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Postcard from the Past - Finally, a Good Candidate

Written by Dick Perue

Back in July of 1979, a fanatic fisherman by the name of Dick Perue wrote in a “Saratoga Chips” column:

For many years I’ve been involved in politics but as of yet haven’t really supported any particular candidate. However, that is about to change. A man has finally announced his candidacy for president and I want to be his Rocky Mountain campaign manager.

According to a recent news release, “Jackpine,” a weekly newspaper editor, tipped back his hat, propped one foot on his tackle box and said he’s going to run for president.

He’s already won some distinction with fishing and canoeing awards and books on those subjects. Now, he says, it’s time for a new challenge – he’s going to run as a write-in candidate on the Independent Fishermen’s ticket.

“There are over 60 million fishermen in the United States, and that’s enough votes right there,” Jackpine writes.

I haven’t had time to contact him as yet, been too busy fishing, but I plan to set up the Rocky Mountain headquarters for him right under the river bridge on the Upper North Platte River or in my john boat while floating from Douglas Creek to Fort Steele. Branch offices will be on every fishing stream in the country.

Jackpine’s campaign promises include:

“Balance the budget, payoff the national debt, eliminate unemployment and insure the peace.”

How is he going to do all that? Read on:

“Well, let’s look at the budget,” Jackpine said. “A heck of a bundle is being squandered on the office of president. I am gonna make Riverside the White House. I’ve already got a cabin to live in up here, and I can run things by telephone. I don’t have a phone, but my neighbor does, and I can call up from there anytime as long as I chip in on the long distance calls.”

What about the White House in Washington? 

“That’s how I’m going to balance the budget. I’m going to rent the place out. Figure how many people would love to say they stayed in the White House. We’d have the place booked all year.”

How to eliminate unemployment? 

“Build fish hatcheries all over and put the unemployed to work raising fish.”

What does the country need all the fish for?

“On account of the new law.” 

What new law? 

“I’m gonna propose only one new law. It will be Federal Fishday. Everybody will have to go fishing one day a week. Sunday is the Lord’s Day and Saturday is the day your wife wants the grass cut or the screens painted, so it’s got to be another day. Each citizen can pick his own Federal Fishday. That’s the democratic way.

“Let’s suppose you get up on Tuesday and you got an idea it could be a lousy day to work. You phone the boss and tell him you’ve got to go fishing that day. It’s a federal law, and nobody is going to break a federal law.

“We’ll have a new national salute. The Nazis extended the right hand. The Russians have the clenched fist. We’ll have both hands extended in front, about three feet apart, accompanied by the words, ‘about that long.’”

How to ensure peace? 

“Scrap the SALT talks. That is nothing but wheeling-dealing to see who can make the biggest bang. I would substitute Fish Talks. I wouldn’t spend five minutes with Brezhnev. I want to talk to the top Russian fisherman. You can’t find a fisherman in favor of war. In the first place, the noise scares the fish.”

What about all the defense industries?

“Convert them into fishing tackle companies.” 

What about the armed forces? 

“I never met anybody who wouldn’t rather be fishing than marching around some hot, dusty drill field. Now generals are something else. They are good people and very proud of their uniforms. So I would advocate we let them keep the uniforms and make them all game wardens.”

How much does he expect to spend on this campaign?

“Twenty-seven dollars and fifty cents. Less the $1.50 I spent for a roll of film to have my campaign picture taken. By the way, I’m not accepting contributions. I don’t want someone coming around after the election saying, ‘I gave 10 bucks for your campaign. Now I want to borrow your canoe.’”

What kind of a record does he have?

“I hold a record for portaging 244 miles from the Pigeon River to International Falls in less than four days. I won a Dolphin Award. And I’ve written some books . . .”

I’ll certainly cast my vote for him! – D.P.