Chapter 24 - The Incumbents
Ran into old Wind River Bill Taggart the other day, and he was hopping mad. (He is an old timber, about 75 now who used to be a riggin' slinger up Columbia River way in the big logging camps, and before that, was a river pig back in Minnesota). It seems as though he turned into kind of an extrovert on account of hollering at the whistle punk and the choker setters. Like that time over to Carson, Washington back in 1916. They had one of them new fangled high leeds and the old wide faced Willamette got hung up and the donkey puncher had her wide open, and nobody had sense enough in those days to have belly guys on the spar pole and old Wind River was hollering at the whistle punk, but the punk didn't hear him, so the damn spar pole broke in the middle and down came the bull block, straw line block, and the top guy lines. What a mess! Then old Wind River hollered, "All right punk, get your Goddam bait can and go to camp!"
Now that really happened, because I was the whistle punk, so I know! Tramped me, he did! It so happened that I got right back to work and as a choker setter with more pay over to where Valsetz, Oregon is today, but at that time there was just a logging camp there.
Well, to get back to the story of old Wind River Bill. Like I say, I ran into him the other day and he was mad clear thru. (He is holed up in a shack up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and retired.) Anyway he was mad! So when he saw me on he street he hollers, "Hi young 'un!" (He always calls me that even though I am 66 now). He says, "Old Barney Tuke has been giving me your paper (Ripsaw) and whilst it's pretty fair at times, it never says anything about voting agin' the damned incumbents. I went and got registered just so I could vote agin' every damned incumbent they was because they are worse than the Democrats and Republicans you are always roaring about. And another thing young 'un (He always calls me that), go back into history as far as you want and comes a depression or war, who is in office? Incumbents, that's who! And what do they do about it? Nothing-that's what, and I'm getting fed up on these damned incumbents, and so help me young 'un (he always calls me that) I'm gonna flat vote agin' every damned incumbent they is in office!"
Well, the man wouldn't let me explain, so I just gave him a paper and went on. This might well serve as a warning to all politicos in office to quit horsing around with this cold war baloney and get something done for the common folks or suffer the fate of the "incumbents".