Friday, March 23, 2012


Technically, I grew up in town, but our house was on the very edge of town. In fact, our lot had cornfields to the west and north and when dad bought the property, the northeast side was a cow pasture and the house came with a barn and barnyard.

Let’s talk about the town. No one ever counted the residents to the last person. We called it 1000. When the highway put up a new city limits sign they pegged the population at 900, give or take a barnyard, so in the eyes of most people, I grew up in a rural area.

I considered it rural, myself. Because I had “city-boy” cousins.

Dr. Stephen Easley
Cousin Steve was the closest to my age and he spent more time at my house in Brook than I did at his house in Indianapolis. I liked it that way. When I was at his house in Indy, we did, ah, well, I don’t remember doing much since there wasn’t much to do. It was city.

When Steve was at my house, not only was there plenty to do, I now had a friend almost my age to do it with and to teach new things.  Things like fishing at the bayou and shooting BB guns. In a recent email I got from Steve, he mentioned hunting snakes.

Steve and I were at Purdue at the same time and once he graduated he went on to grad school, eventually getting a PhD and becoming a college professor in New Mexico.

A part of his doctoral work took him to the jungles of South America living with native tribes. I like to think our snake hunting and camping out along the Iroquois helped him in the rain forest.

But between growing up in the city, life in academia, eventually becoming the head “computer wizard” for the State of New Mexico under the Bill Richardson administration, he became a Democrat. Obviously, though his youthful trips to Newton County foster fond memories, they didn’t help him forge his political philosophy. (Though I suspect a New Mexican dem is probably more conservative than a New Englander GOP supporter.)

Cousin Steve recently announced his candidacy for the New Mexico congress. Go for it cuz! I told him there’s no cheaper political advertising than to be mentioned in the pages of the newspaper so I’d write up his campaign for office in my weekly outdoor column in the Brook Reporter.

There aren’t many voters in Steve’s district that read the Brook newspaper - probably none - but the world wide web is accessible even in Santa Fe. So here’s my bi-partisan plug for my cousin Steve.  Vote for Easley. He may be a democrat, but he’s a great snake hunter.

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