A Bit More About the Quarters and Some Stuff About My Dad's Politics or Possible Lack Thereof
Well, gosh, there’s nothing to warm the heart cockles of a dubious practitioner of the art of favershamming like the spontaneous font of kindness offered up by my little audience in response to last post’s plea for help with my lame state quarter obsession. You may have seen the comment posted by Anonymous of Beantown, who pledged to send all but four of the quarters I need. You didn’t see the email from Charles, thoughtfully (though perhaps misleadingly) entitled, “You Sad Bastard,” wherein he too offered up some of his change on hand. I should have known that readers from the east would be able to come up with all the “P” quarters I’d need. Darling wife pointed me to the Mint store, which indeed I’d known about from my explorations of the U.S. Mint web site. I’ve always resisted ordering the quarters directly from the source, preferring to come across them by happenstance in my change. I suppose begging them off the Internet at large isn’t really any better, but somehow it feels like less of a cheat. So anyway, thank you, you lot. Y’all are clearly eligible for membership in SNUH. Except probably for the part about being Springfieldians.
My dad – different subject now, in case you didn’t notice the transition I failed to make – has always struck me as a bit of a chameleon, politically. Growing up in Ottawa, I knew my parents to be Liberals – capital L, because it’s a party there as well as a philosophy (as opposed to here, where the Forces of Evil have somehow succeeded in turning it into a pejorative – rather odd for a word that describes pretty much all that is worthy in the human race). I didn’t know what to make of it, then, when we moved to small-town Alberta in the late 70s and he started adopting the identity of a reactionary prairie redneck. I knew he was from small-town Alberta himself, yes, but whither the sudden enthusiasm for cowboy hats, chuckwagon races, and blether about “Big Sky Country?” Those are the trappings of a western Conservative (capital letter again). Last I remembered, our whole family was volunteering to canvass for Lloyd Francis in West End Carleton. I honestly don’t know what political convictions he has, if any, or how he votes. I just know that he has always tried to blend in with the surroundings.
When my parents were in town a couple of weeks back, my dad spent a lot of time at our house reading magazines. While my mom and Mama Dog were cooing over the baby, he’d pick up whatever was on top of the overgrown mound on the coffee table and give it a good read. I swear, he made more headway in the stack of magazines in four days than I have in six months. The thing that’s bemusing about this is that all these magazines, the whole magilla, were exactly the kind of liberal rubbish you’d expect to find in my house. Harper’s, The New Yorker, and The Nation. I couldn’t believe I was watching my dad read what The Nation had to say about the likelihood of pro-Bush fraud from electronic voting machines. This was nothing you’d find in The Economist or Alberta Report (which I think maybe doesn't exist anymore, happily - can't find any trace of it on the web). But it certainly seemed to be entertaining the hell out of him.
I saw I had an opportunity to help re-introduce Liberal dad to Conservative dad. After my parents went home, I ordered gift subscriptions to all three of those fine left-of-centre magazines. His first issues should be wending their ways toward their little Alberta town as I type. And here’s hoping that a little bit of good old-fashioned liberal compassion and humanism will reassert itself in the heart of the relapsed Christian conservative on the cold and unforgiving foothills of the Rockies.