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Politics 1

March 17, 2013

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Memory Harvest of a Sharecropper’s Son,” which is now available in Amazon Kindle format and in printed format. This story is about the first time I ever voted in an election.

I was discharged from the U.S. Navy the day before I turned 21 in 1955. I had never registered for the draft or to vote because I had enlisted in the Navy right after I graduated from high school at 17.

I returned to my home town in Texas and registered for the draft and to vote. Texas still had a poll tax, but my first registration was free. In Texas, a person does not have to specify a political party when registering.

Mom and Dad had moved to Oklahoma, so I was living with them when I met my wife-to-be and married. Therefore, I registered to vote in Oklahoma. When I registered in Oklahoma, I was registered as a Democrat. Dad had always been a Democrat, although he was very conservative. Most Democrats in Texas and Oklahoma were fairly conservative at that time. There were very few Republicans holding or running for office in Oklahoma in the 1956 timeframe.

The first election I voted in was 1956. There were only one or two Republicans on the ticket, other than the Presidential ticket with Eisenhower. I voted for Eisenhower, but for Democrats for all the other offices. When Dad asked me how I voted and I told him, he said I was not even a good man because I had voted for people in both parties. He thought that if I was going to vote for a Republican for one office, I should support ‘my’ party for all other offices. In fact, until Dad’s last few years, he never voted for a Republican. If he did not feel he could support a particular Democrat, he would just not vote for anyone for that office, rather than vote for a Republican.


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