# 331, August 15, 2004
COLUMBUS: It’s a pleasure to be able to write to you today. You’ll know I mean that in all honesty when I remind you of the significance of August 15. See, it was on this date in 1935 that Will Rogers and world renowned pilot Wiley Post died when Wiley’s plane crashed at Point Barrow, Alaska.
The Ohio State Fair ended today, and for some of us old timers a Fair can be just as exhausting as a presidential campaign, even if it only lasts 12 days. August has been mighty cool, more like late September. Good for a fair, but not so great for growing corn.
Young folks from 4-H, FFA and other fine organizations were showcasing their livestock and various skills. I sponsored the 4-H Rope competition. If you think about it, this seems like a natural thing to do. Then I found out it was mainly about knots, not lassoing. But we had a lot of fun and got a bunch of these kids up front with lassos performing flat loops for the crowds.
My friend Gery Deer put on a kind of impromptu “Wild West Whip Show” one afternoon and drew a bigger crowd, more laughs and more applause than some of the regular performers. Mr. Busch’s Clydesdales were here and those horses drew more attention than any automobile on the grounds.
[If you’re interested, go to www.4hengineering.osu.edu and click on Pictures]
Florida got pounded by Bonnie and Charley. Folks down there at Punta Gorda need all the help you can spare. I do have one suggestion for them: if you live along one of these hurricane beaches in a light trailer, it might be wise to leave the wheels on the trailer for a quick get away.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Florida hurricanes, plus)
“Let’s lay off politics today and get down to something necessary and worth while. I don’t think we are taking enough interest in this Florida relief as we should. Florida is in real need. The Red Cross needs much greater funds than have been sent.
I know giving to campaign funds this year when the competition is so keen has about got everybody broke, but I think Florida is worth more to us than trying to get the post offices for the next four years.” DT #672, Sept. 20, 1928
“Take your campaign contribution and send it to the Red Cross, and let the election be decided on its merits.” DT #673
[Note: A hurricane struck Florida Sept. 16, 1928, and killed 1500 and left 15,000 homeless. Two years earlier a hurricane killed 372 in Florida and Will wrote about it and helped raise $30,000 for the relief effort.]
“When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read ‘I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn’t like.’ I’m so proud of that I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved. And when you come around my grave you’ll probably find me sitting there proudly reading it.” June 16, 1930, comments at Tremont Baptist Church, in Boston, Mass.