time political campaigning looks positively archaic by today's standards.
Running for office today is largely a matter of having or raising
enough money to buy television time and hire a large enough staff
to use social media to one's best advantage. Well, it also helps to
look good on nationally broadcast debates.
Ah, but in the good old days, standing for election to public office,
at least at the local level, was much simpler. However, that doesn't
mean it was easy. Case in point is a typewritten document on the travails
of the country campaign trail found last summer in San
Marcos among the papers of the late Dudley Dobie, book selling
cousin of Texas writer-historian-academic J. Frank Dobie.
Whether Dudley Dobie wrote it (he did run unsuccessfully for the Hays
County school board back in the 1950s) or whether it is an example
of pre-internet hand-distributed, hand-typed anonymous humor isn't
known. But whatever its origin, it's a fun artifact of times past.
"The life of a candidate," the piece begins, "especially one who is
defeated, is not exactly a 'bed of roses', according to the following
report made by one candidate…:
It's as much loss inventory as report:
months and 23 days canvassing
hours sleep thinking about the election
Lost 43 acres
of corn and a whole sweet potato crop [Presumably from lack of attention
on the part of the agriculturist candidate]
Lost two front
teeth and a whole lot of hair in a personal argument with…opponent
beeves, five shoats, seven sheep, and nine goats to a county barbecue
two pairs of suspenders, four calico dresses, $5 in cash and 13
baby rattlers [Presumably he meant "rattles," not baby rattlesnakes]
fires in kitchen stoves
Cut 14 cords
of wood, and carried 24 buckets of water
Picked 9 bales
of cotton, gathered 7 loads of corn, and pulled 476 bundles of top
miles, shook hands with 9,596 citizens, told 10,101 lies; and talked
enough to make [and] print 1000 " volumes the size of a patent office
revival meetings, was baptized 4 different times, joined the church
by confession of faith 3 times and twice some other way.
$50 to foreign missions, made love to 9 grass widows, got dog bit
And then got
At least he didn't have to pay for focus groups and opinion polls.