Black History Outlook And OpinionMar 1st, 2011 | By Submitted | Category: Letters To The Editor
I, Monroe Lee, have worked for over 52 years, from age five at Fraleigh Shade Tobacco Farm to surveying the largest volcano in the world then serving the nation with designs at Walt Disney World, Tampa Stadium, St. Pete Library and many schools and university buildings. Since my retirement, I have given to college students nationally and encourage them with motivational speaking as I travel the nation. By act of fate, a bank in my hometown orchestrated The Treasures of Madison County (photos) in the rural county, going back over 100 years pictured on the a 12-month calendar. As I looked through the photos with months, there was this picture of the Old Madison Range Street Hotel built over 100 years ago which had a swinging partition wall for making more room for large dances, the wall could be pushed back. After being destroyed by fire, it was rebuilt to its present state with the exception of a project that I executed for Mrs. Virginia Rowell of Key West. I renovated it to house apartments and business shops (offices). The year was 1979, 32 years ago. I was pictured in the Madison County Carrier 12-10 and 01-11Reflections. Well, that is a few things I have done, not to mention invention of the shock absorb tripoid instrument, mail truck electric seat, NOAA modified rod flag invention and many other inventions. Since 1968, at my conversion, I volunteered to follow Jesus’ example wholeheartedly. It truly paid off to the max. However, as I reflect on my earthly accomplishments, I received help from a cross-section of society, meaning I didn’t see it as an all-black thing. America was built by many. As a matter of fact, it was people like Mama King of Madison High School/NFJC in the 1970s; Lewis Tucker, Dean of North Florida Junior College Technical Center; James Brown; Mr. Charles Swain; and Mr. Harper of drafting. Looking back to WW II, when my dad was being prepared to go overseas to war, he said a white man said to the draft board, “Don’t take him” because he was up in age and if my dad was sent, he couldn’t make it without my dad. So, if it was not for that man, my dad would have possibly been a casualty of war and I would not exist as me. Therefore, black history is still American history. I today thank God for being God and putting people in the right place to assist me in my endeavors. Even Mr. Harvey Greene and his offspring who demonstrated business opportunities to me from the purchase of the log chain that I sold him in approximately 1962 at rent pickup. Mr. Harvey was sitting on the passenger side and his wife was his driver. Boy, that big money motivated me to be a hardworking business man who does what is right and acceptable to God, making a living with my hands and mind. Even when I am being hated by my neighbors and fellow man, I leave it in God’s hands and live until I die.