Weston Wamp: A Grateful Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25, 2021
Throughout the upcoming campaign for County Mayor, I intend to write a series of ten essays about why I’m running -- ranging from the experiences that have prepared me to serve to the hopes and plans I have for the future of the county. This is the first of those. 

Being a parent has taught me that what you’re grateful for, is what you serve. 

Those of you raising children, or who have raised children, know where I’m coming from. Nothing matters more to me than the four little ones I tucked into bed tonight before writing this. 

Over the next five months, for the first time in nearly 30 years, we’re going to debate and discuss the future of our county and who is best to lead it.
There will be plenty of time to compare the experiences and ideas of different candidates, but on this Thanksgiving 2021, as a way of sharing my heart, here’s what and who I’m grateful for this year:

I’m grateful for my wife, Shelby, who gave birth to our fourth child in May of this year. We once dreamed of a large family and now we live in the perpetual joy, and chaos, of raising four children six and under. She’s not at all political, but she’s a willing partner in the campaign journey to come.

For our four children, three boys and a darling little girl. The oldest is a Hamilton County first grader. 

For the legacy of public service I’ve inherited. Not just from my parents, who served our region in what seems like a bygone era of decency and cooperation, but also my grandfather, Don Wamp, an architect, who passionately designed many of our county’s finest elementary schools.

Speaking of elementary schools, I’m grateful for the indelible mark that my teachers at Big Ridge Elementary left on me in six of the most formative years of my life. Some of those teachers are among my greatest encouragers to this day.

For my mentor, David Haskins, and Young Life, the middle school and high school ministry that has changed the lives of thousands of young people in our community like me. Shelby and I now raise money for Young Life and have taken our kids to the same Young Life camps that brought me such joy in my teenage years.

For those in our community who have given so much more than they’ve taken -- and inspired me along the way. Missy and Kelly Simmons of the Forgotten Child Fund and Paula and Joe Smith, foster parents to many and the founders of Y-CAP, come to mind.

For my high school basketball coach, Eddie Salter. A true gentleman -- and the person who instilled grit in me as a short, slow white kid who didn’t have much business playing basketball.

For Hixson, where I was raised; for Ooltewah, where Shelby was raised; for East Ridge, which originally welcomed the Wamp family to this area in the 60s, for Red Bank, where I grew up in church and where my grandparents were the 1957 Homecoming Queen and star quarterback; and to Lookout Valley, where we’ve put down roots.

For all those who have supported my entrepreneurial endeavors, from starting a successful fund to invest in new companies to launching a national nonprofit to advocate for fiscal stewardship in Washington. I have been incredibly fortunate to have had friends and mentors who believed in the big ideas I’ve pursued.

I’m grateful more than ever for the experience of running for Congress in my twenties and losing. Losing, I’ve found, is an important part of life and I’m a better person for having worked tirelessly and come up short. The 45,000 people who voted for me nearly eight years ago gave me the confidence to get back up and do other important work in the years since.

For the deeply rewarding privilege of serving our state’s technical colleges and community colleges on the Tennessee Board of Regents. It’s in our forty colleges that tens of thousands of nurses, EMTs, welders and plumbers are trained every year.

For those whose shoulders we stand on who have put Hamilton County in its best position ever. From Mayor Jim Coppinger, whose lifetime of public service is nearly unmatched, to county leaders like Charlotte Vandergriff and Harold Coker who passed in recent years, our county has a great legacy of servant-minded leadership.

Lastly, I’m grateful for this forum, Chattanoogan.com, for its unique and valuable role in our community. I’ve been an avid reader for well over half of my life. In fact, my second paying job was covering local prep sports for $33 an article for this website when I was 16, 17 and 18 years old.


Happy Thanksgiving.


Weston Wamp
Candidate for Hamilton County Mayor

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

Ron Littlefield: Don't Invest In Moccasin Bend Hospital At The Present Location - And Response

Weston Wamp: A Grateful Thanksgiving


We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone ... (click for more)

I was pleased to see a strong and politically balanced rejection of the recently announced plan to pour more than $270 million into an attempt to prop up Moccasin Bend Hospital. Rarely do ... (click for more)

Throughout the upcoming campaign for County Mayor, I intend to write a series of ten essays about why I’m running -- ranging from the experiences that have prepared me to serve to the hopes and ... (click for more)



Opinion

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues ... (click for more)

Ron Littlefield: Don't Invest In Moccasin Bend Hospital At The Present Location - And Response

I was pleased to see a strong and politically balanced rejection of the recently announced plan to pour more than $270 million into an attempt to prop up Moccasin Bend Hospital. Rarely do we see agreement from both the liberal and conservative editors of our local newspaper, but in this case both said don’t do it. Long ago it was realized that the local mental health facility ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Cherry Street Development Sells For $4.7 Million

A downtown development has sold for $4.7 million. The property at 701 Cherry Street had been redeveloped by Mike and Matt McGauley. The first Krystal restaurant was at that location at the southwest corner of Seventh and Cherry. Krystal built its headquarters at the site in 1952. The McGauleys later completely remodeled the three-story complex. The sale was from McGauley ... (click for more)

Harrison Home Damaged By Fire Friday Morning

A home in the Harrison area was damaged by fire Friday morning. The Highway 58 Fire Department was called to 8006 Turtle Lane around 9 a.m. to a fire coming from under a deck. Highway 58 Engine 42 was first to arrive and reported a working fire. A quick attack on the fire and securing the gas and electricity to the area was made, resulting in saving the home and containing ... (click for more)

Sports

John Hunt: Still More Reasons To Be Thankful

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has passed on by, but I guess it beats the alternative. Today is the one day of the year when a nation and world takes some time to express gratitude, giving thanks for all the blessings in their lives. I’ve always said that I celebrate Thanksgiving every day and that my list of things to be thankful for just continues to grow. I ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Recalling Some Memorable Football Games From 50 Years Ago, Including Those Of Red Bank And Georgia

As one who lately has been remembering what all was going on in my life 50 years ago, I cannot forget what was taking place in the world of football in late November 1971, when I was a starry-eyed young fan. Perhaps most significant was the Oklahoma-Nebraska football game played on Thanksgiving afternoon, Nov. 25 – the same day of the month as 2021’s Thanksgiving. No. 1 Nebraska, ... (click for more)