"Dad had a choice...."

On p. 10 of Going Rogue, Sarah is talking about her wonderful dad. Inter alia, she writes, "Sports and the outdoors were Dad's passion, but his parents thought they were a waste of time. Dad had a choice: he could either abandon his passion or fend for himself. So he rode the bus fifteen miles every day to Sandpoint High School, and hitchhiked home every night after practice. He became a standout athlete, excelling in every sport."

Think about it!! Even if Chuck Heath got a ride back from Sandpoint High PART of the way on SOME days, he must have done an awful lot of walking too...fifteen miles! All of that walking to follow and fulfill a destiny and a dream. Think of the height of his achievement.

While excelling in the endeavors of the body, he did not abandon those of the mind. He struck the Classical balance betwixt our mortal frame and the soaring spirit. The Latin expression, as I recall, is mens sana in corpore sano : "a sound mind in a sound body."

Hunter and scholar; fisherman and teacher; athlete and thinker: this is the great guy who is Sarah's beloved dad! Somehow, I think of Indiana Jones :-) when I think of Chuck Heath: someone who can earn and hold the respect of both TRUE intellectuals and those who love the great outdoors!

Now let us think a bit about all that walking. The Lord walked too. And He used boats. Why? Did He not walk on the water? Could He not have flown through the air? What need had He of the patient plodding of the feet or the slow churning of water vessels?

He chose to share our weaknesses and limitations, that we might one day share in His glory. He sanctified for us even the most mundane and ordinary of actions. So His followers too, by means of the simplest of acts, can scatter far and wide, up and down, the seeds of future glory.

Can we doubt that Chuck, by his choice not to forsake and abandon his highest aspirations, by his laborious trudging day after tiring day, by his luminous example of fidelity to one's convictions, planted the foundation for Sarah the Marathon Runner, Sarah the Basketball Hero, Sarah the Huntress and Fisherwoman, Sarah the Lover of Books and Words, Sarah the Gutsy and Fearless Mom, Sarah the Glorious Patriot and Future World Stateswoman...destined, IMHO, for Mount Rushmore?!? (OK, here is the cue for any Lefties who may be reading this to start frothing at the mouth!!)

Every step, every toilsome step Chuck took, day after day, month after month, year after year took him whither...whither?? Yes, home from Sandpoint High he came, but more than that, home, home to the land of a hero's heart.

How could he have known the immense good that would flow from his courageous resolve and resolute perseverance so many long years ago? And how could our Sarah have known of the immeasurable treasures that would flow to her countrymen/women from her fearless following in the path traced and drawn by her hero of a dad?

Thank you, Mr. Heath sir, for choosing the lofty, dusty but golden road and way of the Brave; thank you, dear Sarah, for following your dad's example and pattern.

We owe so much to the Heath and Palin families. How can we repay this debt of honor? We can follow, each of us to the best and noblest of his or her ability and power, those fateful Steps of Fidelity, Steps of Courage, Steps of the Free and the Brave traced out by Chuck so many long years ago and by his fearless heroine of a daughter in these our days.

VESTIGIA TUA VESTIGIA AETERNITATIS: Thy footsteps [are] the footsteps of eternity!!

Read It For Yourself:

Other Great Sarah Books:

Palin Essentials:


All sidebar photos are from Wikimedia. I have tried to post all royalty-free images or to get permission, but in a few cases I could not locate the original source of a photograph or find a way to ask permission.

Contact info:

Other Great Going Rogue Reviews:

Jedediah Bila:

"Palin’s inviting first-person narration that is sometimes whimsical, often confident, and always patriotic...Going Rogue is truly one of those reads in which you put the book down after your eyes graze the final lines and you somehow feel like the writer is someone you’ve known all your life."
John Ziegler:

"I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my lifetime..."
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata:
"Her book washes away all doubts that any reader might have had about her readiness to be president. She comes across as exceptionally bright, dedicated, and passionate about public service. Her moral compass is strong, pointing true North in this case. And she has a wicked sense of humor."
Don Surber:
"Conservatives know why Palin is still standing — and standing taller today than those who tried to bring her down. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Thank you, Tina Fey."

Sarah Palin is Coming to Town

Review by Stanley Fish:

When I walked into the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan last week, I headed straight for the bright young thing who wore an “Ask Me” button, and asked her to point me to the section of the store where I might find Sarah Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She looked at me as if I had requested a copy of “Mein Kampf” signed in blood by the author....

A few days later...I had begun reading Palin’s book, and while I wouldn’t count myself a fan in the sense of being a supporter, I found it compelling and very well done....

First, the art. The book has an architectonic structure that is built around a single moment, the moment when Palin receives a call from John McCain inviting her to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Republican party. When we first hear about the call it is as much a surprise to us as it was (at least as reported) to her, because for six pages she has been recounting a wonderful family outing at the Alaska State Fair. When her phone rings, she hopes it might be a call from her son Track, a soldier soon to deploy to Iraq, but “it was Senator John McCain asking if I wanted to help him change history.”

And that’s the last we hear of it for 200 pages. In between we hear a lot about Wasilla, high school, basketball, college, marriage, children, Down syndrome, Alaska politics, the environment, a daughter’s pregnancy. The re-entry of John McCain into the narrative on page 208 introduces Palin’s account of the presidential campaign and its aftermath, especially her decision to resign the governorship before the end of her term....

Paradoxically, the effect of the neatly spaced references to the call is to de-emphasize it as a dramatic moment. It is presented not as a climax, but as an interruption of matters more central to Palin’s abiding concerns — her family, Alaska’s prosperity, energy policy. (She loves to rehearse the kind of wonkish details we associate with Hillary Clinton, whom she admires.)

Indeed, it is a feature of this narrative that events we might have expected to be foregrounded are elided or passed over. Palin introduced herself to the nation with a powerful, electrifying speech accepting McCain’s invitation to join the ticket. It gets half a sentence (“I gave my speech”)....

The only event that receives an extended discussion is her resignation. It is important to her because as an act it reflects on her integrity, and she has to be sure (as she eventually was) that she was doing it for the right reasons.

Resigning was a moral act for which she was responsible. The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay.

For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything...

I find the voice undeniably authentic...It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.

It says, here are some of the great things that have happened to me, but they are not what makes my life great and American. (“An American life is an extraordinary life.”) It says, don’t you agree with me that family, freedom and the beauties of nature are what sustain us?

And it also says, vote for me next time. For it is the voice of a politician, of the little girl who thought she could fly, tried it, scraped her knees, dusted herself off and “kept walking.”

In the end, perseverance, the ability to absorb defeat without falling into defeatism, is the key to Palin’s character. It’s what makes her run in both senses of the word and it is no accident that the physical act of running is throughout the book the metaphor for joy and real life. Her handlers in the McCain campaign wouldn’t let her run (a mistake, I think, even at the level of photo-op), no doubt because they feared another opportunity to go “off script,” to “go rogue.”

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.”

The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

  © Blogger templates Sunset by 2008

Back to TOP