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Cowboys, common sense and voting

The Sunday Column

Life is constantly changing, and in some ways that is good. Change often results in improvements that make our lives better.

But when I watch the news lately, I wonder if we don’t need a break, to take a deep breath and drink a big glass of Common Sense. Lately, I feel that as a country, we are on a downhill road that leads to a giant cliff and we have people arguing that we can’t get there fast enough so they want to raise the speed limit.

I guess that is why when my wife came into the family room the other evening, she found me watching a Western movie marathon made up of cowboy films from the ’40s and ’50s — a time when life was much simpler.

I love those old movies. The good guy always got the girl, whose father had died and the town banker was trying to take the ranch. She didn’t have money to pay the mortgage but she always had on a new dress. Because credit cards or online shopping didn’t exist yet that always puzzled me. Here are some more things to look for when you watch your next old movie Western.

Often, you will see a house on the prairie built from lumber with glass windows. The puzzling part is if you look in the background, there isn’t a tree for miles, so where did they get the finished lumber and glass for the windows? The only thing I can figure is the original Lowe’s store was just a guy who drove around the West in a wagon stacked with building supplies.

Did you ever notice that cowboys can be riding their horses through the desert, with a blazing sun overhead, slumped over their saddle, taking tiny slips from their canteen, while the horse carries him to the next town without direction? A couple of questions: Where did the horse get a drink and how did he know where the next town was? The only answer I can think of is the horse was a AAA member and he carried his own canteen.

Cowboys can be out in a thunderstorm looking for stray cattle with just their horse and a rain slicker, but when they stop to take a break suddenly they are sitting around a fire pouring coffee from a giant pot into tin cups. The only thing I can figure is there was a Rent To Own store behind a big boulder on the right where they got their supplies.

Speaking of boulders, cowboys seem to all carry a magic shovel when needed. If one of their buddies dies, they can be standing in a granite quarry and they simply untie a shovel from their saddle and in the next scene, they are all standing around a freshly dug grave complete with a wooden cross. I guess the Lowe’s wagon must have been passing by while they were digging the grave.

There definitely was no gun control in the Old West limiting the number of bullets in a six-shooter because a gun fight could go on for 15 minutes and no one ever reloaded. Also, everyone got shot in the arm or shoulder and not one ever required medical attention.

In the old Westerns, it was easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys because the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys pulled their neckerchiefs up over their faces when they did bad things.

Unfortunately, things are not as simple today, and there are a lot of bad guys out there who do not pull neckerchiefs up to hide their faces.

If you are a Republican, Democrat or independent, it is your duty to not only vote, but also to understand what you are voting for in the upcoming election. Don’t just listen to the political rhetoric — think about it, talk about it, get others’ opinions, and most importantly — make decisions for yourself and what is best for the future of our country. We are the most fortunate people on the face of the earth, and we are in control of our destiny, but only if we take a deep breath, use common sense and exercise our right to vote.

John Kasun writes from his home in Duncansville where he loves to watch old Western movies but keeps reality and his common sense close at hand.

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