I cherish my healthy, fairly uncomplicated childhood in Hudson, Ohio. The ice cream social, caroling on the green and sneaking out of our house in Western Reserve Estates at midnight to ramble through town with AC Weary, Rick Weisehan and others from the class of '69 shaped me in many positive ways. Even losing football game after football game did some good, though the tears weren't so tasty back then.

One thing I never tasted at all was poverty. Nor did I know those who had. Since then, I have learned how lucky I was -- and more importantly, how unlucky some others are. God rolled the dice, and I ended up in Hudson. Others got the South Bronx.

Recently a whole lot of people ended up unlucky because a fairly small group of other people were allowed by law to demolish our financial system. These people were not punished, even though suffering was widespread and lingers.

One of the people who benefitted from others' misfortune and added to it by shipping jobs overseas and advocating bankruptcy for American car manufacturers is Mitt Romney. As others lost their homes, filed for unemployment and signed up for food stamps, he made a fortune.

In Hudson in the '60s, women and gay people were lesser beings. The first had low-paying jobs and no rights to their own bodies. The second stayed in the closet. Times have changed, but Mitt Romney hasn't.

I am writing from Hawaii to ask that you in Ohio keep these things in mind as you go to the polls today. Who is president next year actually might not matter to you at all. After all, you live in Hudson. But I promise you that it will matter to others across America, and to the world, and that a vote for the man from my new home of Honolulu will be in our mutual best interest.

with gratitude and aloha, Peter Gellatly