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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who am I?

I am not what Scott Leffler and Heather Grimmer thought they were getting when they asked me to write for them. I can be the most hated guy in Lockport, or I can be the nicest guy you ever met. It all depends on how you treat me and my hometown.

At one point, I feared for the safety of my family because my opinions had started to hit close to home, literally. Instead of staying the course and being myself, I cowered. My last publisher let me go because I chose to try and defend myself against the unknown. I tried to hide. But that just isn’t me.

I am Lockport’s pet dog. I am loyal, unconditionally. I love my hometown, unconditionally. And I would do anything it takes to make Lockport happy. I give up more than people realize just to be a part of the things that I feel are important to my city. I grew up here and I will die here. Everyone who knows me knows my loyalty.

But I also know my limitations. I am not a politician, but I can spot a bad policy when I see one. I am not a lawmaker, but I can spot injustice from a mile away. I am also dumb enough to have a cataloged history of my opinions on just about every major thing that has happened in this city over the past few years. Every once in a while, someone digs up part of that catalog to throw at me. I stand by what I say. I always have, and I always will.

My friends put up with my overabundance of energy and I even managed to find a few friends who can match my energy. I have stupid ideas, but I have plenty of supporters who encourage me to bring those stupid ideas to life.

I have friends involved in Lockport politics and I am starting to think that Anne McCaffrey is not such a bad mayor after all. I never realized how much she sacrificed and the hours she put in just to make sure that our city did not go bankrupt. Is she perfect? No. Will I vote for her next year? I don’t know if she is even running and I am not sure who I am voting for. Next year’s vote is too important to throw away on a whim.

Who am I?

You guys just know me as this Nick Oliver character who showed up on East Niagara Post with a big mouth and lots of opinions. Some of you agree with me, some of you don’t. A wise editor I work for now once told me that I shouldn’t let everyone get to me. He shared with me the volumes of hate mail he gets. He is one of the nicest guys I know. If a nice guy can get hate mail, then it is no wonder I do.

Who am I?

It is time to start being the person Scott and Heather actually thought they were getting when they asked me to do this. Whether you like me or hate me, please know that I always have Lockport’s best interests at heart. I find that I get into the biggest conflicts with people who have their personal interests at heart over Lockport’s. I will always have conflicts with those people. I put Lockport’s needs ahead of my own, so you aren’t that special.

Who am I?

People know me when they see me and some people shake my hand while others turn their backs. That is ok. I can take it. Really, I cannot take it. But if I insist on going through with this weekly therapy called column writing, then I need to be able to take it.

Who am I?

I am Nick Oliver. But I am really not. As of today, I am dropping the name Nick Oliver and retiring it for good. There is just too much at stake in Lockport over the coming year for me to hide behind a fake name. I cannot do it anymore.

Who am I?

I am George N Root III and I can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. The best part is that I let you decide which you will be and I never hold it against you.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and a guy who no longer hides behind a fake name. His column appears every week in the ENP and he is damn proud of it.

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