Pete's News


Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!

There's big doin's up here this week. Well, I guess you'd call it a calendar jam up. If you'll look at the calendar, they've put Halloween on this comin' Friday the thirty-first. The startin' of the deer gun season is the next mornin', Saturday the first. And the time jumps back to reg'lar time when you get up on Sunday mornin', November second. Then 'lection day is next Tuesday the fourth. And if that ain't enough, here comes Veterans Day the very next Tuesday, on the eleventh. And that ain't sayin' nothin' atall about Thanksgivin'. 'Course Thanksgivin' ain't for a purty good while yet.

I don't know who decides all this stuff, I mean what's gonna happen and when, but it seems to me like that's just way too much goin' on in too short a time. It ain't like we've got a shortage of days or nothin'. They're gettin' a little shorter this time of year, but last time I looked we still had 365 of 'em in the year. So why can't we spread things out a little? It wouldn't be no big deal. Maybe we could move the time change back two or three weeks. That wouldn't hurt nothin'. And we could slide deer season back a week. We prob'ly ort to leave Halloween and 'lection day alone. They kinda go together y'know. Both of 'em are a little scary, people dressin' up, actin' like they're somebody they ain't and all.

Yeah, if I was a politician I'd be all over that calendar stuff. But I ain't. I ain't even got no kinfolks that's ever been 'lected to anything that I know of. I do have this one cousin that kinda wanted to be once, but he just didn't have nothin' goin' his way. People wouldn't vote for him. I hate to say it, but I think his name kinda held him back. Not his last name, his given name. Yeah, I'm shore it did. His daddy, my uncle Jake, named him Richard Nixon for some strange reason.

Daddy always said Uncle Jake was a strange man. Well, to be truthful, Daddy said Uncle Jake and all the Lefwiches, that was Uncle Jake's surname, was flat out nuts. I don't know why, but Daddy didn't like him for some reason. He was his brother-in-law, married to Daddy's sister, Aunt Deb. Daddy wouldn't admit it, but Aunt Deb was a little odd too. I mean, if she wasn't she would've allowed one of her young'uns to be named Richard Nixon, now would she?

Now don't get me wrong. There ain't nothin' wrong with namin' somebody Richard or Nixon or even Richard Nixon together. Not at all. Nixon was president and people used to name their young'uns after presidents all the time. And I guess President Nixon was popular to start with or he wouldn't have got 'lected and that's when they named my cousin after him. Then somethin' called Watergate come along and he wasn't near as popular as he was before. Not near as popular. By the time Cousin Richard Nixon got big enough to go to school, the name had purty much come be a dirty word.

They don't know no better, but young'uns can be mean to each other at times. And they was mean to Cousin Richard Nixon. I guess they heard their folks talkin' about all the bad stuff goin' on and how it was the fault of somebody named Richard Nixon. And they knowed Richard Nixon. They went to school with him. They didn't know exactly what he'd done, but they knowed it was purty bad. So they'd pick on him. One or two of 'em had even throwed rocks at him. But the worst part was that his brothers and sisters turned against him too. They didn't know what he'd done either, but when everbody else started pickin' on him, they figgered it must've been bad. They wouldn't even walk to school with him. They'd run ahead and leave him trailin' along behind.

When somethin' like that happens to a person, it changes 'em, either for the better or for the worse. Remember that song about the boy named Sue? His daddy knowed he was either gonna grow up tough enough to handle whatever came at him or he'd tuck his tail and sneak off. Bein' named Richard Nixon was like that with my cousin. At first he didn't know what to do. He'd slink around at school and was always whinin' to the teacher, but she just told him to quit bein' a tattle tale and sent him on his way. He went home and told his mama, but she was too busy with the latest baby to pay him attention.

Then one mornin' he woke up a changed boy. I reckon he'd finally got fed up and decided he had to do somethin' about it. He came to the breakfast table and made the big 'nouncement that would change his life forever. "I'm changin' my name," he said. "From now on, you can call me Doc."

Everbody just stopped and looked at him. Then his oldest brother, George Armstrong Custer Lefwich, looked him in the eye and said it: "Richard Nixon! Richard Nixon! Richard Nixon!" Well, little Doc hit him right in the nose, knocked him back'ards off his chair and pinned his left ear to the floor with a fork. The other kids decided maybe Doc wasn't such a bad name after all.

But it wasn't 'til he got to school that the real fun started.

(But I'll have to tell you about that next week)

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