The Right Coast

April 27, 2004
Close encounter with a democrat
By Tom Smith

This article by Bruce Reed is apparently creating a little buzzette inside the beltway this week. Bruce Reed and I have something in common: We were both Rhodes Scholars from Idaho. Bruce went on to relative fame and for all I know, fortune, or at least is some kind of influential guy with the Democrat party, and all I got was this blog. But perhaps it was destiny. The following is the story of my brief encounter with Bruce Reed. Sometime after I got the Rhodes, I was back in Idaho and hanging with the boyz. We had decided some cross country skiing was the thing for that day, and so we donned warm clothes, which in my case consisted mostly of army surplus woolens held up with oversize suspenders. We set out for Lake Lowell, a agricultural reservoir of which scenic would be a charitable description. We were there to ski, yes, but let us say that the flask or several of Jack Daniels also made its contribution to the snowy outing. About the time that staying up on skinny skis was starting to be very challenging, a perfectly clean and equipped suburban rolled up to our spot, which I had thought was pretty isolated. Out of the truck poured a large family, all quite slender and dressed to the nines, or whatever you call it when it's ski clothes. On they put very shiny, new skis. If I had been a snow bunny, I would have dove into my hole, but there was no where to hide. One of my friends, who knew them, and who definitely has a mean streak, seized on this moment of maximum embarrassment to introduce me to the dad, who was a surgeon or something, and to young Reed, who was soon off to Oxford. I tried not to fall over. I said something incoherent. It was all rather awful. Then, as if in a dream, they all scooted off in perfect diagonal stride form, even the little ones, who were also perfectly equipped and perfect little skiiers. Hard to believe they are trying to undermine all that we hold dear. My friends and I stumbled back to the old pickup, wet, poor and drunk, and puttered off to our little lives. Perhaps there is some kind of Republicans and Democrats moral in that story, but I'm not sure what it is.