The story of my life, is a story of growing up in and around small towns in the Nation's midsection. It is a story of a long line of small town folks from that midsection. No, Alaska is not in the midsection. But it has a lot in common with it, if you don't count moose burgers and polar bears.
My mother's side of the family wasn't much on "shotgun weddings." But my dad's side was no stranger to "robbing the cradle." I remember many years ago, going upstate to see Grandma Alexander. It was shortly after the move to DC, must have been in '81 or '82. There she was walking into the house, the cutest little blond gal, about sixteen years old, carrying Grandma's latest great-great-granddaughter. Oh, she was married alright. But at sixteen? I thought this only happened in places like eastern Kentucky or in West Virginia.
I found out later that this was not the exception in that part of the family. I only remember being at the house of "Uncle Jimbob" once. He was "off the wagon" much of the time, and Dad couldn't stand having us around the guy. It probably didn't help his case that time when Dad and Grandma went to visit his wife, my "Aunt Minnie," and Jimmy Boy showed up with his girlfriend. Oh, yeah, old Jimbob wasn't exactly the easiest guy to live with. Especially when he demanded your whole paycheck if you lived under his roof. Hey, the guy just had to have a new Cadillac every other year. You think those things grow on trees? Well, whether they do or not, it was enough to make the girls in that family want to move out sooner rather than later. Naturally, they probably married guys who reminded them of their daddy. And so, the legacy continued.
There are all kinds of reasons girls marry early in this day and age. Maybe they fall for the bad boy on the football team, and things get a little out of hand. I can still remember back in the day, when a guy would tell me how they were planning to "do the honorable thing." When your horizons don't extend much farther than the county line, and you graduate from high school with a full-time job at the local tire and auto repair shop, making what seems like good money, but with no prospects for much else, and one thing generally leads to another, that can only mean...
There's a lot of chatter on the blogs about the seventeen-year-old daughter of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (the presumptive Republican nominee for Vice President, if you've been at the beach for the last two weeks), not only about the daughter being pregnant, but of her plans to marry the father. Some of these smarty uptown folks didn't have a problem when there was serious trailer trash in the White House under Clinton. But hey, let's all show America what "hope" and "change" means by picking on a little girl, and telling her how she should run her life. And let's blame the parents for being too busy to catch everything that ever happens in their kids' lives, like every other set of parents in America.
Oh yeah, we've got our finger on the pulse alright. Or maybe we've got our finger somewhere else. Ya think???
Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air writes: "We have walked in the Palins' shoes." Somebody in the political blogs knows what he's talking about. For once.
This family from Wasilla, Alaska (2005 estimated population 8,471), may be the most normal to ever be involved in a run for high office. Ever work in a capital city of a largely rural state? You learn to shed your delusions of grandeur pretty fast. That guy you just tangled with in the state house over funding for a road project, is the same guy whose kid sister you took to the senior prom ten years ago, after which her daddy kicked your ass for bringing her home too late. Closer to this home, half the gals growing up on my block either liked hunting and fishing, or playing basketball. Sarah could have just as easily been one of them. Her husband, the so-called "First Dude" of Alaska, runs his own commercial fishing business. You think he'll leave it to someone else for a chance to live in a gilded cage like the Naval Observatory for four years? I wouldn't bet the farm on it. The guy would be bored stiff. Obama can distance himself from this rhetoric all he wants. But he can't control the media that has spent the last year fawning all over him. Thankfully, it won't stop guys like Bill Bennett from giving CNN's Wolf Blitzer the ass-whooping he richly deserves.
And speaking of "hope" and "change," next time Chris Matthews has any particular feelings going up his leg, I'm hoping to change the channel. I'd rather hear about how the Palins are doing. Hell, I'd almost leave the civil service just to work for her.
Not sure what I'd do, though. Can't remember when I last handled an M-16.
[THIS JUST IN: In the above clip, Fox News' Kelly takes on Trotta on Palin balancing family and career. Meow.]