Fourth of July - New Hampshire Style

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

- Ben Franklin

This is Doris Haddock. In 1998 she decided to walk across the country in an attempt to galvanize attention toward the importance of campaign finance reform and the rampant corruption in the electoral system. She trained for a year before starting her walk from Los Angeles.

In the year 2000, after 14 months and 4 pairs of sneakers, she arrived in Washington DC - greeted by thousands of supporters - including over a dozen members of Congress.

This 92 year old grandmother was later arrested at the Capitol Building for reading The Declaration of Independence. (Go figure what a Patriot is these days - maybe she wasn't wearing a flag pin on her lapel?)

Anyhow, this is how we celebrated the 4th of July in downtown Keene, New Hampshire.

It wasn't a large crowd, but it was a passionate one. If there were any pro-war enthusiasts celebrating here, they managed to keep a low profile.

Bob Bowman said that:
"There is no longer Republican nor Democrat, conservative nor liberal, hawk nor dove. There are only Patriots demanding accountability, speaking truth to power, and exercising our Constitutional right to save our Republic."

This is Dr. Bob Bowman, Lt. Col, USAF, ret. A National Commander, he flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam as fighter pilot. He is a PhD in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, (Caltech). He directed all of the DoD "Star Wars" programs under the Ford and Carter Administrations.

Bob has terminal cancer as a result of Agent Orange (from his duty in Vietnam) and is spending much of the time he has left on earth, traveling this country and trying to "wake us up" to what is happening to our democracy.

Dr. Bob Bowman has earned the right to speak with authority - and the crowd paid attention.

Bob's commentary was published in the Keene Sentinel on Saturday July 12 under the title "The Constitution and Iran." Especially addressing those who currently serve in the military, his remarks began with:

Uncle Sam was here too.

At age 98 she is as feisty as ever - speaking at our local 4th of July Celebration.

Granny D Quote: Do you want big money out of politics? Public funding of elections will do just that. To take back our government and have our legislators represent us instead of pandering to special interests and corporations, join the public finding effort! Democracy is not something we have, it's something we do."

Granny D's email: grannyd3 (at)

At the age of 90, "Granny D" laced up her sneakers and walked across America to rally against the influence of big money in elections. Her epic journey galvanized popular attention to a political system gone awry, but for Doris the walk was a warm up.

Marlo Poras made wonderful a Documentary Movie about "Granny D" called "Run Granny Run."

She spoke eloquently (as usual) at our local gathering and I am reminded how lucky we are to celebrate the 4th of July with her and Bob.

Politicians and pundits alike have lauded the work of this indefatigable great–grandmother, now age 98 who lives in the woods between Dublin and Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Bipartisan quotes about Granny D:

“I believe she represents all that is good in America. She has taken up this struggle to clean up American politics… Granny D, you exceed any small, modest contributions those of us who have labored in the vineyards of reform have made to this Earth. We are grateful for you.”
- Sen. and current Republican presidential candidate John McCain

“Doris Haddock is a true patriot, and our nation has been blessed by her remarkable life.”
- Former President Jimmy Carter

“The problem with Granny D…is that she makes the rest of us look like such schlumps.”
- Writer Molly Ivins

OK, so I realize that politics probably don't belong on an art blog. And that I'll probably have to pay an awful price for not pretending to be "neutral."

But I love my country and sometimes I have to stand up and be counted for what I think really counts.

-Karin Wells


Hylla Evans said...

THANK YOU! If an artist can't speak her mind, who can?

Peggi Habets Studio said...

Hi Karin,
Good post. Sometimes being neutral is worse than not having an opinion. As Eli Weisel said, "The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference." I love the Ben Franklin quote.

Susan Carlin said...

Thank you, Karin, for such a wonderful post. I'm wondering if you might give me your permission to paint a portrait of "Granny D." from your close up photo of her. No worries if the answer is no. Would love it if it's yes!

Karin Wells said...

To Susan Carlin:

Go for it!