# 357, February 25, 2005
ADA, Ohio: This little town is the home of Ohio Northern University, and Ada is famous because this is where Wilson makes footballs for the professional and college players, and about everyone else. They ship thousands, maybe millions, of those balls out each year, and they are all properly inflated, which means that Ada exports not just pigskins but a whole lot of air. Now it don’t change the climate, but weather maps always show the wind direction here as inbound. Kinda the opposite of the state capital when the Legislature’s in session.
I’m here for a farmer conference, and some of you regular readers are probably wondering if that’s all I do, just go to farm meetings. Well, no, but I can’t think of a better place to be. And these farmers feel it’s important to keep on learning. They want to know how to produce more food for less dollars, and reduce soil erosion and keep the dust out of the air.
You may be saying, “Don’t they already know how to farm? Aren’t there other things in the world more interesting to learn about than how to grow corn and raise hogs?” Well, not to these folks. I spent most of two days with 600 of them, and not a one offered a prediction on who will win the Oscars Sunday night. The makeup of the Michael Jackson jury don’t matter. Nobody inquired if I was invited to the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.
Chris Rock is hosting the Academy Awards. Anyone who has seen him perform in person or on HBO is a bit concerned. The network says they will use a five-second delay, and cut out any foul language or behavior. But if Mr. Rock follows his usual style, those five-seconds will add up in a hurry, and if they cut ’em all out, the show will end by 10:45. You folks know that Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Bob Hope and a couple others have emceed the show. But did you know that the 1934 Academy Awards, the first one held in public, was emceed by Will Rogers? Well it was. You can read a few of his remarks below. You will note that talented emcees don’t need a string of cuss words every few seconds to be funny.
Hollywood is making fun of Prince Charles because he is marrying a woman he loves, rather than one that’s young, glamorous and beautiful. He tried that once, and found it didn’t suit his nature. As far as I’m concerned, Charles, it don’t matter if Hollywood or your mother decides not to attend the wedding. But I do have one suggestion for the ceremony: wear pants. A kilt may be a jaunty tradition in Old England, but an old Prince with old knees should start a new custom with a pair of dark trousers.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
Will Rogers was Master of Ceremonies, Academy Awards, March 18, 1934
[The 7th Academy Awards, 1934, were dominated by the film Ã¢ÂÂIt Happened One NightÃ¢ÂÂ (Columbia Pictures): Best picture, best actor (Clark Gable), best actress (Claudette Colbert), best director (Frank Capra).]
Here are a few of Will’s remarks…
“I was always a little leery of this organization. The name, Arts and Sciences, I think that name has bluffed out more people than it has attracted. This is the highest sounding named organization I ever attended. If I didn’t know so many of the people who belonged to it personally I would have taken that name serious.
(The statuettes) are lovely things. They were originally designed as prizes at a nudist colony bazaar, but they didn’t take ’em. It must be terribly artistic, for nobody has any idea what it is. It represents the triumph of nothingness over the stupendousness of zero.
I will tell you what gave me the courage to come here tonight among this galaxy of feminine loveliness and masculine intellect. Looking over the backs of chairs it looks like Ermine’s last roundup.
It takes great restraint to stand here and hand out tokens of merit to inferior actors.
There is great acting in this room tonight, greater than you will see on the screen. We all cheer when somebody gets a prize that everyone of us in the house knows should be ours. Yet we smile and take it. Boy that’s acting.
I have never seen any of these pictures. They don’t look at mine and why should I go see theirs?”