Curtis Dahlgren
Chicago Bear fan trumped by Saints and Packers?
By Curtis Dahlgren
September 8, 2011

EVERY HEAD IN THE ESTABLISHMENT TURNED, when the tall dark stranger came in the door. Because it was a Friday night, every stool at the bar was occupied except the one to my left.

"Is this seat taken?" the stranger asked.

"It's got your name on it," I said. "By the way, what's your name?" And he says:

"Ronald. But you can call me Ron."

"That's what I thought," I said to myself. The bartender was occupied, so I thought I'd make small talk.

"Where are you from?" I asked. And he says:

"California mostly. But I was from Illinois originally."

"Me too," I said. "But what do you do?"

"Well," he says, "I'm retired. But I still cut firewood on my ranch some evenings."

"Hmmm," I said. "Not to get too personal, but what was your major in college?" And he says:

"Economics. But don't get me started on that subject!"

"I understand," I said. "But just out of curiosity, you didn't go to Eureka College, did you?" And he says:

"Sure as shootin'. How'd you guess?"

"I guess I just had a feeling. I once lived in Washington," I say. And he says:


"Illinois," I said. "I lived right on highway 24 in Washington."

"Then we used to go right by your house on our way to Peoria," he says.

"So did Abraham Lincoln," I said. "But that was before my time."

Ron had to laugh at that one. He seemed to be reminiscencing. "We used to go to Peoria on Saturday nights to see the movies."

"How did they play in Peoria?" I asked.

"Great," he says. "'Course they were silent movies. No swearing or sex or stuff."

"Right," I said. "By the way — where did you grow up?"

"In Dixon," he says. "Right on the Rock River."

"I went to high school along the Rock River," I said. "And my grampa once farmed on the river south of Rockford."

"It's a small world," he says.

"Yes," I say. "But what brings you to Michigan?"

"WELL," he says, "I'm trying to give a boost to Dr. Benishek's campaign."

"That figures," I said. "That Bart Stupak really got snookered last year, didn't he?"

"Exactly!" he says. "I was following that whole healthcare fiasco."

"By the way," I say. "As an economics major, what would you say is the economy's number one problem?" And he says:

"That's easy. UNCERTAINTY."

"Absolutely," I agreed. "Economics is about 5 percent money and 95 percent psuychology. What do think about President Reagan's approach to economics?"

"WELL," he says, "the best thing I ever did — er, he ever did — was ending that wildcat strike by the air traffic controllers."

"Bingo," I say. "But can you elaborate on that?"

"WELL," he says, "for years the unions had been asking for double digit raises, so it was no mystery as to why we had double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest. The government liked paying back loans with worthless dollars of course, but the net effect on the people was uncertainty."

"And smashing one wildcat strike changed all that," I say.

"WELL," he says. "That and tax cuts — tax cuts along the lines of JFK's and Konrad Adenauer's."

"SO," I said, "what do you think of the President raising taxes in the middle of a recession?"

"HA!" he says — but the bartender finally got around to taking his order.

"What'll you have?" she asked.

"Pabst Blue Ribbon?" I laughed.

"WELL," he says. "Do you have any Mogen David or Boone's Farm?"

"Not this year," she said.

"Why don't you let him try a Spotted Cow, on me," I suggested.

"That sounds good," he says. "I always liked milk the best."

"Now we know why he wasn't very popular among the Ivy Leaguers," I said to myself. "I must be dreaming though. Here I am sitting next to President Reagan. And to the RIGHT of Reagan!"

The bartender brought us two bottles of Spotted Cow, and popped the tops. "Do you want glasses for those?" she asked.

"No thanks," I said. She walked away and I said:

"SO, Ron, what kind of a chain saw do you have?"

"A McCollough," he says.

"That's what I thought," I say. "Did you say you cut wood in the evening? Doesn't that bother the neighbors?"

"WELL," he says, "my saw has kind of a silencer on it."

"I understand," I said. "But what do you do in your leisure time?" He smiles and says:

"I like to read that Curt Dahlgren column."

"I thought you were going to say that. Put 'er there," I say. "That's my name."

"I thought you looked familiar," he says.

"Yes," I say. "It's a small world."

[To be continued. After a couple of beers, Mr. Reagan begins to open up about the "State of the Union."]

P.S. In case you didn't notice, this was a "rerun" of a column from almost a year ago (The Ghost of the Gipper Goes Into a Bar; I can't think of a more appropriate column. The "cover story" in Section B of the September 7th USA TODAY is "A recession in confidence" by Adam Shell:

"Feeling glum? Unsure of the future? Putting plans on hold? Hoarding cash and buying gold?"

The other two page one stories are "Treasury yields tumble to new lows" (5-year T-notes are yielding 1.88%), and "Buyers of high-priced homes in a bind" (Freddie and Fannie limits were raised in 2008 $729,750).

Our economic woes are due in part to private over-spending and government tweaking in the first place. Of course, the perennial "solutions" of the Left is further federal "tinkering" of problems it helped create in the first place.

PPS: In other news, the Left declared war on those little old ladies of the Tea parties — those Barbarians at the gate, the "real enemy" that wants to lynch minorities, those S.O.B.s that need "taking out" (who writes their stuff, anyway?).

To celebrate Labor Day, the prez went to — of all places — Detroit (a city absolutely ruined by the unions). He went to Elkhart, Indiana — RV capital of the world — to complain about unemployment created by high gas prices while planning to cause energy prices to "necessarily skyrocket" under his green policies.

That reminds me — he went to Marquette, Michigan last February. It's a good thing he wasn't talking about "global warming" that time. The 2/10/11 Escanaba Daily Press had two main front page stories: a) an account of his speech at Northern Michigan, and b) the big local story about ice skating rinks being closed on account of cold weather!

THIS WEEK of course, he's giving another speech. I don't know who writes his stuff, but he failed to upstage the GOP debate and now he is going to be "trumped" by the NFL and the Green Bay Packers!

I found another tiny story on page 3A of the same newspaper: "White House says no to AK-47 rule."

"WASHINGTON — The White House has rejected a request from the U.S. agency that monitors weapons sales to give them emergency authority requiring firearms dealers near the Mexican border to report multiple purchases of high-powered rifles.

"Instead, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives proposed requirement will undergo a standard, three-month review period, opening it to public comment [etc] . . "

Since when was the White House so sensitive to "public comment" that they would allow Arizona guns to be run over the border for an extra THREE MONTHS, eh? Now of course, the White House says that it wasn't "involved" in the Fast & Furious gun-running scheme.



© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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