What would you do if you came up on a poor lady by the side of the road? Would you help her?
That’s exactly what Gov. Jim Justice (D), West Virginia’s richest man, did.
In the middle of his inaugural address last week in Charleston, Justice pulled out a tackle box and ax. Some in the crowd giggled.
“On Memorial Day, Kathy and I were at the grave site of my grandparents. We put out the flowers and cleaned the grave off… down in Jesse, West Virginia,” the Governor said. “Not a very prosperous area these days.”
As they left the cemetery, they saw a lady and her little daughter standing against a guardrail. The lady held the tackle box, the ax and some fishing rods. “She was selling her life away, her memories, to maybe just have enough money to have food.”
Justice said he gave her a hundred dollars for the tackle box and a hundred dollars for the axe. She had no clue who he was.
“She looked at me with tears running down her face and said mister, you don’t have any idea how bad I’m hurtin’.”
“I’m ashamed of myself,” however, the Governor said, “I should have given her every dime that I had on me.”
The just-inaugurated governor told the crowd he carries the tackle box and axe in his car because, “I want to remember her.”
There’s no way to independently verify Justice’s story, but it underlined a central message of his inauguration: “We’ve got to do something.”
You can watch all of Governor Jim Justice’s inaugural address.