<HONEA EXPRESS: Congratulations Dad
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It finally happened. Honea Express has moved to greener pastures, or possibly just out to pasture -- you make the call.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Congratulations Dad

Perhaps this is breaking news. It is quite possible that I am not supposed to mention this yet. I'm really not sure, but since the odds of anyone reading this are slim then I will do so anyway. Today my dad takes another step in his constant and passionate mission to represent the people of Marana, Arizona.

The town of Marana was incorporated in the late 1970's. My father, as well as my grandfather, were part of the original council. The town budget for that first year was $40,000. This year, after being a part of the council for years he is returning to a seat that he has occupied before, that of Mayor- once pure sinecure, now overseeing the guidance of a town with a budget of 100 million. Needless to say, much has changed in Marana since the days of my youth spent in cotton fields and mesquite trees.

Where once was cotton there are now houses. Where groves of wildly bent mesquite flavored the night with soft scents now stand businesses. That is the price of progress. Please don't misinterpret this, while Marana may have moved away from the farming culture that defined it, it has not turned its back on the environment- for all the glitz and glam afforded a city that gains 1,000 new citizens a month, the steps taken for environmental sanctuary have been commendable. But I digress.

Today my father, Ed Honea, becomes mayor of Marana, Arizona. Again. The funny thing about my dad and politics is that he is the kind of man that you would want representing you (despite his Republican ways). He is honest, decent and caring- none of which we expect in our elected officials. He has been at it for so long that I no longer fear his being changed by the system, but now have hope that the system can be changed by him. Hope feels good.

I called him to congratulate him today. He was at work at his "real" job. He works hard for the postal service everyday in the Arizona sun with nothing more to cool him than the wind on his sweat. That is why he can represent the people- he is the people.

In a time of gadgets and world unrest he struggles with email and worries about the future. Yet he does not accept what many of us assume- that we are doomed. He has finally learned to open the attachments that I send him of his 23 month old grandson doing random acts of glory, like eating pizza or hugging Mickey Mouse; and he will face greater obstacles with the same vigilance and optimism that they can be met and bested, regardless of what the rest of us may think.

Ed Honea is a good man, a good father, and the people of Marana are lucky to have him. This morning when I called him to offer my congratulations he heard something that had not happened before, his grandson Atticus addressing him by name.

That made his day. This day where he will work hard, become mayor, address the press, and fall asleep much too late- only to get up much too early, with nothing on his mind but the sound of his grandson and these two beautiful words, "hewwo bampa."