HAMLER, Ohio: With so many small town banks disappearing, it is pure pleasure when you get invited to spend an evening with the stockholders of one that is prospering. These farm communities may not be as well off as some of our elite suburbs, but they sure don’t lag behind in spirit and contentment.
They hold this annual shindig in the cafeteria of the Patrick Henry High School. (Where did you think it would be, in a country club?) The school calls themselves the Patriots, and their colors are red, white and blue. That seems safe, but when I walked in…remember, here I am a quarter-blood Cherokee… I see signs and posters all over the walls saying, “Patriots, beat the Indians”. That gave me quite a jolt. I thought, didn’t they already do that 300 years ago?
But it turns out the students were getting revved up for a big game this weekend, and it had nothing to do with the Bank, or the speaker. This year, any team named the Patriots is destined to win a championship, even if they have to beat a few Indians to do it.
I reminded them of a line from a few years ago, “The banker, the lawyer, and the politician are still our best bets for a laugh.” (August 11, 1935)
But here lately, the banker has been falling behind the lawyers and politicians when it comes to humor. I told ’em, if you’re going to catch up with those two, you bankers need to team up with the accountants. And you’ll get the comedy prize for sure if you can latch on to all those jokers from Arthur Andersen.
Speaking of prizes, the Winter Olympics have started in Utah. At the opening ceremony we learned the answer to the old question, How many hockey players from the 1980 gold medal team does it take to light an Olympic caldron? Answer: All of them.
And another question, How many Americans does it take to carry a torn and tattered flag salvaged from the World Trade Towers? Answer: about 270 million.
The United States won all three medals in a sport I had never heard of. Nobody from any other country had heard of it either till a week ago.
Two Canadian skaters beat the Russians on the ice, but lost in the judges chambers.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“The old Farmer has had pretty tough sledding in the last few years, and he hears about all the Americans going to Europe every summer and to Florida every winter, and here he is. He can’t leave for fear his home Bank will be watching him. He believes in his heart that a few Bills passed by Congress would assist him in helping to pay some Interest on the second or third Mortgages.” WA #220, Feb. 27, 1927
“Papers today say, ‘What would Lincoln do today?’
Well, in the first place, he wouldn’t chop any wood. He would trade his axe in on a Ford.
Being a Republican he would vote the Democratic ticket.
Being in sympathy for the underdog he would be classed as a radical progressive.
Having a sense of humor he would be called eccentric.” DT #2349, Feb. 12, 1934
“Rail splitting produced an immortal President in Abraham Lincoln; but Golf, with 20 thousand courses, hasent produced even a good “A number 1″ Congressman. There hasent been a Patrick Henry showed up since business men quit eating lunch with their families, joined a club and have indigestion from amateur Oratory.” Saturday Evening Post, June 2, 1928