Carry a big stick!
To the editor,
The proposed increase in causeway tolls prompted Art Stevens July 2 column titled “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death But Not Another Toll,” was his call for action that was equivalent to “American Revolutionary War Number Two.”
As time will probably not permit a national and international effort as proposed by Art, I propose a more direct action. Let’s follow the example of one who later became our first president to engage in major conservation efforts. Yes, Theodore Roosevelt, who famously stated “Speak softly but carry a big stick.” We have spoken, with no apparent results. Now it’s time to use the stick.
What I suggest is a charge up the causeway hill (bridge) emulating T.R.’s charge up San Juan Hill. It took him a while to enlist his “rough rider volunteers,” consisting of cowboys and ivy league college students. Likewise, it might take a few weeks to assemble a group of “Toll Stopper” volunteers, who admitably will be a good bit older. I am sure we could have a “bully fight” and a “splendid little war.” T.R.’s charge led to his presidency, maybe our leader could be elected a county commissioner.
The cover for our preparation for our charge, so Lee County officials won’t suspect our plan, will be the spreading of the rumor that we are preparing for the third invasion of Cuba. It couldn’t be any worse than the last one.
Many of T.R.’s volunteers wore civilian clothes so we won’t have to worry about uniforms, however polka dot handkerchiefs would be in order for true history buffs. We could face potential problems in the location of our staging area, but more importantly we must maintain a uniform size and color of our pup tents. We must not have one larger than the others, or a variety of colors, otherwise the Planning Commission will stop us dead in our tracks. A question, since we would be a uniform conforming area, would we qualify as a neighborhood? We would certainly meet our charters definition of same.
If the above scheme is considered unfeasible, my follow up plan is just plain old civil disobedience. A group would go to the top of the causeway bridge and prostrate themselves across the highway until the Lee County Sheriffs arrive. It would at least give our cause considerable publicity.
One final note, I can’t be there to help immediately as I am presently 1,200 miles to the north. I’ll be available in late October, but that’s probably too late. For those who have the courage to go before then – Good Luck!
Sanibel and Columbus, Ohio
(P.S. I learned after submitting the above letter that the proposed increase in tolls is in a state of hiatus. Therefore, I am please to report that my proposed mobilization of “Toll Stopper” volunteers and/or a proposed act of civilized disobedience will not be necessary. – D.A.)