“The Future Should Be Ours!”


Dear Friend,

Some of you may be aware that I’m a great fan of the great books. I refer
to such books as DON QUIXOTE by Miguel Cervantes, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by
Fyodor Dostoevsky, and HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING by Dale

One great book, however, that’s been next to my computer for the past
several weeks is entitled: FIELDS FOR PRESIDENT by W.C. Fields published
first in 1939. It’s the very copy my mom quoted from at a meeting of the
SCOTTSDALE DEMOCRATIC LUNCHEON CLUB in 1976. She was president of the club
that year.

The meeting I refer to took place at what was known then as THE ROYAL FORK
RESTAURANT near the northwest corner of Thomas and Scottsdale Roads. Now
it is a sports bar and grill. Those attending that meeting were such
luminaries as Dr. J.D. Lawson, a local dentist, and Jonathan Marshall,
publisher of the SCOTTSDALE DAILY PROGRESS newspaper. Bill Jenkins, then
mayor of Scottsdale, was no doubt there as well.

Mom stood at the start of the meeting, holding the paperback in her left
hand. Which quote did she read? I’m not sure. Maybe she called to people’s
attention the title of Chapter 3: “How to Beat the Federal Income Tax–and
What to See and Do at Alcatraz.” (p. 43)

Or did she quote from p. 12 where he states: “Furthermore, I shall not
mince words in my first message to Congress. Though full many a solon’s
cheek may flush with embarrassment, I shall point out these trenchant and
oft-evaded issues: 1. Political baby-kissing must come to an end–unless
the size and age of the babies be materially increased. 2. Sentiment or no
sentiment, Dolly Madison’s wash MUST be removed from the East Room. 3.
What actually DID become of that folding umbrella I left in the
Congressional Library three summers ago?”

Or did she quote from “Chapter 5: My Rules of Etiquette” where Fields
states: “THE ELBOWS-ON-TABLE CONTROVERSY: I agree with most other
progressive social arbiters that placing the elbows on the dinner table is
quite acceptable today. Putting the feet up is entirely another matter,
however, and cannot be countenanced unless spats are worn.” (p. 91)

My mom, Alice S. Williamson, will be 92 next month; maybe the wit and
wisdom of W.C. Fields is one thing that has kept her going all these

The Future Should Be Ours if we, like W.C., can find the humor in things
and try to get ahead of the curve of History in that way. It may keep our
blood pressure down, too, and help us get through the day.

Thank you for your time.


W. John Williamson

Scottsdale, Arizona

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