Bill Roark

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014.

Every year at this time I am reminded how blest I am to have been born in America. Through no choice of mine and through no merit of mine — only by the grace of God — was I somehow chosen to be an American rather than to have been born in one of the deepest and darkest Continents on earth destined to a life of poverty and suffering, helpless and without hope.

I am reminded every day that America is far from perfect but remains the greatest nation on earth and the greatest experiment in human freedom and democracy that history has ever recorded. I enjoy freedoms and blessings every day that most of the world cannot even imagine in their wildest dreams.

I am aware that through our own reticence and neglect we have permitted some of the freedoms our forefathers enjoyed to slip away. However there is so much that remains we are still the envy of the world. I want to explore three of those freedoms that directly affect my chosen field of real estate.

• HOME AND LAND OWNERSHIP This is a freedom that just a few decades ago was reserved only for the very rich. The phenomenon of home and land ownership can only reach its full potential in a free society. Where dictators and despots rule, homes and land are confiscated by the government. The masses are crowded into government owned apartments, told where to live and not allowed to move without permission. This freedom is practiced by only a few countries in the world and none to the extend we enjoy in America.

• COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE This is a direct product of the free enterprise system. While the “profit motive,” a phrase that has become dirty words to some, but without which our lives would be drastically different. Without the free enterprise system and the profit motive we would all be living in practically the Dark Ages. So when you hear someone criticize corporations as dirty profiteers, envision your life growing all your food, cooking all your meals, walking and not driving … well you get the picture.

• RECREATIONAL LAND Our decades old enchantment with the great outdoors is only possible with the freedom to travel across parish and state lines, own a gun, fish in the many streams and lakes, kayak down a river or just take a hike. Protecting these rights given to us by our forefathers is the sacred duty of every generation. Even in countries with similar democracies, gun ownership is either forbidden or highly restricted.

It will require the vigilance of every new generation of Americans if these rights are to be protected and passed to the next generation. Let us vow not to be that generation that allows these sacred rights to disappear from the face of the earth.

On the Local Scene (September 12, 2019)

The WINDSOR INN APARTMENTS, 2401 Washington Street, Monroe has sold for $2,250,000. This is the former Windsor Motel and before that the Holiday Inn Motel.

The ANYTIME FITNESS CENTER, 2418 N. 7th St. (corner of Otis Street), and across from the Richland Tower, West Monroe has sold for $437,000.

Bill Roark is a Commercial Associate Broker at Tri State Properties and may be contacted by email to

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