I Miss Guv Reeve
Looking around at all the yard signs and hearing politicians tell us on television what a lying crook their competition is, I have to admit I miss Guv Reeve.
Guv had a real first name, but I sure don’t recall it now, because this was back in the 1960s and 1970s in the high desert of California. He had his first name legally changed to Guv so everyone would know what he was all about. Every four years, he ran for governor. I worked for the Victor Valley Daily Press in Victorville, which is just 30 miles from Barstow, where everyone’s car breaks down on the way to Vegas.
The other folks in the newsroom knew me as the “weirdo reporter” because if someone needed some serious couch time, they were pointed toward my desk.
Guv was maybe in his early 50s when I met him. He came into the newsroom one morning surrounded by four attractive middle-aged women, and all of them were smiling and handing out free cookies.
Guv and I closeted ourselves for the story while everyone else munched cookies, and I learned the Guv Reeve story.
He was a self-proclaimed preacher and lived in a large cabin about 20 miles away in the desert mountains. Yes … with the sunshine girls.
His mission, he explained, was to gather food and clothing, and when they had enough for a large cardboard box, they would pack it up, find the name of a village in Mexico that he thought might be poor, and mail it to them. Every time one of those boxes “ripened” and was ready for taping, they’d find a different village on the map.
His election platform was fairly simple: no taxes, more jobs, constant access to free cookies, and the love of God spreading throughout every person in California. You’d think a message that powerful would make his election a slam dunk, but the folks in California elected Ronald Reagan their governor, instead. I met him, too, but he didn’t have cookies.
No taxes? Cookies? Some days I really miss Guv Reeve.
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