Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Pocatello Politics--Epilogue

Several years had passed. I was in college and, although, I would visit Mom and Dad occasionally, I was living in Utah. I was walking with my grandfather downtown, but I do not remember what it was that had brought us so far from either his or my parent's homes. Grandfather was in his 90's and had retired as Bannock County Assessor--a position he had held until well into his 80's.

We walked at a fairly good clip, which rather surprised me, because, as I mentioned Grandfather was well into his 90's, but as we walked in front of the courthouse. It was then that I realized that he had been informed, probably by my father, of my own Republican leanings, because as we slowed the pace, he pointed at the front door of the court house.

"I stopped in the other day to visit some of my old friends at the courthouse," he began innocuously.

"Glad to hear it," I responded politely. "How are they doing?"

"Well, in my office, they are doing just fine. I am proud to say that I left everything in tip-top shape and they've been able to carry on without a hitch."

"Well, of course, we all knew it would be that way. People here didn't keep electing you for nothing." I said wondering where all this was going. I was not long in finding out.

"But", he continued, "when I went over to the clerk's office, I'm very sorry to say, it was a very different story. They are still trying to clear up the mess left them by That Republican (for several years after he left office, Grandad would refer to him by name, Deloy Giles, but for the past several years, he simply called him, That Republican). I just can't understand what the people in this town were thinking when they elected him. How a single Republican could make such a mess of things in two short years, is a mystery to me, but he did, and," he added with a rather ominous touch to his voice, "they always do."

Since it had been almost two decades since Mr. Giles had thus darkened the doors of the County Courthouse, it was a little difficult for me to believe that he could have been entirely responsible for the mess remaining at the County Clerk's office and I was sorely tempted to say something sarcastic like, "Are you sure that That Republican didn't inherit a mess made by a previous Republican, also elected due to patriotic sympathy (Mr. Giles, as I explained earlier, had been elected--although, a Republican, normally impossible in Pocatello, because he was a Korean War Hero), possibly an associate of Teddy Roosevelt's distinguished in bravery at San Juan Hill?" But I refrained. I simply said, "I'm sure, Grandpa, that with all the good Democrats in this town working on the problem together, they will eventually be able to straighten out the mess."

"Well, I hope you're right." Then he muttered almost under his breath, "But I doubt it." And we continued our walk.

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