Just something short

Published 7:48 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

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Politics is my short suit.

As a friend once said, I’m not very politickle

But I do enjoy reading Steve Flowers column in The Messenger every week even though it is mostly politickle. And, I like Tom Purcell’s column, too.

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And as soon as I read the headline on Steve’s recent column, I was caught hook, line and sinker: We All Miss Shorty Price.

I had not thought about Shorty Price in many moons. He was a ppolitician. Honestly, he was a joke.

“Ol’ Shorty’s running again,” folks would say. “What an embarrassment he is to Alabama politics!”

An embarrassment to Alabama politics?  As my granddaddy would say, that was a mouthful.

I had seen Shorty Price many times when he was on the campaign trail and he would ask for my vote and once or twice I gave it to him just for his trying. And, in several recent elections, I would have voted for Shorty Price rather than….

But, what I remember most about Shorty Price is one summer afternoon when my children were small and they were swimming in the pool at the country club in Brundidge.  I had made my way to a picnic table that was in the shade. A man wandered out of the pro-shop,  red-faced and sweating. He was not a golfer.

“Okay if I sit here a minute or two?” I nodded. He wiped his face with a white handkerchief. ‘It’s as hot as two hells,” he said. I nodded.

We sat quietly for a few minutes. Then, he stuck out his hand.

“I’m Shorty Price,” he said.

I smiled. “I’ve voted for you a couple of times?”

“You voted for me?  Two times? Well, you’re two of the three!”

I don’t remember what we talked about for the next few minutes. The weather, I’m sure. I know it was not politics. Just small talk. When he got up to leave, he asked for my vote the next time her ran.

I said, sure.

“That will be vote number, four,” he said, with a smile. He reached in his pocket and handed me a Vote Shorty Price button.

I don’t know where that button is but I’ve looked for it several times after reading Steve’s column.

If I can find that button, I’m going to wear it to the polls from this day forward. And, if there’s a Shorty Price on the ballot, by ned, I’m gonna vote for him … or her, for sure.

Steve’s column about Short Price got me thinking about the politics of yesteryear. About how crowds were attracted by country music singers and celebrities including Minnie Pearl who entertained from the backs of flatbed trucks. About politicians who stood flatfooted and told what they were going to do for the good of each of us when they got in office. Back then, a slandering politician was certain to go home on election night with his head bowed low.

Voters went to the polls to vote for a candidate, not against a candidate.

Ask a many voters in today’s elections who they are supporting and the answer, often times, will be “I’ll tell you who I ain’t votin’ for…”

I don’t remember anyone taking that tone about Shorty Price. Folks would just smile and shake their heads. “That Shorty Price …”