Twenty-something years ago, I decided to become an independent retailer leaving behind the multi-starred, multi-storied corporate food and wine industry to do my own thing, my own way, with my own few pennies.
I learned a lot in the corporate world and hopefully, learned well enough to do nearly everything completely differently! Standing here at this point, 28 years after opening my first BELLA and 21 years after opening the better version in Baker City, I was thinking about what Independence Day means to me.
I find myself thinking about the opportunities I’ve had to ‘do it my way’. While there are small businesses everywhere around the world, I believe that being an American woman has been an major factor in being able to build my dream and make it grow.
It’s a hard time for rational, hard working dreamers these days.
All the dreamers.
I’m am embarrassed and horrified by the actions of an administration that seems oblivious to what America is. I am proud of the work done during the decades of my life to make life better for Americans. I was equally shocked to realize how much more is needed or more truthfully, how much ground we’ve lost.
I wonder what was gained in the conversation of our society from the time of Walter Cronkite & 3 networks to the current option to find ‘entertainment’ vacuums posing as news reports. Civility, respect and discussion have faltered to a completely skewed twist on what “Freedom of Speech” means.
Or what truth means.
For today, I just want to say how thankful I am for the freedom, education and opportunities I’ve had. I am proud of the jobs I’ve created, the two wonderful stores that are valued elements in two communities and for the opportunities I’ve had to serve my as well and the chance to mentor and support others.
My hope is that as we celebrate Independence Day this coming week, others will contemplate the importance of keeping America truly American, and that new leaders will find the courage, passion, and support to step up and help.
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln.