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Will Rogers had a pretty good handle on life

A couple weeks ago the annual ‘tea and jam session’ at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Warman showcased some pretty good homegrown entertainment. It was a sea of grey hair in the audience, but those of us who like both kinds of music (country and western) weren’t disappointed.
Gord Martens took advantage of his role as master of ceremonies to pepper us with some entertaining observations from legendary homespun philosopher Will Rogers:
“Never squat with your spurs on” was one good piece of advice from Rogers. Another was: “There are two theories about winning an argument with a woman. Neither one works.”
But my favourite was: “There are three kinds of men: the one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
William Penn Adair Rogers was born November 4, 1879. He died on August 15, 1935 in a plane crash in Alaska along with legendary pilot Wiley Post.
Rogers ranks among the finest performers, comedians, and social commentators in American history. He made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 ‘talkies’) and wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns.
Growing up on the open range, he naturally acquired all the skills of a working cowpuncher. Those skills helped him make it big on the New York stage as he combined his unique sense of humour with impressive lariat twirling. He started out with his rope act in the Ziegfeld Follies, which in turn led to the first of his many movie contracts. He was also a big star on radio. During the 1920s Prohibition era, he was one of the few entertainers in America to poke fun at gangsters and get away with it.
Some more quotes from Will Rogers:
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
“People’s minds are changed through observation, not by argument.”
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
“Good judgment comes from experience. And a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
“Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.”
“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?
“Do the best you can, and don’t take life too seriously.”
“Live in such a way that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
“There is nothing as easy as denouncing … It don’t take much to see that something is wrong but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again.”
“A fanatic is always the fellow that is on the opposite side.”
“We don’t know what we want, but we’re ready to bite somebody to get it.”
“Eventually you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.”
“This would be a great world to dance in if we didn’t have to pay the fiddler.”
“Finding things to tax is becoming quite a problem. You see when taxes first started, (who started ‘em anyhow?) Noah must have taken into the ark two taxes, one male and one female, and did they multiply bountifully! Next to guinea pigs, taxes must have been the most prolific of animals.”

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