Pondering with PJ

I have very few memories of political campaigns back in the days of my youth when I was growing up on the Plains of Pleasanton, Foothills of Malcolm. My dad was a strong Democrat and I think my mother was also, by default. I say that because her father was a very strong Republican.

My dad and grandfather usually got along fairly well when the elder would make his annual summer visit from his home in San Antonio, Texas. I looked forward to his visits as he was the only “Grandpa” I had. He would arrive by Greyhound bus in mid July and stay for six weeks or so.

It was a happy time for me. Grandpa would tell me stories, some over and over again until I could recite them almost word for word with him. Those were great times.

But, every fourth year, it wasn’t so great!

The year I turned 12 was the year I learned more about politics than I needed to know. You see, that particular summer we would have the opportunity to watch the Democrat and Republican Conventions on our new 17 inch, black and white, Sylvania.

We were overwhelmed with anticipation and excitement as the day approached for the opening ceremonies of the Democrat Convention. Dad sat in one corner of the living room and Grandpa sat in another, both with good views of the small screen.

“They’re getting ready to start,” my dad yelled to my mother who was putting the last pot to soak in the tepid dishwater.

I watched as she stepped through the living room doorway and saw what would soon turn into something close to a ruckus between the Hatfield and McCoy clans. She looked to the left and there sat her spouse of nearly 30 years in “his” chair; and to her right was her elderly father whose advanced years had dimmed his vision somewhat, but his hearing was right on!

She took her place on the end of the couch that was closer to Dad and I took my spot on the other end, next to Grandpa. I didn’t know that I would be in the direct line of fire once their exchange began, but before the first commercial Dad threw out a comment similar to … ”Well, it’s about time we heard from someone who has a little common sense!”

Grandpa responded with a grunt which I thought was an outstanding reply considering he would be putting his feet under Dad’s table for the next 30 days or more. But, then he followed it up with, “I’ve never met a Democrat who’d know what the words meant!”

Dad shot a look across the room toward Grandpa who was really smirking but it was hard to tellbecause he was squinting real hard to see the TV. About then, Mom asked, “Who’s ready for apple pie?”

As the week went by, Mom couldn’t make enough apple pie to keep peace on the homestead. Dad and Grandpa punched and counter-punched their respective policies until the last dog was hung. I wasn’t sure if they’d make it through another full week listening to the Republican convention, but as it turned out, my worries never materialized.

After the first hour of opening night dad said, “Well, I’ve had enough of that!” and got up and switched the channel! Needless to say the remainder of the week was very quiet after the explosion following the channel switching. In fact, Dad and Grandpa didn’t have much to say to one another for the remainder of his stay that year. That was okay with me because I could have Grandpa all to myself and I didn’t care which way he leaned politically. He was the greatest Grandpa ever!

It astonishes me how the human race can turn on itself and bicker with anyone with a differing political opinion on Saturday and then sing the loudest from the pews on Sunday.

It just doesn’t seem right.

As Usual, PJ

Author of “Uncommon Sense”

Pj646@centurytel.net

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Posted by Pauline Jaquish

Pauline Jaquish is the author of “Uncommon Sense.” You can reach her at Pj646@centurytel.net.

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