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Posted 10/14/14 (Tue)


I get a little tired of political ads. And political calls. But to me, they are one of the necessities of life. And when I was campaigning, years ago, I always wondered why you would vote for someone because they had a yard sign. But I would put them up and take them down, just like everyone else.
But, I guess it’s a heck of a lot better than not having elections. I still admire anyone who will put their name on the ballot and go knock on doors.
Election years always make me think of Grandpa Jack, Shirley’s dad. He would spend his campaign time preg checking cows, playing pinochle, and maybe sharing a drink with a bunch of old friends. He figured, “if the people don’t like me by now, I don’t reckon a sign will change their mind.” I suppose he was right. I don’t think he ever lost an election.
He used to enjoy telling about early polling places. When a lot of the recent settlers spoke very little English. Or maybe hadn’t attended enough school to learn how to read or write. So poll watchers were assigned to help citizens in the voting process.
I hope I recall the names right, but this is the way Jack told it. As near as I can recall; “One of the polling places was over at a ranch above Spring Creek. Rasmus Jensen was assigned to help with the polling. Now Rasmus was a good friend of Bill Connelly’s, who was running for county commissioner. This one old German farmer came in to cast his ballot. He couldn’t decipher the ballot so Rasmus offered to help him. Rasmus asked, “Who would you like to vote for?”
The man replied, “Anybody but that s.o.b. Bill Connelly!”
“Vell,” Rasmus replied, “Ve’ll yust x him out then!”
It sure sounded better with Jack telling it then in my writing it!
Another Grandpa Jack story goes back to when he was a brand inspector for the State of North Dakota. He was the N.D. inspector at the Sioux City stockyards in Iowa. At that time, tens of thousands of North Dakota cattle were sent by truck or rail to stockyards. The state employed an inspector there to watch for strays and stuff.
Like cowboys have always been inclined to do, sometimes shipping involved a little partying when the deal was done. A poker game broke out in the inspectors shack. It involved some brand inspectors, some yard employees, and a couple ranchers. As the game progressed, a bottle was being passed around and shared generously amongst the participants in the game.
One of the local inspectors, we’ll call him Gus, got into the bottle a little more than he should have and forgot he had promised his wife he would be home for supper. A couple hours late, the other inspectors reminded him, and implored him to call home. By this time his voice was starting to slur a little.
“Honey,” he mumbles into the phone, “Whazz for sup..sup…supper?”
 His wife, and you have to figure this out, says, “Bull….!”
“Yu..Yu. You just fix enough for one,” he stammers, “I’ll yust eat in town!”
Another one that Grandpa Jack could tell a lot better than I can write.