During the ten years of my writing career, I have concluded each column with the famous quote of my fellow South Carolinian, War of 1812 hero and former President of the United States, Andrew Jackson: "One man with courage makes a majority."
Returning to Atlanta in 2009 ravaged by the bursting of the housing bubble after a 2+year stint in Charlotte, N.C. as corporate counsel for a real estate investment firm that went bust, a friend of my best friend arranged for me to lease a portion of a her friend's house as an office and residence. That housemate, landlord and friend became my female Jacksonian hero and is my entry in Examiner.com's America Inspired competition.
No, Suzy Kilgo wasn't struck by a British soldier as a teen, nor did she twice rescue her country from dissolution by first leading a ragtag army to defeat the greatest military force on earth at the Battle of New Orleans or prevent her home state from secession while President. But Suzy sure has rescued people and at-risk animals, despite the required sacrifices of time and money, in ways that this beneficiary of her charity deems heroic and inspirational.
Things started out well for this writer when I arrived, but within a year our economic fortunes took a sharp turn for the worse as Great Depression II picked up steam. A native of DeKalb County and a fixture in the Stone Mountain community, Suzy was not immune.
Like so many in the naughts of the 21st century, she became immersed in the real estate industry both as an employee of major firms and as a self employed agent from time to time. Suzy developed a reputation for relentless hard work and developed special skills that enabled employers to essentially have their firms run by her. But, during the past year as the housing industry reached depths unknown since even Jackson's days of the early 19th century, Suzy's hours of work were greatly reduced, thus threatening her ability to keep her underwater home.
Throughout these years, Suzy continued to lead her homeowners association and rescue those worse off than herself with shelter and food, whether they were other victims of the economy or abused and/or abandoned dogs and cats, due to her passion to alleviate the suffering of all of God's creatures. She maintained a Christ-like love and tolerance for people and helped the disabled with fellowship and assistance, all while overcoming much adversity in her own life.
Suzy is my hero and example of how to live in troubled times. Suzy is a true Georgia Peach that inspired this South Carolinian and will now inspire America via this contest. And it warms my heart that no matter the outcome of the competition and no matter the economic suffering Suzy has endured and continues to endure, that this story has a happy ending.
Suzy was married a few weeks ago to a wonderful man. May God bless Suzy and her new mate with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
[I encourage readers to register with Examiner.com and vote for Suzy Kilgo in the America Inspired competition.]
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist – Examiner.com
Editor - Hillbilly Politics
Co-Founder and Editor - Political Daily
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson