I am real confused, I guess. I’m just not sure what “tough” is anymore.

Our Gov. Paul LePage claims to be the definition of tough. My main sources for defining this word (tough) were my grandfathers. Each of them were on polar opposites of the spectrum. It was fairly easy for me to choose who was the real tough guy then.

My maternal grandfather worked hard every day never far from home. A man of few words, he never neglected the sick or weak at home or anywhere else. He loved baseball and fishing. He was simple and complex. I didn’t know until he was old that he could quote almost any Bible verse upon request. His dad (I believe was a preacher) made him memorize verses when he misbehaved, and I guess he was a normal boy. Gramp died humble with a few loving people around him.

My paternal grandfather was a politician by nature. He drove a Cadillac, wore suits and manipulated people. He chased the dream, neglected his family and courted politicians. When the doctor told him that his young son had “the fever” and he’d risk catching it if he stayed, my grandfather left and never looked back. He died a lonely, bitter man.

Our governor claims to be tough. He looks puffed up and calloused. What is tough? Is it pushing furniture, picking on weak people and tearing down art work in the middle of the night?

I can’t tell you where my paternal grandfather is buried; I don’t really care. On the other hand, I know exactly where my maternal grandfather is today. Hum, perhaps I’ve settled my own quandary here. Perhaps I knew all along. Thanks for letting me share.

Chuck Morse


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