Sweet Land of Liberty

...I believe in good. And I won't apologize for it. There is too much magic buried within the dirt of my ancestors to give up.

I’m with two girls. My wife is riding shotgun. My coonhound is between us. One girl smells like lavender shampoo. The other smells like blue cheese.

The stereo is blaring something political. Two radio personalities discuss individualistic views on America.

“I’m CONCERNED about America, Ron.”

“Me too, Jerry. I’m SO CONCERNED, I wish I WEREN’T an American.”

“That’s a concern of mine, too, Ron.”

“Isn’t it all so concerning?”

“It is as far as I’m concerned.”

My wife changes the station to something with more pedal steel guitar.

She lands on a Ford Motor advertisement. This makes me grin because the men in my family have supported Henry Ford since the earth cooled.

My father was a boot-wearing Union man. I spent entire childhoods in Ford half-tons with patriotic stickers on bumpers. Folks from our walk of life plastered flags on anything that wasn’t alive. Barn walls, beer coolers, job-sites.

Once, I accompanied my father to a construction-site. A tower crane stood above an iron-frame structure the size of a city block. There, I met men with sooty faces, welding helmets, and battle-ship tattoos.

They were carrying a crate the size of a casket.

“What’s in the box?” I asked Daddy.

He didn’t answer.

Inside the container were red and white stripes the width of sidewalks. The men attached the colors to a wire dangling from the crane. Then, someone fired the engine—a noise louder than most NASCAR fleets.

And when the banner lifted upward, several hundred roughnecks stepped backward to get a better view of Old Glory.

Air hammers quit. Front-end loaders shut down. Gas torches stopped. Men removed helmets. Some placed hands over hearts, others saluted.

A gust of wind caught the flag. Colors flung outward, covering the sun. It was poetry.

Men applauded. Several hundred Ford-lovers hollered loud enough to wake the Unknown Soldier.

My father kept his palm over his chest.

Yeah, I know. You won’t see that sort of thing on the evening news. I’m no fool. I know people are fussing about politics. Folks have been disagreeing like this since the fellas in gray fought the boys in blue.

In fact, somebody will probably get upset with what I’ve just written. And they have every right to—I’m just a Budweiser-drinker driving a Ford.

Even so, I believe in good. And I won’t apologize for it. There is too much magic buried within the dirt of my ancestors to give up.

This is the soil my granddaddy plowed with a mule, the river of my father’s baptism, the mountain where he lays.

One day, when my Ford-driving years are over, they’ll bury me in this red clay. And no matter what kinds of things people say about me, no matter how light my wallet is, or how my obituary reads…

I’m glad I got to be an American.

God bless us all.


  1. Deb - February 1, 2017 2:52 pm

    Well said ???

  2. Joyce Hilburn - February 1, 2017 2:59 pm

    I grew up with “Chevy’s” ? – otherwise, Oh Yes!!

  3. Shane Jackson - February 1, 2017 3:02 pm

    Loved it and totally agree! We too are a patriotic, American pride and flag flying neatly tucked in our Ford F-150 family! We’ve raised our children with Gods hand and spent weekends riding inner tubes down Sugar Creek! Btw our Ford has over 100,000 miles on him “Hank” is his name and he’s still rolling on! My country is full of people like you and I and I’m dang proud to be an American!!!

  4. Susan Victoria - February 1, 2017 3:48 pm

    American by Birth and Southern by the Grace of God!!!

  5. Marilyn Fuller - February 1, 2017 3:57 pm

    Love every article you write & agree with all of them! Southern born & Southern bred!

  6. Sandra Carnet - February 1, 2017 4:21 pm

    Thank you, Sean. Lots of folks out there today forget what a blessing it is to live in America. Keep reminding us all.

  7. Linda Lewis - February 1, 2017 5:00 pm

    Well said, Sean. Our country is a mess right now amidst political correctness and lots of controversial problems. It’s sad that your post probably WOULD make many people upset with you right now. I’m almost embarrassed to be a woman right now. My husband saw the march with the hats and said, “That’s why women should have never gotten the vote.” :0) Hopefully our new president’s efforts will result in a safer America, and people will gradually calm down. This has never been easy, but it seems harder right now. Thanks for your post.

  8. Cindy - February 1, 2017 5:46 pm

    Amen and amen.

  9. Betty Kelly - February 1, 2017 6:23 pm

    Amen and Amen!!!

  10. Trina - February 1, 2017 8:10 pm

    Well said!

  11. Lisa Barth - February 1, 2017 8:19 pm

    You are writing the ways of my childhood, where one knew where others stood and everyone was busy working, worshiping, raising children and loving their country. They didn’t have time to stand in a street, block traffic, damage property and scream profanity about things they really don’t know about. I remember so many men like the ones you wrote about, strong, solid, hard working. We saluted the flag every morning, prayed the Lord’s prayer. I just recently discovered your columns and am already a big fan. Grew up all over, live in the Pacific Northwest, but have strong family roots in Georgia, Alabama, Texas and New Mexico. What are your rules about sharing some of your words on Facebook. Would love to post this last column, but wanted to see if I need to have permission to do so. Please advise.

  12. Judy - February 1, 2017 8:24 pm

    My ancestor’s came here on the big ship and worked for other’s until they could afford their own land. They (we) were the Steward’s of God’s Land–but, you can just call us farmers.

  13. Robert Barge - February 1, 2017 8:35 pm

    I discovered your blog last week. A Facebook friend of mine posted something you wrote. You have a gift with words. From one writer to another, keep it up!

  14. Susie Munz - February 2, 2017 12:30 am

    I’m with you, Sean.

  15. Carol DeLater - February 2, 2017 12:31 am

    Funny how the politics creeped into the comments on this post. I can’t imagine anyone who was born in, or immigrated to, not be proud and happy to be born here. I’m as glad to be raised in the north as you are to be born in the south. As happy to be a voting woman as you are to be a man. As happy to love Chevy’s as you do Ford’s. Happy to fly the AMERICAN flag. We are a people that have the right to have a voice and that is a big part of why we are proud Americans. Am I too liberal to understand why anyone would be angry about what you said in this post?
    Xx, Carol

  16. Mary Ellen Hall - February 2, 2017 3:53 am

    THANK YOU for sharing this!!

  17. Jackie Windsor - February 2, 2017 11:16 am

    Absolutely love your posts. They always take me home again.

  18. Cherryl Shiver - February 2, 2017 12:17 pm

    America. the Beautiful….forever and always. Best place on this earth….enough said.

  19. Thomas A. Jarrad - February 3, 2017 12:37 am

    I’m with you Sean.

  20. Anne-Marie - February 7, 2017 8:30 pm

    A THOUSAND times YES!!!! Love, love, love this!!
    Thank you 🙂

  21. Linda D. - March 7, 2017 1:40 pm

    You nailed it, Sean. Again.

  22. Joseph Mullan - March 7, 2017 3:03 pm

    You got that right ! again.Sean.. I have a big family over there and as always God Bless these U.S.of.America..

  23. Peggy Black - March 7, 2017 3:29 pm

    This is the South we love, unapologetic patriotism and real people!

  24. Thomas Harrison - March 7, 2017 5:04 pm

    Sean, you speak to me with everything you write.

  25. Charaleen Wright - March 23, 2019 4:28 am


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