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Thursday, May 30, 2002 ISSUE #231
 

 

LAFAYETTE, Indiana: This is Memorial Day. At least it was before we decided all important days had to come on a Monday. They used to have a big car race in this state every May 30, but they held it last Sunday. The fellow who won the race is from Brazil. He just stopped at Indianapolis for the day on his way to play soccer in Japan.

This week NATO welcomed their old enemy Russia into its living room and gave it a seat. It ain't the best seat, but it sure beats having to stand outside and peek in a window. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization reaches all the way to the North Pacific, no matter which side you approach it from, Siberia or Alaska. Maybe we should welcome Cuba into North America. Russia had unanimous support. And the only nation that appears to oppose Cuba is Florida.

Nobody can claim Florida is a bad businessman. I read where, for just a few million dollars, Florida tricked the big oil companies into selling the mineral rights under half the state and part of the Gulf. Shrewd. And they even got the rest of us to pay the bill.

You just wait... in about 50 years, when the tourists can't find a drop of gasoline to drive to California or Oklahoma or any of the other prime vacation spots, Florida will drill a few wells when the Feds aren't looking. Then they will ration out just enough fuel to tourists for 'em to drive straight to Orlando. Then after a month or two (even sooner if their bank account runs as dry as their tank), why Florida will loan 'em enough gas to drive home again.

I have heard from a few of you folks in dry states and countries, but here in our middle west it has rained almost every day. It's been too wet to plant much. In this state about 20 percent of the fields have been planted to corn, maybe 10 percent to soybeans. That's all. Most of the other 70 percent, if it's not under water, it's covered with wild mustard. This yellow weed is awful pretty, kinda like sunflowers in Kansas. But to a farmer, it's a weed, and a reminder of how far behind he is with planting. Nobody has yet found a use for this mustard, but if President Bush is interested, Gov. O'Bannon says his state will sell all rights to 'em for ten million. That would leave his budget only $1.29 Billion short for next year.

Indiana and these other wet states invite you to bring your buckets and carry home all the water you want, no charge. If you show up in an empty tank truck, they'll even loan you a pump.

If you want to learn about erosion and where all this mud you see in rivers is coming from, here's the place to ask. The USDA has a whole building devoted to nothing but Erosion. These scientists spend all day studying soils, and how to stop rain from washing it off fields and into streams and lakes. They say you should keep something growing on it, or if it's too cold to grow, cover the soil with old crop stalks or straw. That works with wind erosion, too, and anywhere in the world.

Bob Hope turned 99, and Delores is 93. Thanks for the memories, Bob, and the laughs. I sure would love to be at your Birthday Party next year.

Historical quote from Will Rogers:

"I will never joke about old Soldiers who try to get to reunions to talk over the war again. To talk of old times with old friends is the greatest thing in the world." WA #169, March 7, 1926


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