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Tuesday, December 07, 2004 ISSUE #346
 

Will Rogers cites a slow road builder, and a top humorist

# 346, December 7, 2004

COLUMBUS: All I know is what I read in the newspaper. Headline says, "40 years later, Rt. 35 is finished".

Yes, it took Ohio 40 years to build this road, from the Ohio River at Gallipolis, where Bob Evans ground his first pound of sausage, through Jackson and Chillicothe, over to Dayton, where Orville and Wilbur built the first airplane, and on to the Indiana state line. It’s 164 miles, which means they progressed about 4 miles a year, if you can call it progress. Just imagine, if Ohio had been in charge of this country’s Westward expansion, at that rate we would just now be reaching Utah.

Bob Evans was delighted, "Now we can ship sausage to Dayton by truck like we do everywhere else, instead of driving the hogs overland and grinding it there."

Governor Taft says the new route will create jobs in the region, but I doubt if they can top the number on the payroll to build the road in the first place. They could have kept more men hired and stretched construction out a few more years, but about half way through they were practically forced to buy some Caterpillars and get rid of the mules. But it’s a fine, 4-lane highway, well worth the effort, and traffic will roll right along, until next summer when they set out the orange cones and start patching the oldest sections.

In college football they got another controversy. There’s only supposed to be two undefeated teams at this stage of the season, but the boys at Auburn, Utah and Boise never got the message. Oklahoma and Southern California got picked to play for the championship, but I got an idea of how they can add Auburn and have three teams in the same game.

If my plan works it’ll be USC vs. OK vs. AU, and they kinda play a round robin by quarters. See, they draw straws and two of them play a quarter while the other sits out. Then one of those sits, and they keep rotating until each has played four quarters, which takes a total of six quarters of football. It won’t take much longer than usual because you eliminate the half time; two keep playing while the other rests. The one with the most points at the end is the true national champion, and there’s no argument, except maybe from Salt Lake.

Texas beat out California-Berkeley for another big bowl berth. That don’t seem fair either, and I propose they play each other, preferably in the Rose Bowl.

I doubt if anyone will adopt my plans. These university presidents seem to be dead set against anything different, and they are hard headed enough to get their way.

Now here’s another big football battle for me personally. In San Antonio’s Alamo Bowl it’s Ohio State University from right here in Columbus, against Oklahoma State University, kinda "my" other home state. People ask me, will I favor the Cowboys or the Buckeyes? It’s a tough decision. But I’m leaning toward cheering for.... OSU.

To get serious for a moment, we lost a great man on Thanksgiving Day. Bob Murphey of Nacogdoches, Texas, was one of our best and funniest professional speakers, and also the slowest. He could stretch a good story out longer, with fewer words and more laughs than anybody. Why, sometimes he got more laughs in a speech than he had words. I guess now he’s down to no words at all and we’re still laughing. Interrupted at times by tears.

Historical quote from Will Rogers: (one last 2004 political comment)

"Now hang onto your seats while you get this item of expense: Interest on the Public debt is $731 million... That's where all the money goes that we pay in Taxes; most of it goes to pay Interest on money we owe. Let's sell off enough of this Country to somebody and pay off all National debts, then the taxes wouldent be nearly as much.

The Democrats will agree to peddle Texas and Florida. And I am certain the Republicans will let Massachusetts go." WA # 312, Dec. 16, 1928


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