I was born in Hardin County, Illinois -- 396 miles south of Elgin, as the crow flies. I attended a one-room school in the middle of Shawnee National Forest for eight years and was never tardy. We had no electricity, running water or restrooms back in the 1940s.

I always had a wholesome breakfast and a full lunch bucket.

My parents labored through the Great Depression of the 1930s, saved the farm and lived to tell about it. They always said, "Son, get a good education. That's the one thing they can't take away from you." Daddy only had three years of formal education. But, Edison had less than two and Lincoln had less than one year.

Recently, J.B. Pritzker, Illinois governor candidate, told how awful it was that one out of five young children go to school without breakfast. Later, Michael Bloomberg paraded two doctors and a grandma on TV, promoting the Cook County soda pop tax. They blamed the manufacturers for targeting these kids, thus causing obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Two big differences from today. My parents practiced personal responsibility. They got married before having babies, and then, they were involved. For example, in the early grades, right after supper, Mama and I went over my lessons for the next day, then off to bed.

There is no substitute for parental involvement and personal responsibility. Yet Pritzker and Bloomberg continue to push the same old leftist, liberal mantra, just to get more votes: "Mr. and Mrs. America, you can't do it all by yourselves; we have to do it for you."

L. Dean Hufsey

Elgin