||THE DRUM AND CANNON website is the venting place for Jack Ott, a
resident of Lakewood, Colorado. Originally planned and designed in early 2004 to be a
military blog, it soon evolved into a conservative website dealing with a wide range of
For most of 2010, The DRUM and
CANNON was inactive while Jack was actively involved in grassroots political action,
leaving little time to write articles for the website. After the 2010 elections were over,
he delved back into the website, redesigning and streamlining it somewhat, and it came
back on the scene in December.
A long-time political conservative, Jack cast his first
electoral vote for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Presidential Election, at age 24.
grew up in the Milwaukee area, and attended Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, graduating
in 1958. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for one year, prior to
receiving a nomination to the United States Air Force Academy. He graduated from AFA in
the top quarter of his class in 1963, with a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Sciences.
From Colorado Springs, it was off to Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma, for a year of
Air Force Pilot Training School.
His next stop was at Travis AF Base near Fairfield,
California, where he flew C-130 and C-141 transport aircraft around the world, but most of
his flights were to exotic places with names like Tan Son Nhut, Pleiku, and Danang
airfields during the height of the War in Vietnam. Jack finished his six-year Air Force
career flying AF Rescue HC-130 aircraft from Andersen AF Base on Guam.
Back in the civilian world, Jack first went to work as a
Second Officer for United Air Lines at Kennedy International Airport in New York City, but
was furloughed after just a few months because of the poor economic conditions at
the time. He then accepted a Management position with New York Telephone Co. in 1970, and
was successful in arranging a job transfer to NY Tel's sister company Mountain Bell in
1971, and it was off to Denver. There he worked as a traffic engineer, engineering
instructor, engineering manager, and regulatory planner until he retired in 2000. During
his 30-year career in the telephone business, Mountain Bell weathered the breakup of
AT&T and mergers with two other telephone companies to become U S WEST. Very soon
after his retirement in 2000, U S WEST became QWEST Communications.
During his tenure with the Telephone Company, Jack
obtained a Master's Degreee in Science/Business Administration while also working
full time. It was in Graduate School that Jack met the lovely Carol Hahn-Smith, a young
widow with three sons who was also working at Mountain Bell. They were married in 1983.
It was after his retirement from U S WEST that Jack
became active on the political scene, culminating in his selection as an Alternate
Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul. This was not
a good time for the GOP, and, even before the 2008 election, he realized that it was time
for change within the Party. It had moved too far to the Left until it had become nothing
more than an echo of the Democratic Party. He also realized that the only way to affect
this change was through grassroots efforts.
It was at this time that today's conservative "Tea
Party" movement was beginning to bud. A new group was being established called
"Coalition for a Conservative Majority", or "CCM". It was a non-profit
501c(4) organization to be headquartered in Washington, DC with eight initial local
chapters to be formed in "swing" locations around the country, including one in
Denver. Its purpose was to provide education and training in conservative grassroots
activism, as well as to coordinate with other groups in carrying out grassroots activism.
Jack became one of the charter members in Denver, and was elected Chapter Vice President.
The nationwide organization was just over one year old
when its leaders in Washington announced that, because of a lack of funding, they would be
closing their doors. The Denver Chapter, along with the Colorado Springs and Phoenix
chapters, decided to continue in existence, functioning on a local basis. Some of Denver's
leaders decided to leave the group, and Jack was chosen as the Chapter President, a
position which he has since held.
Jack is a Republican Precinct Committee Person in
Lakewood and is active in party political activities when not wearing his CCM hat. He has
also served on the Board of the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the Association of U S WEST
Retirees for eight years in various positions.