My Pappy’s G.O.P.
We had to find one with the trunk up
My paternal grandfather, Lielmo (Jack) Quillen, or Pappy as we called him, had an elephant collection. Jade elephants, wooden elephants, ceramic elephants, elephants of all shapes and sizes, even in large carved groups. All carefully placed on shelves in his study. As a small child I was fascinated by them and would admire them in great detail. Some of them were very intricate and there was so many of them.
My grandmother, Ethyl, (Bunny) Quillen, suggested I give Pappy a small carved elephant for his birthday, but we had to find one with the trunk up. For many years before his passing I would often give Pappy an elephant with the trunk up for his birthdays or Christmas that I would find in different gift shops in Gatlinburg where we lived.
It wasn’t until years later that I made any connection between those elephants and my grandfather’s love for the Grand Old Party. He was what Bunny called a dyed in the wool Republican. I was oblivious at the time. I just thought my Pappy was into collecting really cool little elephant statues and I was honored to be able to add to his collection. But the Elephant, particularly with its trunk up, had a deeper meaning than the mascot of his beloved GOP. The elephant is a symbol of Will and Power. The trunk up symbolizes victory over the selfish use of will. The trunk down symbolizes docility in the use of will and is mostly considered unlucky. There are many different interpretations, but this is the one I like to think my Pappy believed.
I’ll let the reader draw their own conclusion on the difference between my Pappy’s GOP of the 50s, 60s and 70s, and the Republican party of today. The logo we designed for the Quillen4Congress campaign is a knock off from one of Jimmy Quillen’s political buttons that he gave to his cousin Leilmo, my Pappy. Only I’ve incorporated Pappy’s elephants with the 3 stars of Tennessee, storming the capital. Please help me storm the capital with the spirit of my Pappy’s Elephants and the Grand Old Party that they use to represent by voting:
Quillen for Congress
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The 1st District covers all of Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties and parts of Jefferson and Sevier counties.