Politics: The good ol’ days

Published 7:11 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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Flies were flying around the cookie crumbs and the spilled Kool-Aid on the concrete picnic table. It was a hot, sultry July day. Children with bloody, skinned knees and chocolate around their mouths were back at the swimming pool, either crying or yelling “Marco Polo!”

It was another “torture mama day” at the Brundidge County Club.

I could see my children from the picnic table. In a life-threating situation, I could either run and jump over the fence or yell for another mother to rush to the rescue. So, there was no need to get back to kiddie land.

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I was about to relax when I noticed a midget of a man in a funny hat coming my way. He must have escaped from the circus. I surprised when just sat down and started talking nonsense while he fanned himself with a paper plate.

“I’m runnin’ for governor,” the little man said. “I’m out here to ask you to vote for the best man for the job, Shorty Price!”

I wanted to laugh at the little man in the straw hat.

But, I should have known. Everybody in Alabama knew Shorty Price. But, he made the governor’s race fun, again and again, especially the year he mooned Tennessee fans at an Alabama football game.

Bama fans had been wanting to moon the Vols for years. Roll Tide! And, vote for Shorty!

At, five feet short, Shorty Price stood almost bigger than life.  He entered and re-entered the Alabama governors, race, not to win, but fun for him and all Alabamians.

The Yellowhammer State has had a history of most interesting politicians, at 6’8”, Big Jim Folsom hauled around a hillbilly band and carried a mop and bucket on the campaign trail to clean up politics. So, what if he forgot his children’s names on television. There was the “Little Fighting Judge,” who caused a stir everywhere he went.

Alabama politics were exciting and fun when the candidates came stumpin’ around town. Folks turned out no matter which candidate they were supporting.   And the candidates were colorful. One would kiss babies, another would kiss their mamas. They would shake men’s hands and give out cigars and treat the young boys with bubble gum and girls with hair ribbons.

Young boys would parade around town with “Vote for Whoever” signs over their shoulders. Musicians and singers would perform on flatbed trucks to gatherings of people for near and far.

Sometimes a celebrity would come to town in support of a candidate. Once Minnie Pearl came to Brundidge to campaign for George C. Wallace. People came from the recesses of South Alabama to hear Minnie Pearl say, Howdeeee! I’m just so proud to be here!!!!

Those were the good ol’ fun days.

“Shorty, Shorty, he’s our man! If he can’t do it….”