was God’s work, I don’t know. As I told you, I’m an agnostic.

The email I sent you before your speculation about hooking up with some other campaign reported that I planned to put my family first ahead of campaigning (unlike the aforesaid Anthony Weiner). This is absolutely true. In a lot of ways I think my preoccupation with winning some unlikely election has had a blanket like affect on my family relations through 14, now 15 campaigns. Crazy Dad! When I finally won my first race back in 1995 my daughter Keely told my campaign organizers at an election night party that she could finally go to school without wearing a paper bag over her head. Pretty suggestive, hunh?

Well, my cramps and some awful backpain today stem from my making amends. We bought our daughter a house a few years ago and I have labored mightily to make it a good home for her and our two grandsons. Last year some con men convinced me that to stem the growth of killer mold and save my grandson’s lungs I had to remove the entire basement wall and replace them. Then they discovered the home had no footings (notwithstanding the fact that the house had already stood up for nearly a century without them) And so step by step I let them wreak havoc on the lot. It ended poorly with an equally sleazy sub contractor cutting off the discharge pipe for sewage from the home and burying its bones under ten feet of clay. I’ve written a little about that too on the blog in a truncated series called JB Marvin.

Before I continue (TMI remember) let me just once point out that none of this has anything to do with winning a seat on the school board. That is partly calculated and in fact, is not entirely true. A. a candidate’s personal life has a helluva lot to do with how she/he campaigns even if it is all below the surface. B. I discovered a long time ago with my blog that when I write stuff like this it drives up the number of readers (potential voters) Two days ago 650 people read my blog in a single day. I don’t know what they read but I was beginning to write about my campaign at that time so I’m happy to focus on the coincidence and give it a bit more credence than I can possibly prove. The same thing happened a few years ago when I made a daily habit of explaining my race to raise $100,000 to pay for a bond that would allow Let Duluth Vote’s lawsuit go to court.

As my Uncle Frank would say to introduce a segue: “Well Anyhoo.”

So, yesterday my daughter called to tell me that a lot of the sod on her lawn, (sod I worked like an SOB to keep alive last year as we finished the repair of her yard that our contractors turned into a cesspit) would be available for me to pull up for use at my house. That was, if I wanted it. Sure do, I’ve got a neighbor who has a big bad patch between our yards which I have exacerbated by pushing snow from my backyard to my front yard each year to make snow sculptures. I owe it to her (now that she needs to sell her house) to fix it up. I went over and spent a morning rolling it up and moving it to our house.

Yesterday while I was into a couple hours of digging up the bald spot to prepare the soil (near hard pan clay actually) for a blanket of sod I got a call from the fellow my daughter had engaged to put a deck on her house. He was running out of time to get about 15 massive postholes dug which will be necessary to hold up her deck. He was astonished by the difficulty of boring through ten feet of hard red clay and the many massive raisin-like boulders of old basement wall that our sewer destroying excavator left underground as he puttered heedlessly along. Let’s just say I hadn’t planned to spend six hours digging them by hand and by BACK. I’ve never used a post hole digger before. We brought a small augur up from a rental place and labored for a couple hours as the clouds began lowering over head. We were on something of a timetable so we ordered a much more serious auger called a dingo to try to beat the rain which threatened. That did the trick but I continued beavering away with shovels and the Post hole digger until we finished just as the rain began pouring down. Then I hobbled home.

Part of this explanation is for the benefit of my prospective campaign volunteer. I don’t just want to leave him thinking my claim of putting my family first is a vague excuse for dithering on my campaign. Volunteers like their candidates to be as committed as they are and who can blame them. No one wants to break their back helping a slacker. The other part for this explanation I’ve already mentioned. Blog hits.


Today I’ve got some more family related stuff to do. Since returning from my Black Hills vacation I’ve tried to keep my visits to my Mom going. Long time readers know that she suffers from Alzheimers she is in Duluth in a health care facility that specializes in “memory care.” I can’t talk with Mom but I sing to her which seems to be good for both of us. (It helps still my anxieties)

After getting a start on my Reader column I’m pretty sure I can crank it out in about four or five hours (fast work for me) which leaves me time to get this email/blog post written to save myself from losing a volunteer; losing my place as a columnist in the Reader by missing the deadline and remain an attentive and dutiful son.

I’m pretty good at this sort of juggling when I’m sufficiently motivated.

There are a couple of things I also want you to know about my blogging and my writing in general. I am very mindful of what I write. I have no time for slander suits and I have no desire to be put in a position where I can not honestly defend what I’ve written. A few years ago when I was fighting the Duluth School District and Fortune 500 firm Johnson Controls I was subpoened to hand over all my email regarding the Red Plan. Others resisted handing over their email but I took a grim pleasure in having my son help me put thousands of emails on a disk to give to JCI’s Goddamned attorneys. I was not embarrassed by a single thing I’d written. This was also true of what I’d written on my blog, already millions of words. The only questionable blog post concerned Board Chair Nancy Nilsen. I had mentioned her stupidity concerning the costs to taxpayers of the Red Plan, stupidity that was damn near unconscionable for someone in the St. Louis County finance Department. I had written that someone had told me she could use a brick upside the head to knock some sense into her. Goodness gracious, the attorneys tried their best to suggest to the Judge that this entry was evidence on my part of threats and intimidation. It got nowhere with the judge who took the hundred or so pages of my blog that the JCI attorney’s gave him and stuffed them in a wastepaper basket.

I don’t know how poor Nancy plans to campaign against me but I’ve heard it was my filing that prompted her to challenge me. I guess she wants vindication. How she hopes to find it in the entirely predictable damage uncovered in the aftermath of the Red Plan is beyond me. Heck, she was defeated years ago by angry voters long before her plan stuck 40 plus kids in our high school classes.

My time to get to my Mother before she’s put in bed after breakfast is rapidly approaching so I must wrap up short of the TMI I promised. So here is my plan.

I plan on starting a campaign committee checking account tomorrow or at the latest Monday. It will probably be the Welty Volunteer Committee but I like the idea of calling it the Welty Honest Policy Committee. Either way checks for Welty Committee can be cashed easily. BTW any readers of the blog can give my campaign a kickstart by sending them to my home: 2021 East 4th St., Duluth, MN, 55812.

I’ll plunk down enough money to get you a cell phone and I’ll print out the list of LDV contributors to begin calling so that you can alert them to my campaign and begin taking the political temperature.

I’ve got a whole lot more to TMI you with but I’ve got to sing my Mom “Wayfarin Stranger,” or maybe “Mairzy Doats” or maybe “The Impossible Dream.” I’ve got a thousand lyrics to choose from. Tra la la la.

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