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Seein’ ‘Satylites’

Editor’s Note: “John Dock” is an apparently satirical column seen in the Cabot Star-Herald, Lonoke Democrat and Carlisle Independent during the 1960s. The source is, as yet, uncertain. The columns, though, give a glimpse of the thinking of the times.

Feb. 12, 1964

Panama seems bound and determined to make a fuss over that ditch down there.

They say it’s on their land, and it ought to belong to them. Not only that, they plan to have it even if they have to fight for it.

Now I’m sure that ole Uncle Sam aint completely blameless in this here thing; ‘cause us Americans has got a way of acting superior and generally obnoxious to foreign folks, particularly some of them what aint got much to begin with.

But the way I larned it, Panama was real happy to let us have that there land to build the canal on, or through, Or whatever it is that you do to it. They was afraid we was a gonna build it somewhar else and they didn’t want that to happen.

‘Nother thing I’d like to ask them folks whose money was it what dug the ditch in the first place? I don’t remember that they had any capital invested in it.

It’s beginning to look like some of our “good neighbors” think that if they see something of Uncle Sugar’s lying around, all they have to do is up and take it.

I don’t know whether the communists had anything to do with this here thing or not – I wouldn’t be a-tall surprised if they did. But it don’t make much difference, ‘cause as fer as I’m concerned, we’re gonna have to make a stand somewhere, and this looks to be about as good a place as any.

I’m real interested to see how President Johnson handles this affair. To me he has acted like a feller what knows what’s going on, and not only that, but who’s running the show. This is gonna be a good chance for him to show what kind of a poker player he is!

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I went out the other night to see this here “Echo” satylite they’ve put up. They told me to be sure and be out at a certain time, ‘cause it moved purty fast. They was right - that thing went through the sky so fast it made me wonder if it warn’t the Lord or one of his angels a ridin’ along instead of something human beings had sent up.

Do you remember the “flying saucer craze?” People was a’seein them everywhere.

Why, I had one cuzzin who seen five at one time and talked to two of the pilots! ‘Nother lady I know useta call the newspaper office every day to report on how many she had seen in the last 24 hours. She kept it up ‘til the editor began publishing a piece on the front page labeled: “Mrs. Gottrock’s Flying Saucer Count.” That stopped it. I always thought that there editor would go places ‘cause he was the only man I ever knowed that got that lady to hush up.

Most folks finally decided that the flying saucer reports was either due to Tom Foolishness or John Barleycorn - one of the two. I gotta admit though that with all these things they’ve been sending up lately, I’ve gone to wondering if some of these flying saucer stories might not have been right.

From the way folks in this world act at times, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that there might not be a more intellygent group of folks on some other planet. There’s one thing for sure. If’n one of them saucers did show up and fly circles around a satylite or two - why, I can just see old Mr. Kruschev and President Johnson putting their heads together right now! There wouldn’t be nearly as many problems in getting the folks on earth to work with each other instead of fighting all the time!

Meanwhile. I’m trying to get the hot-dog concession at the first moon trip, but I aint had enough political pull so far. If anyone knows enough influential representatives to get the job done, I’d be glad to join in and share expenses!

Sincerely, John Dock

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