More of My History (Edited Excerpts of a Letter to a Friend)
Most outsiders only are familiar with the mega-metropolitan parts of the East Coast, which I also don't like.
The rest is an entirely different world and culture (and usually conservative Republican).
Many are amazed at the amount of forest, farmland, mountains, and open spaces that are still extant here in the East.
My MCEA (Maryland Classified Employees Association) union (www.mcea67.org) is independent and not affiliated with the AFL-CIO, which, unfortunately, and in my opinion, far too often is more focused on perpetuating itself than helping its members.
Just as our country's early "Minutemen" fought for individual liberty and free agency, so do I try to do the same for workplace job justice and individual freedom of choice through MCEA.
It's a moral issue for me, about which my Patriarchal Blessing also gives me strength and direction.
My politics are moralist libertarian, and decidedly populist.
I can't abide ... limousine liberals like Kerry (or most liberals of any stripe - more government control of our lives is anathema to me).
However, the sometimes intolerant religious right..and repressive Old Guard in the Republican Party also makes me uneasy.
Still, on balance, I prefer most Republican Party Platform principles, and I already have begun working for Mitt Romney for President in 2008.
Falling Waters, WV has a very small waterfall (almost hidden), from which its name derives, and I really like the much larger "Muddy Creek" waterfall at Swallow Falls State Park in the mountains of Western Maryland.
The spelling and pronunciation of my surname was mangled by the difficulty of pronouncing it ("Koooompf"), so the family anglocized it's spelling and pronunciation several generations ago (Kump now is pronounced like "Dump", with a hard "K", but others still try to spell it with a "C" and, for some odd reason, try to put an "R" in it- Arrrgh!).
My ancestors included Hessian (German) soldiers who fought for the British during the Revolutionary War, were captured by George Washington during the Battle of Trenton (NJ), were confined for the rest of the war at Fort Frederick (between Clear Spring and Hancock, MD), and, after our country's independence, became farmers in the mountain valley of Cove Gap, PA.
Patrick Henry of Virginia also is one of my great Uncles, and my hero since I was just a little guy, but I didn't know of our blood relationship until I was converted to the Gospel and researched my family history.
I was born in Chambersburg, PA, and lived for a short while thereafter in Greencastle, PA (on Ridge Avenue), but my family moved to Hagerstown, MD when I was almost six.
I attended school in Hagerstown (except for a few months in Greencastle), went to the local Community College, and then transferred to Frostburg State College in Frostburg, MD for my B.S. degree (majors in Political Science and Social Science, minors in economics, geography, and philosophy).
I was converted to the Restored Gospel at age 14, but my parents opposed my choice in this, so I "fell away" in a sense (but still believed).
I finally was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ( see www.mormon.org for more about my faith) at age 21, when I was a college senior.
My family was extremely unhappy with me, but it was a choice I've never regretted.
I previously was Executive Director of the Indiana State Employees Association, another independent public employee union, and fought it's takeover by the AFL-CIO. After they won, I parted company with them (in 1989).
Subsequently unable to find employment in my chosen field, I became an itinerant worker at whatever I could find until I finally accepted my current prison case manager job in January of 1991, where I still am active in workplace job justice and other individual liberty issues.