Signs of Autumn -- 10/03/04

Well, okay, so the title was just a little misleading.... but you gotta admit, these are the kinds of signs that do appear in the autumn of election years.

These signs are for local elections. Sue Sosnowski is our state senator -- she was originally a Republican, but several years ago announced that she was switching her party affiliation to run as a Democrat -- not for any ideological reasons, but simply that as a member of the minority party (the Democrats have a four to one margin over Republicans in the state legislature) she had no ability to do anything for the people in the district, and thus decided that she could better serve her constituents by being in the majority.

The Rhode Island General Assembly is divided into the Senate and the House -- Shanley and MacKenzie are both running for House District 35-- with signs on the same fence -- can the occupants of that house include both a Republican and a Democrat?

In driving around my section of town this weekend I noticed that the signs are overwhelmingly local -- the only lawn sign I saw in my neighborhood for the presidential campaign was a Bush-Cheney sign on the lawn of a staunch Republican. How do I know he's a staunch Republican? Because he not only had the Bush-Chaney sign, he also had one for the Republican candidate who is running against Sue Sosnowski. His chance of defeating her is somewhere between slim and none -- at least if one counts lawn signs -- Sue is the overwhelming winner of the lawn signs competition.

This week's Sunday Brunch is about horses...

1) Have you ever ridden a horse?
Much to my surprise (I guess I never thought about it before) -- no, I've never ridden a real horse. I have ridden many a carousel horse. Broome County in upstate New York (where we lived before moving to Rhode Island -- Endicott, Endwell, Johnson City, and Binghamton have carousels in some of their public parks -- a total of six magnificent early 20th century carousels -- gifts to the communities from the Johnson family (owners of Endicott-Johnson shoe manufacturing company) with the provision that they would always be free, no admission charge. My favorite was the one in Recreation Park, our neighborhood park (if you wonder why that link is to a site about Rod "Twilight Zone" Serling, it's because he had grown up in that neighborhood). We would ride and ride on a summer day, especially Gillian and I, and we always tried to make sure that we rode on the last ride before the carousel closed at summer's end.

2) What is your favorite horse story or movie?
I don't have a favorite horse movie. I mean, I've seen the classics, but I can't pick any one as being my favorite. However, when I was a little kid I loved Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, read it over and over.

3) If you had the means, would you own a horse?
No, I wouldn't, but my daughter might. She rode when she was in middle school (her older brother Adam has also taken riding lessons when he had been that age, but she kept at it longer) and when we moved to Rhode Island (when she was in 8th grade) and she discovered that there were horse farms only a mile or so from our house... She hasn't ridden in a long time now, but I think she is still interested in them.

4) Do you think it would be neat if we went back to everyone traveling by horse and buggy or just an inconvenience?
No way! Just think of the streets covered in a deep layer of -- uh -- "horse pollution"!

5) Have you ever ridden in a hansom cab?
No, but I have ridden in a horse-drawn hay wagon.

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