Point & Click
A rancher friend came by my office the other day to give me a copy of a very old, very funny newspaper called the Rangely Bull Sheet.The broad sheet paper used to be published each year right around the time of the Rangely Days Rodeo in Rangely, Colo. This little newspaper clearly shows that folks back in the ’50s were a lot more, uh – how would you put it? Progressive? – than you would imagine. Think people were buttoned up and straight-laced 50-plus years ago? Not in Rangely! The Bull Sheet, according to my friend Paul, was somewhat of an underground paper published by the Rangely Saddle Club. The yellowed edition Paul brought in was from May 1957. It had some actual news in it – a schedule of the Meeker Range Call and Rangely Days rodeos, but mostly, it was filled with a bunch of racy, humor-filled stories with lots of swear words.Take, for example, the cover story, supposedly from the Department of Agriculture, about the operation of rotary lawn mowers. (I’ve inserted “bleeps” when necessary, straying from the original copy since we today are much more easily offended than in 1957.)”Unseen rocks and sticks, to say nothing of unburied bones will raise (bleep) with the blades. So will nails, bits of wire and other metal debris. But these problems pale into insignificance when compared with the unhappy results of running a rotary lawn mower over newly deposited dog (bleep). Until you have had your shoes polished with pulverized dog (bleep) you cannot appreciate the extent of this problem.Cat (bleep), to be sure, smells worse, but cats, as everyone knows, are more careful to cover up their waste than dogs. Moreover, cats do not (bleep) as much as dogs, unless you have very small dogs or very large cats.”And on it goes …Plenty of respectable businesses advertised in this publication, including Meeker’s Sleepy Cat Resort, still going strong nearly a half-century later, the Rangely Fire Department and First National Bank of Meeker. Nearly all the ads are illustrated in that retro-’50s pen-and-ink drawing way, with racy cartoons that have only something remotely to do with their business. For Rifle Feed & Farm Supply’s ad, for example, is a phrase I can actually reprint (many I cannot): “Some dolls go out every Saturday night to sow wild oats and then go to church on Sunday to pray for a crop failure.” And under that: “Good Horse Feed.” Looking through this worn vintage newspaper, it warms the cockles of my heart to think that we’re not nearly as liberated and modern as the folks that put this old paper together. And, especially during this election season, it’s sort of a reminder to lighten up a little, and not take things so sternly and – dare I say? – politically correct all the time. Carrie Click is the editor and general manager of The Citizen Telegram (citizentelegram.com) in Rifle. She wishes she could write a satirical, tongue-in-cheek paper, but oh! The repercussions! Carrie can be reached at 625-3245, ext. 101, email@example.com.
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