The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

BARNYARD BRUKE: "Life With Fools"

Life with fools consists in drinking; with the wise man living's thinking" "when I read of the evil's of drinking, I gave up reading"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. I'm a hope'n everyone takes time out for Memorial Day to give thanks to their loved ones that have gone on before and especially for our veterans. "Decoration" day has taken on a different flavor in some ways, than in years past, but it need not lose it's meaning.

I read where lawmakers are a thinking about charging $2 tax for a case of beer to help provide insurance for all. Taxes on wine and hard liquor also would go up. Wine would rise to .70 per bottle and hard liquor would rise to $2.54 federal tax per fifth.

These do not include other state and local taxes now being levied and/or being proposed for further increases. So much for promises not to raise taxes for the average to low income individuals. Tax and spend, tax and spend-what a vicious cycle it has become.

Myself, I am not much of a drinker of alcoholic beverages. I agree with Ben Franklin who stated, "Life with fools consists in drinking; with the wise man living's thinking".

It is hard for me to reason why some would encourage the sale of beer on the grounds during the Stronghurst fair.

Riverland F.S. at one time was encouraged to sell liquor at their convenience stores. Their board wisely voted the idea down.

What's the connection betwixt drinking and thinking? Columbia University reports studies show an inverse relationship between drinking and thinking. Their findings show the more you drink, the less you think. In studyng the drinking habits of college students, Columbia University came up with some interesting findings.

It was discovered the average student consumes 34 gallons of alcoholic beverages per year. Students consume the most alcohol in thier freshman years. The statistical proof was the more students drink, the lower their grade point averages were. The students that got A's drank alcohol the least.

Learning to handle alcohol responsibly-or to avoid it altogether-can have a big payoff later in life. Playwright Jean Kerr wrote, "Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living".

Some would not agree with the findings of Columbia University one bit. I suppose they might be the one's advocating and sanctioning beer drinking around young folk and on the fairgrounds while the fair is going on. Probably not giving concern to the path they are encouraging younger school children to explore as an example set by older ones.

Those fellers on the county, city, and fair boards who approve of legalizing beer during the Stronghurst fair season would agree, in all probability, with Henry Youngman, who stated-"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading".

I do not look forward to seeing "three sheets to th' wind" stumbling around the fairgrounds in front of my grandchildren. If'n they get drunker'n a coon on stump likker", what risk is there to road travel and fair atmosphere? But then, wiser men than I have made their choices on this matter.

Well, ole Cornelius was up to it again. He laid eyes on Mr. Fancy Britches all decked out in his knickers whilst spraying chemicals. He claimed the young farmer purposely serviced his sprayer in front of his house.

When his wife, Ethel, went out to mow the lawn, the young feller put on quite a strutting show. Much like a red winged blackbird would do dancing and flopping his wings during mating season. All the while, the female blackbird, Ethel, pretending to ignore him-which only encouraged him more.

Stop it, I sez. I don't believe anyone would do that. Well, sez Cornelius, if'n that young man would aggressively seek to rent land away from those already settled in on it, they would be up to and resort to anything.

After they've got some one else's land and messed up his livelihood, now they is up to someone else's woman to mess up their marriage. Cornelius say's after they've got someone elses land, off in the distance, and shrug off any moral restraints due to unbridled greed, they loose their memory as to what they've got at home.

Cornelius, I sez, you should think of it this way. You don't really give a hang about how that young farmer feller dresses-half naked endangering his life from exposure to chemicals and the sun. Is it possible you are just jealous, that he and other whipper snappers is gett'n ahead? He don't care abut Ethel or an other women for that matter. His focus is on biggness, unbridled greed, and money. His dress is only making the statement he has broken from the old ways and all of it's restrictions and restraints.

Some say they are not like the farmer of old, with straw hats and bib overalls. What they really mean is they are somehow smarter. More genetically improved, you might say.

But, look at what those old farmers accomplished in their straw hats and bib overalls. The land they conquered, the innovations they developed, the legacy they passed on.

Any ways, I sez, who is the better farmer? The man of yesteryear who made a live'n and raised 6 to 10 children on 80 to 240 acres or the man with knickers on today who requires 5,000 to 50,000 acres to make a live'n? Which man has sold his life to indentured servitude to the banker, the machinery salesman, and the cash rent landlord demanding over $300 per acre cash rent?

Our nation fought a Civil War in the 1860's to end slavery, among other things. (in fact decoration/Memorial Day got started by honoring those veterans). Why would anyone willingly allow greed to forfeit their family, church, and community freedom? Not to mention the neglect give'n any children they might have, along with other family members. Relationships are thrown to the wind!

So, I sez to Cornelius, get over it! Old Ethel is not a going to give up her quality of life with you, for that "indebted" red winged blackbird" fluttering about in his fancy short knickers making ridiculous statements by dress as to how much better he is than farmers of old.

He's wasting valuable energy, lifestyle, and time on earth. But that's his privilege. You just enjoy all the Good Lord has give'n you and let Mr. Short Britches handle his own affairs.

Settle back and enjoy your good life. Envy that poor young feller not, one bit! In fact pray for him! It'll all get sorted out in the end! If'n not, we'll always think it should have. The lessons he is about to learn were discovered by others many years before!

Keep on smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke