My father, Carlisle Traywick
I grew up in South Carolina and was interested in politics from a very early age. This interest was due to the worship of my father who was also very politically inclined. He was an active citizen in the community and once was chosen Citizen of the Year for his work to bring industry to our small Southern town. Daddy liked to take me for drives. One Christmas, he drove me to see where the old home place once stood and explained to me that as a child, he received only a pack of firecrackers and an orange for Christmas and was so happy but that he always wanted to give my brother and me more. As a small child, I remember riding with Daddy and seeing a group of men in white robes and hoods and his explaining the Ku Klux Klan to me. My father was a conflicted conservative. Though he professed conservative beliefs, he opening promoted the hiring and mentoring of African Americans in our community. At his funeral, we had an African American pall bearer he had hired at his department store. That was unusual in our small Southern town. My habit was to sit with Daddy each night in his big chair and watch Walter Cronkite. He explained the news to me. He thought we should support Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon. I was his humble servant.
One day, Daddy decided to venture into politics and run for County Commissioner. The local political machine approached him to offer their support if he would be their voice. Daddy declined and lost the election by around 50 votes, but when he died, the editorial headline read, “Carlisle Traywick, a Man of No Pretense,” a summary of Daddy’s unpaid service to the economic development of the community. It was a proud moment for my family.
My Daddy gave me a foundation for my political beliefs. He would not be bought and he was a champion for the underdog. He saw the big picture and sought the greater good. He was practical but also a very hopeful person. He loved my brother and me unconditionally. We miss him every day.
I will leave it to the reader to determine how I might vote in the November election. Let’s just say this Southern woman was powerfully influenced by her Southern Daddy. May the best person win.