TheTownCrier

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Location: Pacific Northwest STATE OF JEFFERSON!, United States

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We lost a Patriot - We will miss you, Mike Pierce

I arrived in Jarbidge, Nevada a couple days before Independence day, July, 2000 to attend what some have called the ‘Jarbidge Tea Party’. Eviro extremists and a misguided federal edict had isolated this small community by shutting off its access road in favor of the bull trout.
We gathered, with shovels in hand, to open that road.

Before long, Mike Pierce, who we knew on the web only as ‘redrock’, and his family joined our group at our camp after their long journey from St. George, Utah. My first impression was being grateful that we had a big, strong man in camp with us, on our side. After helping me set up a tent, the rest of us got to know ‘redrock’. He explained that he became interested in our Jarbidge posts on Free Republic, signed on as he looked out his window at Utah’s fabulous ‘red rocks’.

His strengths were more than braun. He was a devoted husband and father to his two young daughters, who he never missed a chance to give a history lesson to. A descendent of President Franklin Pierce, Mike knew our history and always taught us something we didn’t know.

More than that, he was a the kind of man, patriot if you will, who gave this country the greatness we were trying so hard to hang on to that day.
He served his country in Viet Nam as a medic. But unlike too many of his fellow servicemen of that era, he held no bitterness or ghosts of regrets from the experience. In our camp, he only spoke of hope, encouraging all of us to be ‘better’.

Morning came, but Redrock wasn’t in camp. A few more steps revealed that he was on the Jarbidge road, with shovels, crowbars, ropes and LOTS of muscle. He decided to get a head start on moving what was dubbed as ‘Liberty Rock’ ALL by himself! And he almost did, but saved the glory and celebration for the crowd of attendees for July 4th.

The Liberty Rock (L) was moved by volunteers of the Shovel Brigade, to open the Jarbidge (South Canyon) Road.


Mike Pierce, pictured below in blue shirt.



Mike wasn’t afraid of work or standing up for the people of this country, even before most realized the direction our government was taking us. The next year brought more bad news of private property rights being trampled by uncontrolled ‘regulations’. The farmers near Klamath Falls, Oregon had no water to irrigate after it had been shut off to them and the Klamath Falls Bucket Brigade was born. All the way from Utah, again, Mike drove to stand with his ‘neighbors’.

Above all, Mike was a diplomat, always attempting to bring disgruntled factions together. At Klamath, he spoke with the Sheriff and media and encouraged us all to be ‘our better selves’.

Mike Pierce was a father, husband, soldier, and an outstanding citizen. Having suffered many physical trials, including a broken neck from an injury many years ago , Mike always came out stronger. He started a new career shortly after starting his new family, becoming a long haul truck driver. On several occasions, when in our town, he would stop for a visit, and I prepared a vegan dinner which he preferred. Mike cared for the people around him and cared for his own health better than I, or most of us do.

Mike liked to tell a story about a woman he met on his way to Klamath Falls. A farmer was moving some equipment on the road and held up some traffic. A city girl was very agitated over being inconvenienced and remarked, “Why don’t those silly farmers get their food at the store like the rest of us!??”.

He laughed, but didn’t suffer fools well.

Mike battled, with his usual grace and valor, the illness that finally took him from us on Oct. 6, just a few days ago. When I think of Mike, I remember a song that he enjoyed so much, written and performed by a young girl for the Klamath Falls protest. It was written about such a man as Mike Pierce.

The Man Who Set the Water Free Written by Alex Schireman (age 13)

I read it in the papers I saw it on T.V.

The story ‘bout the man Who set the water free

It wasn’t Bunker Hill wasn’t Custer’s last stand

It wasn’t Gettysburg It was only one man

It happened ‘cross the mountains In Klamath County

I’m Proud of the man Who set the water free

My Grandpa was a farmer There’s some farmer left in me

‘cause I’m proud of the man Who set the water free

It wasn’t rocket science Didn’t take a Hercules

He saw the lake was full And he set the water free

It wasn’t Waco, Texas Not another Ruby Ridge

No guns or FBI It wasn’t that big

Nobody got killed Not even sucker fish

He overrode the computers And put water in the ditch

He wasn’t the Lone Ranger He wasn’t Robin Hood

He didn’t wait for lawyers To tell him that he could

I don’t know where he is I may never know his name

But I’ll raise my glass And toast him just the same

He’d never be convicted By a jury of his peers

They’d want to shake his hand And give him three cheers

When I have grandkids I’ll bounce ‘em on my knee

And tell ‘em of the man Who set the water free

Now God gave us choices God gave us brains

I don’t blame God ‘cause we didn’t get the rain

God made sucker fish They’re part of his plan

But God made farmers And gave ‘em two hands

Hands to work the ground Hands to sow the seeds

Hands to open up the gates And let the water go free

When the Judgement Day comes I hope there’s an override....

On those pearly gates to Heaven And that man floats right inside....

He didn’t build an ark Didn’t part the Red Sea

But I’m proud of the man Who set the water free

I read it in the papers I saw it on T.V.

The story ‘bout the man Who set the water free

It wasn’t Valley Forge Wasn’t Custer’s Last stand

Not the Alamo in Texas But I’m proud of that man

It happened on the lake In Klamath County.....

I’m proud of the man Who set the water free

My Grandpa was a farmer There’s some farmer left in me----

‘cause I’m proud of the man Who set the water free!

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