November 18, 2002
By Byron Liles email@example.com or 239-992-0441
10541 Dean Street
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135
Words fail us in expressing our gratitude for the unbelievable expression of Klamath Basin neighborliness to us folks in sunny south Florida.
Our eyes filled with tears, and we had trouble talking without our voices breaking as we met the Bucket Brigade convoy in the Publix parking lot on road 951 at Golden Gate.
That meeting -- and the ensuing convoy out to Bill Lhota’s estate -- will remain a highlight throughout our lives.
We agree that the rebellion did not reach the magnitude we had hoped for, and we failed to get any statement of position on land rights from our leading politicians, but it was still a success.
My wife and I had been embroiled in a government threat of taking of our estate for three years.
We, along with a small group of fellow landowners -- only a fraction of all that were under threat -- were battling alone, not knowing that a group just down the Interstate [highway] from us, the Property Rights Action Committee group, was joining forces nationally with a thing called the Sawgrass Rebellion.
I heard a blip on talk radio and through a series of events, contacted the action committee.
>From that, we expanded our horizons from being a part of a small group of 50 property owners, to standing shoulder to shoulder with great people such as the Bucket Brigade, Paragon Foundation and Freedom 21.
We may not be better off as to our individual situation, but we feel there is a greater chance for freedom and rights to be restored to landowners in our nation.
So if nothing else, the rebellion won two converts to the larger cause, and we, in turn, are now spreading the word of truth.
We have a photograph of our map of the United States, which is hanging in the back room of our office, on which we followed the convoy with dots and lines.
Please know that we prayed for the Brigade each time we extended the line to a new point on the map.
We prayed for safety in travel and success at the stops.
We also bought a shovel and bucket at auction in Golden Gate which we display in our office along with information on the Shovel Brigade and Bucket Brigade.
We were told that a couple in Oregon [had] painted the shovel and bucket and that it had sat on the courthouse steps in Klamath Falls.
I dipped two bucketfuls with the bucket from the canal in Homestead [Florida] as a sign of our support to those people.
The sheer gratitude of the few Hispanic people who we met on the brigade was worth the trip.
We will never forget the lady who was passing by -- who had already sold her home to the government under duress -- who started crying when she learned who we were and why we were there.
Also we will never forget the sight of the four ranchers who agreed to ride their horses across the bridge carrying the flags you had collected on the way down.
All four ranchers were under threat of being flooded to make them willing sellers to the government.
Thanks once again to the Bucket Brigade for its supreme effort in showing support to our region. We wish God’s greatest blessings for the Klamath Basin and will continue to pray for you and the cause of freedom.