More About Joe's Family
For those of you who have seen ABC's show "The Middle," we're that family kinda, sorta.
For those of you who haven't seen the show, its about a typical middle class family living in the fictitious small town of Orson, Indiana.
Like the couple in the show, Liz and I have been married a good number of years. And like the couple in the show - and like many middle class couples throughout the country - we regularly stress out about finances. A 'dinner date' for us now is often dinner at the local Wendy's followed by dessert at the "Dari Freeze" in Bluffton, Ohio (pop. 3,875).
That's where we live, Bluffton, on (Are you ready for this?): Main Street, literally. And, uncannily enough and also just like the show -- we live in a modest house on Main Street with our kids.
In the show, there is a teenage boy, a teenage girl, and a younger boy. We, too, have a teenage boy, a teenage girl, and a younger boy. And, like the TV family, our kids bring us joy, laughter and more problems than you can shake a proverbial stick at.
My hair actually started falling out way more after Sarah and Joseph became teenagers.
While other presidential candidate families posture in various ways to look like they're in touch with those in the middle -- Mitt Romney wore (pressed) jeans, for instance, and didn't talk much about his seven homes -- we're living smack-dab in the middle.
We have one home, with three bedrooms and a sun porch. Our newest car is a 2006 Equinox with 119,000 miles on it. Our Sarah works at the coffee shop up town to help with her college. And I can bowl, too.
Granted, this life has been a roller coaster ride.
But isn't that what life in "the middle" is all about?
Note: Obviously there is more to our story, the "running for president" part and all. And that's chronicled more in-depth in the "Archive" link on this page. But believe me, we are, indeed, qualified to be the "First Family."
Actually, we might even be a bit over-qualified. That is if the qualification is: That a First Family 'really' needs to be in touch with 'the middle.' And correct me if I'm wrong, but that sure seems to be the theme every presidential election cycle. And every four years, after the election, we inevitably find out the following about who we elected -- not so much on that middle thing.
Listen to Joe Speak About
click on the track below
"Instead of the big house (or houses) in a gated community somewhere, we decided on a modest-sized home in small town America -- to be more in touch with 'the middle.' Plus, well, it's what we could afford." --Joe
"Wait 'til you hear this! Average Joe on Main Street USA. And it even gets better, and more 'populist.' My name really is: Joe. And the street we live on really is : Main Street. And we didn't even plan it that way. It's just what was available when we moved to Bluffton." --Joe
[Ours is the lighter colored house on the right.]
"Just in case we decide on a "Front Porch Campaign" because of the previous success of Ohio Presidents William McKinley and James Garfield -- or because the gas prices might go up -- we decided on a place that, indeed, had a: front porch. And to think we're doing this all without high-priced political consultants." --Joe
*Page designed in 2015
The “Main Street Years”
We have lived on farms. We have lived in hardscrabble areas of major American metropolitan areas. And for the past four or so years, we have lived on “Main Street USA.” This page has been designed to help you get a feel for what that has been like for us. If we’re going to represent many aspects of the American public in D.C., it’s only fitting that we have lived those aspects.
*We did the interior of our home on Main Street in sort of a ‘50s motif. While definitely not perfect (Segregation, too much of a focus on materialism, and such), it is representative of an era in this country where there was a lot more wholesomeness, more community-building, a slower pace of life, safer streets for our kids… Plus, I got a great deal on the phonograph! [For more on our beliefs around this, see 50's.] --Joe
Our agricultural platform calls for a return to a small farm, agrarian-based society. And in addition to bringing back waymore small farms, the platform also calls for a lot better land use across-the-board. This translates into: many more urban farms, many more community gardens, and many more home gardens as well. [As more and more people their own food, they are, concurrently, more in touch with the land. This, in turn, fosters things like better environmental awareness in general. Psychologically, it helps people be more grounded. And, growing some of one's own food, frees up resources to help the disadvantaged in other countries develop their own sustainable agriculture. Everyone wins.] Below are scenes from the 'Schriner garden' that we developed behind our home during our years on "Main Street." Note: In practically each place that we've lived over the years, we've developed a garden (even in a hardscrabble area of Cleveland), and in some places, even the beginning stages of permacultures. When we get to the White House, just wait until you see what we're going to do with that big lawn. For a preview, see.