I was born in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, the heart of George Washington’s spy ring during the Revolutionary War. My elementary years were spent on field trips to battle sites in the area and the first book I ordered from the Scholastic Book Club was ‘The Life and Times of George Washington’. This is what sparked my passion for America and for literally the last 50 years I have read, studied, written and spoke about the foundational principles upon which this Nation was founded, the people who did it, the teachers from who they learned and how we have continually worked towards fulfilling the Ideals of Liberty, Justice and Equality that has made America an exceptional chapter in the history of mankind.
My adolescent years were spent in what is now Las Vegas, Nevada. Then it was desert and a place where we hauled in our own water and put up our own power poles to get electricity to our mobile home. The first job in the morning was to go sweep the rattlesnakes off the concrete slab where we were building our new house. At that time, when we went to town, it was not uncommon to see individuals in the supermarket, restaurants and even the banks walking around with their sidearm strapped to their hip. It was in this environment that I learned about responsibility and the duty of citizens to stand up for their Rights.
Whether as an engineer out in Las Vegas, a small business owner, 30 years as Hansen Refrigeration, or cattle rancher, Rock Cedar Ranch, 25 years with Jeanett selling beef to local area restaurants and customers, I have worked with my hands and used the knowledge I have gained over the years to solve whatever problems have arisen for both my family and my customers and will continue to do so in Washington, D.C. as your IA-01 Representative.
In August, 1987, out in Las Vegas, the intern minister and his wife, living in the apartment above mine, were moving back to someplace called Decorah, Iowa and a friend of theirs, Jeanett, had come out to assist them. On the last day they were there, they needed help loading the U-Haul, and that is when I met Jeanett. When we were done, her and I stayed up all night discussing the stories of our lives and the next day, Monday, we bid each other a tearful farewell and she departed in the truck. On Friday, I flew in to La Crosse, Wisconsin, drove down to Decorah, found Jeanett and ask her to marry me. On 26 December it will be 32 years. Sometimes you just have to have Faith.
My wife has been a butcher for some 40 years now and yes, she in the brains behind Rock Cedar Ranch beef, I get to feed and clean up after the cattle and fix fence. We have one daughter, Addie Rose, who inherited her Mom’s huge heart, her Dad’s tenacity and the work ethic Iowans are famous for, and who is a registered nurse that cares for cancer patients. Family is a blessing that should never be taken for granted and it is the duty of every elected official to see that their constituents’ families are safe, secure and have the opportunity for a good life.