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Free To Succeed

My grandfather, Frank Felice (pictured at home) came to this country with his mother and brothers as a boy of 12. From the ship’s steerage he “crossed over” to the upper decks, ingratiated himself with the captain, and learned English from the crew. He navigated his family’s way through Ellis Island and found a job as a breaker boy in the coal mines of NEPA to help support his family. At 18 he started his own auto pin-striping business … then a Packard dealership (early 20’s) … later Buick. With a grammar school education … he audited university level business and finance classes at night and later returned to coal mining as an owner and became Vice President of a local bank.

A fiercely proud (in the best sense of the word), self educated, cultured, tenaciously ambitious man of uncompromising integrity, he was a scrupulous practitioner of assimilation and believed in, pursued and lived the American dream striving to help others attain it. He would tell me “America is the greatest country on earth … never forget it.” I often think about him … his life and accomplishments are an important reminder.

Sometimes we only appreciate the things we’ve lost. Let’s not count the opportunity for a better life offered by a free society among them. Read the Constitution. Move beyond the sound bites and understand from where the power of the government is derived. Demand accountability … speak up … speak out. These are important times.

Government free from accountability begets tyranny.

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