Monday, November 28, 2016

Wolcott History – The Nancy Hall Bible

A recent posting by my fellow Wolcott historian and the president of the Wolcott Historical Society, Florence Goodman, on the Wolcott History website ( detailed their receiving of an old Bible that had belonged to Nancy Hall, a Wolcott resident from nearly 200 years ago. There were a number of points in that article that got my interest, and which related to many of my previous blogs on Wolcott History, so I thought I’d write this as a supplement to that article.

Nancy [Minor] Hall was the wife of Deacon Orrin Hall. She was born in 1798 and he in 1797. Since Wolcott had only been incorporated in 1796, they were two of the earliest babies born in Wolcott after it had been renamed from Farmingbury. As I noted in an earlier blog (*1), Wolcott was not a very large place back then as the population was only 948 people in 1800. Nancy’s family of her parents and eight children would have been over 1% of the entire population of the town!

Because of the size of the town, many people in town were related to each other (and to me) (*2). Nancy was my 3rd cousin (5 times removed) (*3) as she is the great-great-granddaughter of Stephen Upson, my great*7 grandfather (*2). Orrin was also my 3rd cousin (5 times removed) (*4), being the great-great-grandson of Samuel Beecher, another of my great*7 grandfathers (*2). The Upson, Minor, Beecher, and Hall families were all prominent families in the town.

I’ll let you read the article yourself for further details, but the end of the article had two “mysteries” that I’d like to explore further.

The first “mystery” is where Nancy and Orrin attended church. Since the only church in town was the Congregational Church that had been started in 1773 (*1), it would be tempting to give a simple answer. But I always like to have proof for the answers I give. In Samuel Orcutt’s seminal work, The History of Wolcott, one can find the answer. On page 114, Orrin Hall is listed among the small group of men who subscribed to a fund in 1836 to hire a new pastor for the Congregational Church. So Orrin and Nancy would certainly have been members of this church.

The second “mystery” is a little more involved and asks how the Bible ended up in a yard sale in Rhode Island where it was purchased about 40 years ago. Since Nancy’s son, Heman, died six years before Nancy and her daughter, Harriet, never married, this may be a difficult one to solve. However, if the names/dates which are in the Bible can be researched, then we might be able to find who might have made those entries and get a better idea of where it might have gone initially. But without that further information, this will have to remain a mystery for now.


Monday, November 14, 2016

Generational Differences

Last night I saw on Facebook a picture of my niece attending the Trump protest rally in Chicago. While she appears to be demonstrating peacefully (as much as I could ascertain from the picture), others from her generation were not. This started me thinking about the differences between generations, the life experiences that they have, and how that influences their perspectives on events. There are roughly 150 years difference between the oldest people who have been in my life to the youngest. So I’d like to reflect on some of their life experiences.

My Great-grandparents

While I never got to meet any of my great-grandparents, the last of them having passed away about two years before I was born, there was one person from this generation still around. When my father’s parents had divorced, his mother remarried a man 30 years older than she was. So while he was officially my grandfather, by age he was a generation older.

“Bampa” Rogers was born in 1865, just three weeks after the close of the Civil War and only six weeks after the assassination of President Lincoln. He died just before his 94th birthday in 1959, so I had the pleasure of knowing him for the first nearly eleven years of my life. And he was coherent until the very end, living in what we might today call an assisted living home – he had his own room which he took care of, but there was a shared dining room downstairs, a nurse on duty, etc.

As I interacted with him (he was the one who taught me how to play cribbage), I was thrilled to be able to interact with someone who was a link to the Civil War nearly a century before and all that he had experienced in his life. To imagine a life with no automobiles (1886), no electricity (1879), no telephones (1876), and likely no indoor plumbing (only the wealthy had it back then) was something I just could not wrap my head around. He grew up in a time when life was lived at a much slower pace and you could take the time to put things in perspective. I was never sure when interacting with him whether his slower pace was just because of his advanced age, or whether that was the way he learned to be. He had also been a watchmaker by trade, taking apart watches, repairing, and putting them back together (they were all mechanical devices, many/most of them pocket watches instead of wristwatches), so his slow and deliberate movements would also have been an asset in that type of work.

I suppose his slowness was a mix of all those reasons. But whatever the reason, he was a product of his age – and one far removed from my own. I was only a young boy back then, and one who was taught to be very respectful of my elders, so I didn’t question him about his past. But if I had a chance to go back and talk to him, knowing what I do now, I would relish that opportunity to learn how he grew up and what his perspective on life was. Also, I’d love to ask him how he felt as the various “new-fangled” things like automobiles and electricity came along.

My Grandparents

With the exception of Bampa Rogers, my other grandparents were born in the last decade or so of the 1800s (1885-1898). So while things like electricity and automobiles had been invented and they would have been aware of them, I suspect that they did not have such things in their families until they were a bit older. And even then, use of such technology was much more limited in scope. Electricity was only used for lighting. My grandparents’ house probably only had 40 amp service and the fuse box only had four fuses (circuit breakers for residential use were not available until after 1935). Those who had automobiles had to share the road with horse-drawn carriages/wagons, most roads were not paved until decades later (I know that the first road in my hometown to be paved was not until 1935).

Other things that we now take for granted were also many years off. Schools were very local and you walked to/from school (the first steel-bodied school bus was not produced until 1930). Education for most people stopped after 8th grade. All my grandparents attended one-room schools, and stopped going to school either after 8th grade or 9th grade. This meant that they were all either working or full-time help around the house by the age of 15-16.

The next major event in their lives would have been World War I, which began when they were teenagers. Although none of my grandparents served in that war, many of their friends did. And with communication technology being what it was, that meant that you might only hear from those overseas very seldom, so reading the headlines in the local paper would have been the primary way to keep up with that going on in Europe. My father’s parents married in June of 1914, one month before the war began. My mother’s parents married in March of 1919, four months after the war ended. So that war played a major role in their lives.

Following WWI, there was a brief respite. During these years my grandparents were having and raising their families. But not too long after the Great Depression (1929-1939) would have impacted them. I’ll refer to this more when I write about the next generation, but it obviously affected anyone living in the US at that time.

I would characterize my grandparents’ time as one of significant change. They experienced first-hand the impact of things like the introduction of electricity and the automobile, the more wide-spread availability of education, but also the devastation of a world war and the Great Depression.

I interacted with them all throughout my growing up years until their passing away (they all passed on in the period between 1963 and 1979). But they were still a product of their time. They lived in older houses that had electricity, but no air conditioning, and the heat was from a coal furnace in the basement and a grate in the floor to let the hot air rise into the house. They had a single car, but never drove very far or very often. They stayed with the same jobs for most of the lives (my mother’s father was a milkman for his cousin’s dairy farm, then in later years a clerk in a plumbing fixture store, my father’s father was a blue-collar worker, then in later years a night watchman).

My Parents and their Siblings

My father’s parents were a few years older than my mother’s parents. So my father’s sister and he were born in 1916 and 1920 respectively. My mother came from a larger family with children being born in 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, and 1929 (she was the one in the middle). So, except for my father’s sister, they were all born in the “quiet period” after WWI but before the Great Depression. They grew up with automobiles, indoor plumbing, telephones, and other amenities. The elementary school they attended had multiple rooms, but was still just walking distance away. But they also all attended and graduated from high school – for most meaning a bus ride into the city center.

They all lived through the depression, although several of them have said that when everyone around you is also poor, you don’t really notice it. But then the event that finally caused the depression to end after ten years was WWII. My father’s sister, being the oldest of this group, had married toward the end of 1938, less than a year before the war broke out in Europe. All the others, either just ending their high school times or younger, were delayed in their marriages. All the men served in the armed forces, most in the army, but my father in the navy.

The war ended in 1945, but it was several month before they all came home – either from Europe or from the South Pacific. There were two marriages in 1946, one in 1948, and one in 1949 (only my aunt Alie remained unmarried until she finally tied the knot in 1958 to a man in Arizona who had three children from a prior marriage). My aunt who married in 1938 had had her two children during the war (1942 and 1944), the rest had their children during the official Baby Boomer years of 1946-1964. The total number of children of the six families eventually numbered 20. Of the six children in this generation, the five who had married all settled in small towns within a few miles of their parents (and of each other). All the men worked in various manufacturing or other blue-collar jobs.

Their lives were shaped by the depression and by WWII – although they, like many others who had served, did not talk about it much. They surrounded themselves with family, had stable marriages that lasted 50-60 years (with the exception of the one who married later in life), and raised their children in loving homes in the quiet suburbs. Although they had started their married life with little, in time they had televisions (eventually in color), a piano (two of my aunts were piano teachers), and while not extravagant the other amenities that slowly became available over the years. They avoided debt, even when “plastic” credit cards where you could not pay off the balance each month became available (1966). They each started out with a single car, but as their families grew and it became necessary for the wives to go shopping during the day, they each added a second car.

My Generation

I, and all my siblings and the cousins who lived near us, grew up in similar circumstances. We had newer houses in small towns, a good school system, and loving parents in a very stable relationship – the latter being probably the most important. In the booming economic times of post WWII, while none of us were in “rich” families, we had all that we needed.

Our families had multiple automobiles and we all learned to drive within a year or so of turning 16. Where our grandparents had only an 8th/9th grade education, and our parents had only completed high school, the majority of us went on to college and a few through graduate school as well (two of us earned doctorate degrees). The negative things like the depression and WWII that had played such a significant part in our parents’ lives were only things in their past, not in ours. The Korean conflict (1950-1953) happened either before we were born or when we were too young to appreciate it. The only similar event to our parents’ lives was the US involvement in the Vietnam War. Although the US had first sent troops there in 1965, it was not until the reinstatement of the draft in 1969 that it really became part of our collective conscious.

While I “escaped” from mandatory service due to a series of incidents, one of my brothers and two of my cousins served in the military during the Vietnam War. But the protests that took place on college campuses and the unpopularity of the entire effort gave a very different feeling than our parents experienced during WWII.

There was much that was different between our lives and those of our parents. Our involvement in higher education meant that many of us went to other states for that education. Having gotten that “wanderlust,” we also married people from other places and then lived hundreds of miles from our parents. We had ready access to automobiles, credit cards, and other modern amenities. Although computers were not widely used for those like myself who were on the leading edge of the Baby Boomer generation (I didn’t know what they were until I went to college), as time went on they became even more available. Without the nearby influence of our parents and extended families we fell prey to other influences. Where divorce had been rare (the only one I knew of in the older generation was my father’s parents), it became more prevalent in our generation (although still not in the numbers that others from our generation have experienced). Our minds had been “expanded”, the limits of our geography were also widened, but there was still that stable background of our parents and grandparents that kept us relatively grounded.

My Children and Grandchildren

I was one of the ones who left home for college. I spent five years in Michigan (where I met the woman who became my wife), lived in Connecticut for a few years, then for the last 40+ years have lived in Pennsylvania. So my children have grown up apart from the influence of my or my wife’s extended family (200 and 800 miles away respectively).

Our son has three children and our daughter has four children. Our son went to college in Indiana, married a girl from Indiana, lived briefly in Indiana, then in Pennsylvania for a short time, spent over a decade in New Jersey, and now lives in Florida. He is even more mobile than his parents. He has also been in the military, having served for fifteen years as an officer and soon to be promoted to Major in the Army Reserves. Out daughter went to college for a while in Ohio, then came back to Pennsylvania. She married someone local and currently the entire family live with us.

They have both been influenced by increasing technology – first standalone PCs then the Internet, computer games, cell phones and then smart phones, online shopping, etc. The speed of change has greatly increased. The world around them has gotten increasingly liberal with issues like same-sex marriage, gender identity, and constitutional revisionism being very evident. Divorce or living together without being married is not even questioned any more. It’s difficult to know how these influences will make an effect on them.

For our grandchildren, now ages 2-12, it’s too early to tell what will have the most influence on their lives. Advanced technology is something that they take for granted. Globalism and multi-culturalism are also a part of their world. While they remain grounded for now (my son and daughter-in-law home school their children, my daughter and son-in-law and their four boys live with us), we don’t know how they will turn out yet. But we remain hopeful.


The things that have influenced each of these generations has been quite different. From the slow pace of life before phones, electricity, and automobiles, to the ever increasing pace of today’s technology. From one room schools and eighth-grade education to online classes and virtual universities. From stable families who remained rooted in the places they grew up to being global citizens, able and willing to move to other parts of the country and perhaps even to other countries.

I’m happy to have lived at this time in history – one where I have been able to communicate with family members who were born 150 years ago to our grandchildren who will likely still be living 80-90 years from now. It’s a wild ride!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Electoral College

In the reaction to last night’s presidential election, I’ve seen a number of derogatory postings about the “archaic” Electoral College and how the “will of the people” is being thwarted. This same topic comes up during many presidential elections. But I think that many of the comments are from people who do not understand why this process was selected by those who wrote our Constitution and why it was designed the way that it is.

Article 2 of the Constitution, in addition to other things about the President, states, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” This was modified by the 23rd Amendment which also gave electoral votes to the District of Columbia in the same proportion as the states. For this reason there are 538 Electors – one each for the 435 members of the House of Representative, one each for the 100 Senators, and three for the District of Columbia (the equivalent of two Senate seats and one House seat which it would have had if it were a state).

There are other parts of the Constitution which are also involved, the main ones, in addition to the 23rd mentioned above, being the 12th Amendment which better defines the process and indicates what to do if there are ties (which is why they mentioned last night that if Donald Trump received 269 (exactly 50%) that he would then be the winner because the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives). There are also restrictions on who may be an elector, how the electors are chosen, etc. The 12th Amendment also changed the method of voting to being just votes for President with the person taking 2nd place becoming the Vice-President (which was how it was done originally) to voting the two positions separately. But these are not pertinent to why I am writing this.

The reason why people express their “hate” of this system/process (and I don’t think that hate is too strong a word based on some of the postings that I have seen) is that they want to results of the election to mirror the popular vote. But the fact that it does not always do so is one of the geniuses of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers who wrote it.

While it’s true that 220+ years ago there was certainly a convenience factor – a state could appoint their electors who would then travel (often by horseback) to a central location where the final “election” would take place, there is a lot more involved than that. After all, they could have chosen a proportional allocation so that each state could have electors in proportion to their population, or even carried a signed paper indicating the results in that state. But the Electoral College system was designed to mirror the bicameral nature of our legislature.

In many countries, there is only a single legislative body. But the Founding Fathers wanted to have a balance between state and federal interests. One article put it very succinctly that they “sought to reconcile differing state and federal interest, provide a degree of popular participation in the election, give the less populous states some additional leverage in the process by providing ‘senatorial’ electors, preserve the presidency as independent of Congress, and generally insulate the election process from political manipulation.”

It is this desire to give some degree of leverage to the states that gives rise to our system of having both a House of Representative and a Senate (both of which have to agree in order to pass legislation) and also creates the difference between purely personal votes and the allocation of the electors. The allocation is “skewed” in two ways.

First, although the House of Representatives (and the corresponding electors) has members that are proportional to the population of the state, the Senate (and those corresponding electors) are even distributed to each state (two per state). This gives smaller states much more influence that the larger states. So a small state which has a very small population has not just a single Elector, but has a minimum of three Electors. This also means that a presidential candidate can’t just spend all his/her time speaking to the major urban areas as that’s where the population is, but must give some attention to even the smaller states as they have more “Electors per person” than the larger states. Without this provision the whole election process would have the candidates spending all their time in the cities and ignoring all the rest of the country.

Secondly, most states appoint their Electors on a “winner take all” basis. This also has the effect of requiring candidates to address the broader audience instead of just concentrating their efforts in the urban centers.

It should be noted that there have been changes in the election process over the years. In addition to the above mentioned 12th and 23rd Amendment, in the early years of our country the electors in many states were often chosen by the State House and State Senate and there were no Presidential elections at all. Now all states have a direct elections for President and Vice-President and the actual selection of Electors, etc. is almost a hidden part of the process.

So, while it may a bit confusing to some, and the discrepancy of results between the popular vote and the Electoral College results sometimes generates a certain amount of angst, if one has any appreciation for the wisdom of having both a House of Representative AND a Senate, then one should also appreciate the wisdom in having an Electoral College that also strives to maintain a balance between popular votes and state’s rights.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Old Schools

I have blogged earlier about the schools in my hometown of Wolcott, CT ( But Wolcott is a relatively recent town, having first been settled around 1730 and not having schools until around 1770. This story is about some of the first schools in the US, many of which my ancestors had a significant part in.

Many of the early schools in the US were formed by the Puritans who had a strong emphasis on education at every age level, with a primary reason for this being in order to read the Bible. Puritan leaders were accustomed to the highest educational standards, with most of their ministers having graduated from Oxford or Cambridge University in England. So it was only natural for them to bring this same emphasis to the US.

I’m going to start this blog with my great*7 grandfather, James Pierpont (1659-1714). James was born in Roxbury, MA. His education included being a graduate of The Roxbury Latin School (1), then Harvard University (4). He then moved to New Haven, CT, where he became the minister of the Congregational Church there. In 1698 he married Mary Hooker, the granddaughter of Rev. Thomas Hooker, the chief founder of the Colony of Connecticut (see below). In 1701 James secured the charter for The Collegiate School of Connecticut, which soon thereafter took the surname of its benefactor Elihu Yale and became Yale University (5). One of James’ and Mary’s daughters, Sara Pierpont married noted colonial minister Jonathan Edwards who later became the president of Princeton University (6).

When Thomas Hooker, my great*9 grandfather, (1586-1647) arrived in Massachusetts he was the pastor of the Church of Christ at Cambridge. Voting in Massachusetts was limited to freemen. Hooker disagreed with this limitation, putting him at odds with the influential pastor John Cotton. He and the Rev. Samuel Stone led a group of about 100 who, in 1636, founded the settlement of Hartford, named for Stone’s place of birth Hertford, in England. In 1638, Thomas founded a school, Thomas Hooker’s Latin School (3). That same year he and others framed a written constitution in order to establish a government for the commonwealth and in 1639 they ratified the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.

Roxbury Latin School (1)

Roxbury Latin School was founded in 1645 by Rev. John Eliot (1604-1690). It bills itself as the “oldest school in continuous existence in North America.” However, that is only because an older school, Boston Latin School (2), shut down for a period during the Revolutionary War. John Eliot was born in Hertfordshire, England. He is the brother of my wife’s great*11 grandfather. After attending college in Cambridge, he became assistant to Thomas Hooker (see above) at a private school in Essex. When Hooker fled to Holland, Eliot emigrated to Boston where he became a minister at the First Church of Roxbury.

Boston Latin School (2)

Boston Latin was established in 1635. It was originally called the South Grammar School. It calls itself the oldest school in the US, but there is some controversy (see below). While my ancestors do not appear to have been involved in its establishment, several of my more famous relatives have gone there – including Henry Ward Beecher, my 5th cousin, 5 times removed, (, and Samuel Pierpont Langley, my 5th cousin, 4 times removed (

Controversy – The Collegiate School of New York was originally believed to have been founded in 1638. However, in 1984 a historian and teacher at the school found that the school’s founder had written of his efforts to teach the catechism to Indian children as early as 1628, so they officially changed its founding to the earlier date.

Hartford Public High School (3)

Hartford Public High School was founded in 1638, when it was known as Thomas Hooker’s Latin School. It later became known as the Hartford Grammar School and then as the Hartford Public High School in 1847.

Harvard University (4)

Harvard was formed in 1636 by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was initialed called “New College” or “the college at New Towne”. It was renamed Harvard College in 1639 after deceased clergyman John Harvard who left the school 779 pounds and his library of some 400 books.

Yale University (5)

Yale was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School by my ancestor James Pierpont and others. It was renamed as Yale College in 1718 in recognition of a gift from Elihu Yale. It is the 3rd oldest institution of higher education in the US.

Princeton University (6)

Princeton was founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey and was the 4th chartered institution of higher education in the US. It was renamed Princeton University in 1896. My 7th great-uncle Jonathan Edwards became the 3rd president of Princeton – after its founder Jonathan Dickinson and Aaron Burr, Sr. (who was Jonathan Edwards’ son-in-law). Aaron’s son, and Jonathan’s grandson, Aaron Burr, was the 3rd vice-president of the US, and is my 2nd cousin 6 times removed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why Vote?

The 2016 presidential election is now only a few days away. Both the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, have generated a large amount of controversy. Clinton continues to be embroiled in controversy – being called corrupt, a habitual liar, and other things not fit to be reproduced here. Trump is not without his share of controversy either – often speaking without thinking, being labeled a racist, etc. With so much that is negative, many have decided to just not vote at all, since they don’t like either candidate. But is this a proper attitude? Let’s look at some other aspects of this election.

First, if you decide not to vote, then you are letting other make the decision for you. In effect, you are saying that you are willing to accept the impact of the election results regardless of what happens. And, while it’s nice to think that voting for one of the “third party” candidates might be a good option, realistically none of them has any chance of winning (that may not have been true in a few past elections, and it might not be true in the future, but it’s not for this election). So that is just another way of letting others make the decision, albeit while registering some small measure of protest. Is there really no difference between Clinton and Trump so that you’ll accept either one and let others decide?

Second, while the president has a lot of power in our country, we are not voting for a dictator. Whomever wins, they will have to work with many others to get things done. So one needs not only consider the single individual at the “top of the ticket”, look also at their running mate and the others whom they are likely to consider for various cabinet positions or senior staff positions. Those people who currently surround the candidates are another good measure of thinking about “what you see is what you get.”

Third, look at the policies that are being proposed by the candidates and their political parties, as these are the “platform” that they will rest upon after election. Do you agree with the candidates’ positions on things like immigration, the economy, abortion, health care, “big government”, entitlements, etc.? And while you may not agree with a candidate about all of these, is there one that more closely aligns with the principles that you hold?

Fourth, look at not just the next four (or eight) years, but the longer term impact that each candidate may have. One that’s been talked about a lot is the issue of Supreme Court justices and what type of individuals each is likely to nominate. But the economy, foreign relations, and other issues are also ones that will have long term impact. Think of the impact on your children and grandchildren.

Finally, remember to consider the “down ballot” candidates – races for the Senate, the House of Representatives, various state offices. If you do not go to the polls on Election Day then you also rob yourself of the ability to vote for these other offices – and where there are some good candidates who are asking you for your support.

There is certainly a lot not to like about both of the major party candidates. But when I think of all the above reasons, I plan on voting on Election Day. How about you?

I’ve tried to make the above party/individual neutral, because the reasons for voting are not partisan ones. Now I’m going to list my own reasons for why I plan on voting as I do. If you do not want to read any further, that’s fine with me. But at least consider the above and vote.

Here are my conclusions in the same five categories as above:

First, the choice between Clinton and Trump has been likened by some as the choice between taking a pill that is guaranteed to kill you and taking a pill that has a 50% chance of killing you. Clinton has been labeled a habitual liar and I see little to convince me otherwise. She is all about her own personal power and wealth and really has little concern for others. Trump, on the other hand, is sometimes like a “bull in a china shop” but he has shown a lot of concern for others over the years and many of his employees have come forward with stories about him that are very positive.

Second, I look at Kaine, Abedin, and others who Clinton surrounds herself with and contrast them with Pence, Ben Carson, and others who are advising Trump. In my mind, there is no comparison.

Third, I believe that the federal government has gotten much too big. Whether it’s Common Core, the EPA, or many other government agencies, the philosophy that the federal government should be in charge of everything doesn’t sit well with me. They take our tax dollars (in increasing amounts), keep a bunch for themselves for “administration” and then dole out as they see fit. The level of debt is now approaching $20 Trillion. I think it’s time to scale back. On other issues, I also tend to favor the Republican platform – not on everything to be sure, but most.

Fourth, I vote with the long term in view. As my wife will tell you, I will often make decisions that are not in my personal best interest (such as voting in favor of things that may cost me money), but decisions that will be best for future generations. I’m not only concerned about the direction that the courts have been taking recently and I want a president who will nominate candidates who will keep the US on track.

Finally, I want to be sure to vote for the other candidates on the ballot. Our current PA Senator lives in the same township, just a few streets away. I have been in our PA representative’s office on occasion and he knows my name. And our local state officials are ones that I have supported in the past. At the more local level I am much more about voting for the person, not the party and I know these people and what they stand for.

This election has been historic in many ways. The number of dollars being spent, the vicious name calling, the number of controversies – it’s hard to keep track of it all and I have lost more than a few nights of sleep trying to process the latest news. But I know who I am voting for and why. Do you?