I was born on Jan. 9, 1928, the first year of the Great Depression. Herbert Hoover was running for his second term right after the Depression started. My grandfather, Patty Farley heard that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was going to run for president of the United States against him. He listened to FDR and soon realized that he was calling for a revolution in our government.
At age 4, he took me out with him and since he couldn’t climb up the stairs, gave me the information on FDR to put between the doors and he would always say to me, “in between the doors, me boy, so it wouldn’t fly away.” So we went about 10 blocks and he said, “OK, that will do it.” And FDR won. My grandfather said, “You see me boy, we got Franklin elected — if it’s to be, it’s up to you and me.”
In the first four years FDR called for many changes. And quite a few happened; change was a-coming. Four years later, I was 8 years old and he said, “Now me boy, you’ve got stronger legs. And the Republicans are telling all kinds of lies about FDR. I will walk with you and we will do a whole precinct.” Which we did. FDR was elected once again. And wouldn’t you know it, Grandpa said, “You see me boy, we did it again — we got Franklin elected. If it’s to be, it’s up to you and me.”
In 1944, FDR ran again. My grandfather came down with cancer and could not walk the streets. He said, “Now you’re 12 years old; you’ve got strong legs. Here are enough pamphlets for you to do two precincts. And remember, me boy, put them in between the doors so they don’t blow away.” Franklin won again. My grandfather hugged me, and said once more, “You and I did it again. And always, always remember. If it’s to be, it’s up to you and me.”
Now for everyone reading this, we have one of the most important elections in the history of our country coming up in November. Do not listen to the pollsters who say Trump is way behind because he and his companions are going to pull as many dirty tricks as they can. Assume we’re starting off with a tie. Get out there, knock on the door, pass the literature, talk to everyone you know, particularly in the states that are close, and believe this: If it’s to be it’s up to you and me.
of Oak Park is 92 years old and still believes his grandfather.