A test if you are a true Okie is if you can draw the state on a piece of plywood freehand. "Man, that looks like Nebraska!" Steve told me. We were making road signs for his campaign for House District #37. "Yeah, but if we make the panhandle long and skinny it will blow off in the Oklahoma wind. Besides, you aren't running out there."
When you don't have much money in the campaign coffer, eye-catching signs are the need. And the voters may not realize it but the Republican House Rep they are going to vote for is an accomplished carpenter--and of course he runs a game preserve. "They will turn into duck blinds after the campaign," he avows. Do the birds mind red, white, and blue? The associate at Lowes didn't mind at all. She got quite a kick out of the two zany guys who were making campaign signs and ordering paint. Steve magically turned her into a Republican from an independent in 30 seconds. You could see it in her eyes. 'I am going to vote for this guy. He's smart, approachable, funny, and umm, git'r dun kind of guy."
Former state chairman, Gary Jones sent us a picture of his parade wagon. He took a flatbed trailer, built sides, then made some hoops and stretched a canvas over the top so it looks like a Conestoga wagon with his name emblazoned on the canvas top. He is running for State Auditor. This is what we need, a Republican state auditor to investigate how 100 years of Democrats have spent our money. But, Gary, if you come up north to OSU country, don't use the red canvas top. It looks like you-know-who. Bring the blue one.
Gary got his wagon stolen by rivals at one point. Trashing and stealing campaign stuff is serious business since it violates someone's right to free speech and can ultimately be prosecuted as a federal crime. Don't even think about it. But in practice it happens. Bill Jennings of Pawnee was telling me how one year all their signs were getting trashed. So they put them up in trees. "What you do, is you bet a 10 yr. old boy that he can't climb that tree and post the sign," Bill explained. "Then he goes home and brags, pointing out the sign to all the neighbors and telling how nice the guy was who got him to do it."
Back to Mr. Vaughan and his campaign--he got an offer from a supporter to cut our stencils with a steel plasma cutter. Wow! That's really highbrow and professional, like Steve's campaign agenda.