Posted on | March 27, 2013 | 21 Comments
OK, I never heard the name “Curtis Bostic” until last week, when he finished second to Mark Sanford in the South Carolina 1st District primary. Now, Bostic has been endorsed by Rick Santorum and polls show Bostic doing better than Sanford against Stephen Colbert’s sister.
So it’s obviously time for a road trip and, with the GOP runoff next Tuesday, it looks like I’ll spend Easter weekend in South Carolina.
This will be the first road trip in my new role as Editor in Chief of ViralRead, which is kind of appropriate in that I first met Ali Akbar during the now-legendary NY-23 Doug Hoffman campaign that started this whole gonzo campaign-trail trip that has since taken me as far as Alaska, to provide on-the-scene coverage. And so Ali double-dog dared me: He’s created a special ViralRead shoe-leather account and challenged me to raise $1,000 to cover this trip.
Can our readers do it? I have no doubt.
There have been times of doubt these past five years. The morning I left for Alaska in 2010 — on a one-way ticket, counting on readers to make sure I got home — my wife was in tears. But I told her, “This is what the readers are paying for, honey. It’s show time.”
A few days later, I was watching Todd Palin read stories to Trig in their living room in Wasilla. Readers were amazed — heck, my wife was amazed — but the thing that amazes me is that people don’t believe miracles can happen. Our entire lives are miraculous, if you think about it, and our doubt is actually ingratitude for God’s many blessings.
Think about this: On July 1, 1863, my great-grandfather was in the opening fight at Gettysburg. An illiterate farmboy, a private in the 13th Alabama, he was captured when the Union’s Iron Brigade turned the right flank of Archer’s brigade just east of Willoughby Run. Pvt. Winston Wood Bolt spent the next two years as a prisoner of war in Fort Delaware, where the inmates ate rats to survive. But if he had not been captured, I might not be here.
Two days after my great-grandfather was captured, the 13th Alabama, as part of Pettigrew’s Division, took part in what became known as Pickett’s Charge. The regiment went over the wall at Cemetery Ridge and suffered devastating casualties in that conflict.
A miracle, you see? And my own father — grandson of Private Bolt — was wounded within an inch of his life by German shrapnel while fighting the Nazis in France. The rest of his life, he bore that scar on the back of his neck, and you could see that if the shrapnel had penetrated another inch, he would have died that day in 1944, but when they got him to the field hospital, the medic told him, “You got a million-dollar wound, Mack.” It wasn’t bad enough to kill or permanently maim him, but he wouldn’t have to go back into combat again.
If my very existence is a miracle, why should I ever doubt that, if there is work for me to do in South Carolina this Easter weekend, our readers will make it happen? There are signs and omens, my friends. This runoff in South Carolina is important, or I never would have noticed it. And if Ali doubts you can send me there, let him doubt no more.
Contribute what you can — $5, $10, $25, whatever you can afford — and help make another miracle happen. This gonzo experiment in reader-supported journalism has only just begun, and the five most important words in the English language are still . . .