Humans of Calvert County, Sarah Merranko & Anita Santoyo
“I’m 53. I’m not 23. Let’s say I live to the average male age of 75 years old. That means I only have 22 years left. So let’s do how many Sundays I have left. There are 52 Sundays times 22, I ain’t got a shit ton left! ?
I gotta use it wisely, right! So you look at it and you go, I’m running out of time, we’ve gotta do this shit now! I look at it that way because I’ve seen too many people die with the music still in them. My fear is not living. I can die today. I’ve lived a life, I’ve impacted people, I have four wonderful kids, He can take me today because it’s a better place BUT I don’t want to go yet!
I’m truly a community activist. I work on behalf of the community. My focus is bringing value and being a good steward for the residents.
The reality is I work for 2,000 people. They can bring me back down to reality real quick! They expect you to do what’s right. I’m really just one with two thousand people that are my bosses. I’m really the lowest man on the totem pole. I’m not the highest, I’m the lowest. I have 2,000 people that hire me. That’s how I look at it. That’s what I tell my staff. Remember we work for them, they don’t work for us.
There’s 157 of us in the whole state of Maryland. There are 157 Mayors out there. We’re the ones that get it done. Anything above that doesn’t get shit done. We’re non-partisan. So there are no fights between the R and Ds. You just get shit done. Once you get above that, it’s all political!
I’m very hands-on. We’ve made a ton of changes in North Beach in 12 months! And I have a lot of nicknames. Red Bull….because I come in and it’s a whirlwind!
Walking Mayor. I walk every day in the whole town. But I’ve always been doing that it’s not just as Mayor.
I require little sleep. Life is short.
And I keep track…
* I got back into real estate 1,646 days ago.
* I became Mayor 381 days ago.
* 1,553 days ago I had $5.74 in my bank account
I track it just so I understand where I came from. And then I look at it and go I’ve been doing it this long! Things are looking good….let me just keep going!
People use ‘I don’t have time for that.’ But you know if you started today, you’d have 365 days knocked out. Either way, you’re going to have a year. Either way. A year from now, it will be a year from now. That’s the only thing I can guarantee you….if you’re alive.
‘Well, this is the way it is.’ Or ‘It’s supposed to be this way.’
I just laugh. I had a speech impediment, we were poor. We were dirt poor. I was raised by my grandmother, not my parents. I mean name it, I had it all. You either are going to let it hold you back or you stand up and go higher. I believe you just stand on shit and keep going higher. You have a choice. It’s your choice. I learned that from day one. Every single thing you do….everything….not your body stuff like breathe….. but absolutely everything you have ever done and ever will do is a choice. Everything. The goal is to make more good choices than bad choices.
And everybody has a story. It’s part of our fabric. We all have them!
I made more mistakes than most that is all. I think the biggest fear I have is not making a mistake. I get complacent if I’m not making mistakes or not struggling. Then I’m not doing anything.
There’s no guarantee you’re gonna live forever. So don’t waste your time! My fear is not living! I want to do more. And my doing more is not about cars and houses, it’s how can I impact more people? What can I do? What impact did you put on Society this week? Volunteer, learn, study, surround yourself with like-minded people.
I wave to everybody and I hug everybody. And my kids will say to me why do you wave to everybody? They didn’t wave back? I didn’t wave for them I waved for me. I said maybe that one person that laughed or smiled, they were thinking about suicide that day. Maybe we took them off the ledge for just one day. It’s not about what I get out of it. It’s about the purpose that you’re on Earth. You’re only here a short period of time.
As much as you have, it can all be gone.
So I appreciate everything. Everything.”