Tuesday, May 22, 2012
On stealing a sign from my own yard
In a small community like Deming, the odds of knowing one or more candidates for elected office increases -- including candidates vying for the same seat.
That's the case in our current election season, where a district judgeship is being contested by two local attorneys, both of whom frequent the methodist church where my wife is music director, and are on friendly terms with the burning house.
Jennifer has a legal practice with her sister, Amy. Amy's kids have taken music lessons with my wife and participated in our performing arts camps, and Amy's husband is a professional contact for me. They are also some of our favorite folks in Deming.
Jarod, on the other hand, is a personal friend of the Mrs., his whole family goes to the church (his father used to be the lay leader), and the family has deep local roots -- there is a school building named after them.
The thing is, the burning house has a prominent physical address, right on the corner of Nickel and Spruce -- Spruce being an important east-west road for getting across town. This corner is visible to many travelers and pedestrians throughout the day and is thus prime real estate for political signage.
The first request came from our friends at Delaney & Hernandez, a cheery request to post a sign for them in our yard. We begged off, citing our close relations (and shared church) with two of the local rivals. They readily understood and the matter was dropped.
One evening not long after that, while I was in Las Cruces, the doorbell rang and it was the honorable wife of the honorable Jarod, sign ready, at the door, "Could we post a sign here?" And my wife, an ingratiating soul, stammered a bit and said, "Okay."
The next morning, cars zipped back and forth on Spruce, and there on our corner was one of Jarod's signs, after we had already turned Jennifer down. "Goats and monkeys!!" I cried, dashing out to the corner and uprooting the sign from our own yard.
Sheepishly, I stole to the garage in back, where the sign now resides. At my insistence, Sarah wrote a very nice message explaining to the honorable Mrs. that we felt it best to stay out of the sign race, out of love and respect for both rivals. She wrote a lovely email, and the response was just what we hoped and expected: understanding and sympathy.
All politics is local. I wouldn't mind posting a campaign sign for some races -- especially if it helps get the word out about a good independent or non-duopoly candidate -- but we're staying out of this one.