YES, I AM STILL HERE peeking out of the newspaper’s window on Main Street and before they’ve worn out their first pair of shoes campaigning door-to-door I want to thank all of the people who have filed for office — city county, school and state.
Our republic depends upon citizen participation.
Quorum court and city council positions pay just a little, and school board pays none. There’s some nice pay, finally, for constitutional offices like sheriff and judge, and for some city offices. Didn’t used to be that way.
If elected, you have to deal with complaints from close friends and neighbors, and you always have to worry about getting re-elected. Sometimes there’s a thin line to tread.
But mostly you have the enormous responsibility to navigate your particular institution for the benefit of, and into, the next generation.
Everything I read says that citizen participation is dropping. Not just elective office, either. It’s getting harder to find anyone who will step up and lead civic clubs and support groups for, for example, FFA or youth athletic teams.
If you are a candidate for public office, I hope that you are not running with a grudge on your shoulder. I hope you are running for the right reasons, and at the top among them is …. fair and balanced service to your fellow citizens.
Right now I want to thank the folks who are running, but also the folks who for very little recompense work to make sure elections go smoothly.
I’ve covered a lot of elections for the newspaper over the years. Generally, ours in Howard County have gone by with very few ‘hitches.’ It’s not by accident, it’s because a succession of county clerks and political party officials have insisted upon keeping to the rules.
There have been a few amusing ‘hitches,’ however.
At one time, one of the Nashville ward polling places was at the Legion Hut on Dodson Street. One election night, the group put off counting votes so that they could enjoy a potluck after the polls closed. The clerk hit the roof. Meal over; counting began. Still, the votes came in about 3 a.m.
Several times poll workers at a north county voting site have counted the votes and decided to wait until the morning to call in the totals and bring in the election boxes. “Oh, no no no you won’t,” the clerk said, and she dispatched a county deputy to collect the boxes of ballots.
Constant attention — that’s the way to maintain election integrity.
I really like ‘early voting.’ I always vote early.
I also like that, even though the election worker has known me for 50 years, she asks me to show photo ID. This eliminates some of the fears that worry some people.
Unless you are in Chicago or Louisiana, you can be pretty safe in the belief that your election has been held honorably.
There was a time when the ballots were printed at the ‘Nashville News.’ I had the chore of figuring out how to make it all fit on one page, and then I typeset the ballots myself. I was very happy when counties went to big outfits for printing.
Touch-screen voting is much easier for the voter. Easier on the eyes. Plus, whether you are ‘early voting’ or casting your ballot on Election Day, you should have easy access to the voting equipment.
When you go to the polls remember to remove caps and buttons with political themes.
Once again. If you are running for office, I thank you.
And if you are an election worker, I thank you.
And if you are a voter, thank the ones that made it possible.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. The usual brunch I set out for ‘my’ bluejays and cardinals has been taken over by some very large crows who show up right after I’ve put out peanuts and sunflower seed.
This week I thought I saw an oriole perched in the top of a bare tree in the side yard. My eyesight is not so keen, but I think I saw orange-yellow-black colors.
After me and my Red Ryder BB gun chase the crows away, Teacher’s Pet jays and cardinals return to the table.
SURELY NOT. While I was doing some birdwatching on my sunny patio Monday afternoon, I spotted a bird circling waaaaaaay up. My eyes could fool me but it may have been that Mississippi Kite I’ve been looking for.
A COMPLIMENT. A friend took her granddaughter to see the Scrapperettes play in the basketball tourney. Friend is a hoops expert, having played herself; seen countless college games; and even attended a Final Four.
She told granddaughter: “Those girls play just like boys. They’re good.”
PLEASE GET the Covid-19 vaccine. Do your part to stop the spread of the virus. You can be a good example for others.
The persons who require hospitalization and ventilators in Intensive Care Units are almost all unvaccinated. Most of the people who die skipped their own vaccinations.
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email.
According to the Redneck Book of Driving Etiquette: “Never try to tow a large pickup truck using panty hose and duct tape.”
I would only add: And please return the panty hose after you tug that big Silverado out of that mudhole. She will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
WORD GAMES. The twins: First and Foremost. They always jostle for attention. Which one gets it?
HE SAID: “There’s nothing I value more than the closeness of friends and family, a smile as I pass someone on the street.” Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirates MLB legend
SHE SAID: “We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.” Phyllis Diller, comic
SWEET DREAMS, Baby