This week’s activites have started me thinking of my past political work. One of my favorite memories has to do with a state treasurer’s race. I realize that some people don’t even know that their state has a treasurer, so their vote might not be as informed as those running for the office might hope!
Anyway, the man seeking reelection to this position one particular year was participating in a parade in my home town. At that time, the convertibles used by politicians were provided by the local political party. Guess what my job was?
The higher the office, the better the car and the better your position in the parade. Governors, US Senators, and US House of Representatives members got the best cars, the ones loaned to us by car dealers. We had to find privately owned vehicles for the others.
State Treasurer was pretty far down the line of positional rank. But, we found enough cars and we had a beauty for the treasurer and his lovely wife. There was only one problem – the floor of the back seat was rusted out. There was carpet that looked fine, but it covered a large hole. The owner of the vehicle apologized about the condition of the car and stayed close to make sure that we did not cause additional damage.
The treasurer arrived at the parade start location. It was then that the first problem arose. Let’s pretend that his last name was Bakerer. Apparently the volunteer sign painter decided that this could not be the man’s name. The signs for the sides of the car said “Baker” – the second “er” was missing. The parade was ready to start so a quick run to an office supply store to purchase poster board, tape and a black marker was made. Let’s just say that the Bakerer’s were not happy that we did know how to spell their name. And, the signs looked weird.
Then it was time for them to get into the convertible. They were not tall people so the “hop” from door frame to back seat (being careful to not step on the rusted out floor) was challenging. But, with a little help, the leap was completed. Now came the second problem.
Sitting on the back of a convertible is not comfortable; you need lots of pillows or blankets as padding to cover bumpy pieces of metal. The car owner did not recall being briefed that he needed to provide the padding. Still smiling the Bakerers tried to sit on top of the mechanism and found it impossible. The owner smiled – he had some old horse blankets in the trunk. We could use those.
Anyone who has been around horse people know that you really don’t want to be near “old horse blankets” that have been forgotten in the trunk of a car that had no back seat floor. The fabric provided padding but what discomfort they felt was forgotten as the “aroma” of the seasoned blankets warmed in the Kansas sun. The Bakerers stopped pretending to smile.
The parade finally got started and the Bakerers were off with their owner driver. They seemed to enjoy waving at folks along the parade route. I can only imagine how many people did not recognize their name (with or without two sets of “er” ) or that the state even had a treasurer.
The parade ended and the Bakerers were back; happy after their 90 minutes of smiling and waving. It appeared that all was forgiven.
I didn’t even consider sneaking away until someone said that getting the short (and wide) Mrs Bakerer into the car was easy compared to the task at hand – getting her out. This leap wasn’t onto a padded back seat. The nonexistent floor was still a problem. And, any energy in her legs had been used up sitting on stinky, rough horse blankets for more than an hour.
I carefully backed away into the crowd, trying to become invisible, as the car owner and the treasurer discussed options. Mrs Bakere looked steamed. No matter what strategy those chose, It wasn’t going to be pretty.
The moral of this story? Politics, it isn’t as much fun as it looks!!
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)