It’s been so long since I’ve seen you all. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years now. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that Joe and I were running across the practice football field to eat lunch at home. It was a nice perk. One time we brought Bob Berke with us and took our parent’s car to McDonalds. BIG Mistake. When we got back home mom was waiting for us… I’m not sure what hurt worse… getting whacked or having Berke watch it.
So much has happened since I left Fort Dodge. I finished college and moved to St. Louis where I found a few different jobs. In my 20’s and 30’s I did some modeling and acting. I played a cop on “Unsolved Mysteries” twice. I was in an NCAA basketball commercial and was in a John Deere catalog. I worked out and played basketball. St. Louis is like a big small town they say. It has been my home for over 25 years.
In 2001 I moved my mother down from Iowa. All nine of us Hoft kids volunteered to take her in but she chose to stay with me. That was a shock. It turned out to be a blessing. She was suffering from some health problems and needed someone to watch her. I bought a big home and renovated it with help of family and friends. Her health deteriorated over the years and she passed away last year. 5 of her 9 children were at her bedside when she left this world. We held her funeral back in Fort Dodge. My dad suffered from Alzheimer’s and passed away a few years before her.
Something exciting happened in late 2004. I started writing a little political blog. I’ve never had any training in politics or journalism, just Sister Victoria in 8th Grade. After a few years of writing I gained thousands of readers every day. Then I started getting invites and paid trips to different conservative events around the world. I went to Prague in 2007 for a conference with international democracy activists and President Bush. I’ve met several world leaders and spoken to several senators and representatives. I’ve been a guest at the UN, went to Israel for a week with Andrew Breitbart, attended national conventions and conferences.
Today I have the # 8 ranked political blog in the United States in the Wikio rankings. This includes all of the mainstream blogs left and right (CNN, FOX News, Washington Post, NY Times, etc). I have over a million and a half readers a month and am the second most visited news website in St. Louis. Over the years I broke stories that forced a White House official to resign within hours. I’ve forced the New York Times to apologize. I am frequently mentioned on top national news shows. The blog is named “gateway pundit” after the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I’m having a great time with this.
I still talk with Joe about every day. We see each other often. I also have two other older brothers here in St. Louis. This week on July 28 I have major surgery on my neck. I am hoping to make it to Fort Dodge 10 days later but I won’t be able to play golf. That’s too bad. I hope I get a chance to talk with all of you. I am so grateful today for my Catholic School education. And, I am grateful that I shared it with all of you. God bless and hope to see you next week!