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 Texas : Features : Columns : Spunky Flat and Beyond :
Spunky Flat and Beyond - A Memoir


THE CAMPAIGNER
by George Lester
George Lester
Before the main highway bypassed Lorena, Texas it was a fairly busy little town. It was a sad day when the traffic going to and coming from Waco, 16 miles to the north, no longer passed through our friendly little village. All the service stations and most of the other businesses shut down or were severly deprived by the unfortunate roll of the dice.

Before the fall of Lorena I remember the great public gatherings at a park south of town. Any occasion was a justifiable one for a celebration. It may have been the fourth of July. I know it was a hot day when my family joined hundreds of others at the park to enjoy the gala event. There were baking contests and my mother won a blue ribbon for her rolls. They were absolutely delicious. For some reason I don't remember her ever baking them again for the family. It was in the depression and I guess the ingredients were just too expensive.

Politicians running for every office in the county and state were there taking advantage of the situation. Soon the ground was littered with tossed campaign cards. I reasoned that these little white slips had to be of some value and I wondered why people were so wasteful, just throwing them away like that. I started picking them up and before long I had a sizeable stack of them. I took them to my brother Sam and asked him what they were for. He told me they were voting cards.

He explained that you had to turn one of them in to vote for the candidate of your choice. He was a year and a half older than I so it was assumed that he had to be right. I wanted to be of help so I approached a large group of men playing dominos. I asked if they had voted yet. They played right along with me and said that they hadn't voted and asked me whom I represented. I laid the stack of cards for practically every candidate in the state on the table and said, "All of them, just take your pick" I was deeply hurt by their laughter. After all, I was just trying to do my civic duty.

George Lester
4-27-2004
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