Bob is a good friend of mine, and he has been treated for cancer for several years. But it is looking like cancer is going to have the last word after all and the outlook is not good.
I have known Bob for as early as I can remember, and we have always enjoyed each other’s company, living only a few miles apart for many years.
Over 20 years ago, Bob decided to run for the local office of supervisor, the group of people who conduct the business of the county. It was about this time of year I saw his signs being placed in different locations and a thought entered my head. I wrote this.
“Elect Haugen supervisor” said the signs of pretty blue.
So I asked candidate Bob, “Could I have one or two?”
Bob’s eyes opened wide with surprise all over his face,
He asked, “Are you supporting me in my political race?”
“Why you’re a registered Republican and I’m a Democrat.
You’d be voting out of your party. I can’t imagine that.”
I down looked at the ground. I did not know what to say.
Then I said to my friend, “I was voting for you anyway.”
“I would put your signs in my pickup window, facing to the rear.
Prominent for all to see, whether far away or near.
The sun has been very hot lately, warming up the seat
And I am getting awfully tired of riding in the heat.
Now on the outside, I will help your wishes be made
And on the inside, I’ll be comfortable, riding in the shade.”
In honor of my friend Bob, I thought this would be a good time to repeat this once again. While this is not exactly a true story because Bob and I did not have this conversation, the rest of it is.
This is about being friends and acknowledging that our political differences make up a very small part of everything else that is important.
There are many people in my life I disagree with politically and I consider them valuable people so that if I did not know them, I would be a poorer person.
If being on opposite sides of the political fence, meant that we could not be friends, look at all the years of fellowship we would have missed.
We are coming into another election year, and our country seems to be more divided than ever.
Politics has become a game of winner-take-all with an attitude – if you win, I lose.
I can appreciate standing up for what you believe, but the mean-spiritedness that is going on now is excessive.
There is no excuse for the name-calling, thuggery and vandalism that is taking place.
As important as having an opinion is, it is not worth hurting someone else or losing a friendship over it.
The people around us who are our friends are one of the best things in life.
No matter how long we may know them, in reality they are only here a very short time.
May God bless my friend, Bob.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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