Perhaps politicians can learn a few things from cowboys, especially during these times of unproductive special legislative sessions on health care and water issues. A new book says, for instance, “Don’t think a spooky horse can’t swap ends in a heartbeat.” Many horse riders–and maybe too few politicians–have learned that one the hard way.
Or how about this? “Don’t start a fire you’re not big enough to put out.”
Author Paul Bianco thinks people running our government talk a lot but maybe should listen more to normal, rural folks. To people like his Sierra Nevada neighbors. Voters there, as elsewhere, are casting ballots more and more for politicians who make sense to them – and less because of political party affiliation. And Bianco tells the public, in general, that folks in his Plumas County town have had to soak up some wisdom and efficiency, not as a hobby out of a self-help book, but as a matter of survival.
In Graeagle, for instance, every winter is pretty much a disaster. But there’s no screaming for help. No politicians drop by, with an entourage of reporters. There’s no emergency declarations — just residents who have learned to quietly, and efficiently, deal with a whole lot of snow.
Bianco, who’s had his own ups and downs, has captured mountain folks’ mind-set in his entertaining book, “Finding the `Why’ in Graeagle.’’ (Why didn’t they include a `y’ in the name? It would have been inefficient.) The book is a unique collection of sad, romantic, inspiring, funny and sentimental western-country tales, as people learn life’s hard lessons doing everyday stuff — eating in cafes, camping, hunting, ranching, and partying on holidays in the lovable, tough, homey little town. Woven throughout is a list of hard-learned wisdom, called “Mountain Ranch Rules.’’
The book has caught the eye of some at the Capitol. And they’ve seen the suggestions for an easier life, not only in general, but also as it applies to politics.
–Don’t think it takes that long for the cows to come home.
–Don’t start a pack trip with anyone who thinks nothing is going to go wrong.
–Don’t think your words are near worth your actions.
–Don’t hang your hat on a loose rack.
–Don’ give yourself more than half-credit for having out-smarted a half-wit.
–Don’t fix the fence without knowing what side the bull’s on.
–Don’t lean off the side of a horse to open another man’s gate if you’re not sure which way the owner’s attitude swings.
–Don’t count on a spooky horse and a nervous rider to work things out.
–Don’t fault the horse because you fell off.
Paul Bianco can be reached at P.O. Box 1001, Graeagle, CA, 96103; phone, 530-836-0539; or http://www.ecprinting.com/Graeagle%20Book.html