- CRITTER TALK
I first met Richard when I joined the Tuscaloosa Police Department in 1968. He was the City Prosecutor and I was a brand new cop. The first thing you notice about Richard is his size and his almost permanent smile. If some people are born to be politicians he was one of them. He was always working what ever room he was in with a big smile. He was a couple of years older than me but we got along well at that time because I had not quite settled into any strong political beliefs. Actually I don’t think Richard had either. He was what he needed to be at any given time. Of course during those days that was a very conservative Democrat, or as I like to call them, Dixiecrats.
I went over and spoke to Richard and it was like no time had passed between the time we had last met and talked, although I am sure he remembered some of my less than pleasant letters I had written to him. I will say though, He always responded to my letters personally and tried, as best he could, to explain where he was right and I was wrong. Pretty much the same last night although we chatted briefly about a few problems he kept his political smile on the whole time. He told me that he thought the country was in real trouble and that, while it probably would not happen in our life times, that America was going to go bankrupt. I laughed and told him if he would give me the power to do so I was quite sure I could find enough fat in the federal budget to save us. He laughed.
While we were talking I remembered something that comedian Ron White had said. I told him that we could probably get out of debt if they would take some of the Air Force bases that were sitting on prime beach property in Florida and move them. Then they could sell that land to developers for rich people’s estates and we would be out of debt pretty quick. He laughed and said yeah, and we have plenty of government land that is owned by the TVA that we could relocate the bases to here in Alabama. I said great, when are you going to do it. He laughed again and said well its not that easy to do that.
There you go. We have a money problem and I offer them a solution, and they can’t get it done. I told Richard if you folks would make me dictator for just one year I could straighten this mess out. He laughed and said yeah I bet. I laughed with him and told him that there was no need to worry. Even my wife had said if I ever got control of the country she was moving some where else. But, as I said at the beginning, he and I fell pretty much back into similar conversations we had forty plus years ago. It is one thing to be angry at a person’s political ideologies, but another to be angry at the person. Richard and I have known each other for too long to dislike each as people but our politics will never be in sync. But at least we can talk about them. That’s more than they are doing in Washington right now.Click here for reuse options!