Last year, at this time, I was at work when someone sent me a Facebook message saying “The Chicken man’s house is on fire!”
I immediately began calling and texting Andrew, obviously with no success. When I saw that his home had exploded, I didn’t need ‘police confirmation’, I already knew his fate.
Even so, it was still unbelievable. I had just spoken to him the day before. It’s a painful memory to reflect on but a necessary one.
If you knew Andrew, you’ll never been the same,
If you knew Andrew, you can probably count the ways your life has changed since his death.
You’re probably a little less trusting and a little more vigilant.
You’re probably a little less complicit and a little more fired up.
You’re probably much more aware of your freedoms and your rights and how those are vulnerable to local politics.
You probably despise the City of Roswell.
Since his death a very long year ago, several things have happened:
A very large group of people have come forward to both me and Maggie Bean regarding their own negative experiences with the City of Roswell. There are many more than you might think. People harassed by police, zoning, and administrators and ultimately run out of their town.
The police chief is gone. Though it’s still as incestuous as ever, Orrick, who literally created chaos in Andrew’s life, is no longer with the Roswell PD. He was forced to resign, though not because of his role in Andrew’s death.
Roswell for Fiscal Responsibility, an watch-dog organization, has come out swinging while demanding transparency….there a few key individuals who consistently demand honest public service including Jake Lilley, Lee Fleck, Cade Thacker, Tom Cork and Martin Howell.
Kay Love is still a villain. She recently organized the “city retreat” at the Ritz Carlton just outside of Atlanta, costing Roswell more cash than any other North Fulton city retreat, and then some. Love took her council members cronies along on her tax dollar vaycay…She has never admitted any wrong doing but, thankfully more people know the truth. Thankfully, many still watch her like a hawk.
While we failed Andrew while he was here with us, we were able to generate significant publicity surrounding Andrew’s turmoil and death. There are a few of us who will never let the issue sink, but I don’t think any of us will ever let it happen again.
Joseph Pond has been working tirelessly with his group Backyard Chicken ALliance in Cobb County and recently won a small, but important, battle against the Commission. They cried fowl, but he stood tall with his grassroots organization. He’s been so successful that other municipalities are popping up with their own Backyard Chicken Alliances.
He was stubborn as hell but Andrew taught everyone he met about kindness and helping, and most importantly freedom.
Andrew taught me about liberty in the grandest way and he brought out the libertarian in me.
He was a friend and he is forever in my heart, whether it be for politics or people or chickens.
Joseph Pond described him perfectly….”In the midst of all of his battles, I called him one day about a sick hen that I had. He insisted that I come over, so he could see it. He took the time to examine the bird, to give medicine for for the bird, and instructions on how I should treat the bird. He could have easily told me that he had more important things to take care of- his health, his finances, his legal battles- but the truth was that the health of that bird was the most important thing to him at that moment… He was also a true patriot who stood tall for freedom. I work hard to let his spirit shine thru my actions. “
Andrew constantly reminded me how much more powerful two were than one. He’d always say, “Just think if we could get a few more people behind us!I” He’s right. When it comes to freedom and liberty, there is no standing alone. A loss of your neighbors freedom is a loss for you. I ask that you use Andrew’s memory as your fuel to fight for liberty…and your neighbors.