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Our Country Could Use Another Will Rogers Now

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone. Hope you’re having a good week.  

Someone called me and said that they had picked up my column about coffee off the internet. It’s good to know that we are getting the coverage and I thank you. The column this week is going to be of a personal nature. On Wednesday, March 31, at 9:23 in the morning, I became a great grand-father.  His name is Edward Chisholm and he weighed in at nine pounds, two ounces and was twenty-three inches long. My grand-daughter, Elizabeth is the Mother and the proud father is Brooks Chisholm who is already making plans to take him on his first deer hunt and fishing trip.  

I still stand in awe at the miracle of birth and wonder what kind of world he will inherit.  Each generation hopes that he will have a a better life than we had but now I have my doubts.  As you long time readers know I am always the eternal optimist, but now I find that strained. I still am convinced that the American spirit can overcome the obstacles we face today.

This is the time that we could really use a Will Rogers.  Over eighty years ago some of Will’s remarks were entered in the Congressional record and some congressman protested saying that he resented the sayings of a professional joke teller be so included.  Will replied, “Shucks, compared to Congress, I’m an amateur.”  He also said, “people ask me where I get my jokes and I just tell them that I pick up the paper and see what Congress is doing and report the facts. The only thing is, when Congress makes a joke, it’s a law, and when they make a law it’s a joke.”  

Mark Twain once said, “Congress is America’s true criminal class”  I know some of you are going to say that Cooper’s getting political again but I make no apologies. I’m just saying what needs to be said and what most of you are feeling. Someone once asked me if I had ever been in politics and I replied, “no I’ve always engaged in honest employment.”

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, lets all get busy and try to get ourselves out of this mess, starting in November.

The other night I got a telephone from my friend, Robert Ed Montgomery and in the course of our conversation he remarked that I failed to mention George Miles wife’s name which I knew to be Myrtle. I knew the entire Meggs clan by name and it was just an oversight. Robert Ed did tell me something I didn’t know that George, who was a retired Navy man, was also a champion swimmer.  

George was a tall individual standing over six and a half feet tall and very quiet spoken. I got to know him when he got Newman-Gardner to make an ambulance trip to Lake Village, Ark., to bring back Levi Megg’s wife and new born baby. As usual on long trips such as this we only sent one man. George and I made the trip together and he opened up and carried on an interesting conversation.  

Robert  Ed’s family has an interesting history.  His grandfather, Johnny Jones came over from Ireland to take possession of land left him by a relative.  He spoke no English but knew he was to look up another Irishman, Thomas Scanlon, who worked in the railroad shops.  When he got off the train he had a sign hanging around his neck with his name on it.  

Mr. Scanlon, who was Edward’s grandfather became his mentor and got him a job in the shops. Mr. Jones learned English but always spoke with a distinct Irish brogue. He was a devout Catholic and when we handled the funeral of Mr. Scanlon years later, Mr. Jones was one of the mourners on the front row. Robert Ed’s mother, Kate Montgomery, and Edward Scanlon were close friends as long as she lived.  This is why I always ask for your input as this has been a vital part of this column for nearly ten years.  My email address is or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 3810l and have a great week.

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