Sunday, 18 December 2011

is an "Osborn Democrat" today's "Lincoln Republican"?

i guess i'm a "Osborn Democrat", which i honestly think is the same as a "Lincoln Republican".  if my family lore is correct, my great-uncle Sidney was the best, most moral politician ever in the history of the universe ;) or something like that.  He had a very grounded core and believed that both man and God were good.  He fought for the common good of humanity.  When the Goldwater republicans of his era wanted to create internment camps to house japanese and all other asian americans, Sidney fought it.  He fought until he realized he wasn't going to win, and then offered to have them in Arizona, so that he could control how humanely they were treated.

SPO creates ASU
during his early bit in politics, he actually delayed Arizona from getting statehood because he wanted to ensure woman's suffrage.  the man stood by the principals of democracy. my grandfather gave me sidney's copy of plato's republic when i turned 10 ... i thought it was "retarded" but my mom told me i should read it, so i did.  turns out, its not as complicated as we make it.  i read and understood plato's forms at 10 ... and i think sidney did too.  he spent his life working for the common good.

some people think that the road that runs through the center of phoenix is after him, but it is actually after his grandfather john and his dad neri's farm.
john and matilda

The Wells and Osborn party, of which E. W. Wells was captain, and John P. Osborn, James M. Swetnam, Joseph Ehle and others, were members, was organized in Colorado, and arrived in Prescott in July, 1664. Captain Wells remained in the Territory about three years, when he returned to the East. John P. Osborn was accompanied by his wife and seven children. Osborn had three or four ox teams, all loaded down with flour, hams and bacon, also a herd of cattle. Most of the cattle the Indians confiscated. Mr. Osborn sold the remainder to butchers in Prescott. When Mr. Osborn arrived at Prescott, bacon was worth seventy-five cents a pound, flour a dollar, and so on, which gave him quite a capital to commence business. As has already been stated, he built the first hotel in Prescott, and afterwards took a prominent part in laying out the city of Phoenix. He was born in Tennessee on the 25th of March, 1815, and was eighty-five years old at the time of his death.

my mom has an old school book from when he was in 6th grade where he wrote, "Sidney P. Osborn, Governor of Arizona." totally like a teabelly ancestor to have that kind of fantasy ha ha!! he is the only govenor elected to four consecutive terms in Arizona.

apparently he obsessed about politics ... which i can appreciate.  my family has huge ruckus fights about politics.  i don't go home for the holidays in part because of the family tension politics created in the 70's.  its just too intense.

sidney actually lived not far from where i live now.  he served as a congressional page went to Georgetown, was a political reporter and editor.  i feel like he really is part of who i am.  its cool!

sidney as candidate
Sidney "served as the youngest member of the Arizona Constitutional Convention in 1910, and held political office throughout most of his long career. Neri Osborn, his father, cleared land for a farm at Central Avenue and McDowell Road in Phoenix in 1870. Sidney Preston Osborn was born there May 17, 1884. "  this is why the road is named after his dad Neri.

at Phoenix Union High School, where he was graduated in 1903 and my mom graduated in 1965, he was one of the school's first football stars. my family is crazy about sports, as you know.  my mom, even in her 60's runs 3 miles a day.  she calls running and exercise her prozac.  she is such an awesome example of what a woman who faces every adversity can become.  that's a really long story, that i hope she tells some day.

sidney went to Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., where he learned national politics first hand, and then returned to Phoenix to become a political reporter for the Arizona Democrat.  which i personally love because the arizona republic was the news paper we read growing up, and my family thought was so conservative, only to then see the rise of the "shit-rag" the Mesa Tribune, which they saw as Arizona's version of the New York Post or Fox News (as edited by Glen Beck, if you know what i mean).

it was perfomance as a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1910 led to his election as Arizona's first secretary of state in 1912.  there is a ton to say about this, but i'm think this post is getting too long, so i'm just going to say, that early in his fourth term as governor, it became known that Osborn was suffering from the muscular atrophy known as " Lou Gehrig's Disease" He died in office May 25, 1948.

my aunt Sydney died of something they never quite understood.  but for most of her life was diagnosed with some form of ALS or another.  i was young, so when she would fall down at the mall we would crack up, and i'd fall with her.  i thought it was fun just to make it into a game.  we just hung out all the time cracking each other up, smoking pot, and talking about god and the nature of man, my family, and her life.  i loved it.  in so many ways, she filled in the gaps that my mom wasn't able to fill in.  you know, it really does take a village (especially if you are an osborn!)

now that i've just turned 40 and am fighting my own ALS type of illness, i feel myself clinging to my great-uncle and my aunt (who is even better) SYdney hoping to know how to beat this mess.  what did they do wrong?  what did they do right? how do i make it through?  i'm remembering all of sydney's lessons ... egalitarianism, that both God and man can be good, that we should treat ourselves well, but over indulgences is just excessive and uncomely.  other funny rules sydney have include having matching undies and bras because you "just always feel better with sexy underware".  though, bless her heart, the love of sexy undies might have been part of the problem ... ha ha

anyway ... i just wanted to say merry christmas to my family with a little bit of info i've learned about our infamous sidney.

if you know more info, let me know.  i'm fascinated about all of this right now!

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