This is an election year in the cities around the county. The race for council in Park City has attracted enough candidates for a primary, which is coming up soon. The exact date is, well, I don't know. Since I'm an alien living in the unincorporated part of the county, I can't vote in the election, not even for my friends. So it happens when it happens, and some of you in the City limits will actually show up to vote. But the odds are that not many of you will bother, which is how crazy people get elected (think Senator Mike Lee blowing Bob Bennett out of the race at the Republican convention).
Anyway, our local election can't possibly be as entertaining as New York's mayoral race. In that one, we have Anthony Wiener, and his alter ego "Carlos Danger," and Carlos's alter ego, the little wiener, all running for mayor as a single candidate. Wiener is an idiot. His actions demonstrate that he lacks the judgment and maturity to manage a lemonade stand. When asked about the number of women you have emailed photos of your schlange to, there is only one correct answer: zero. But Carlos Danger will continue on his campaign of humiliation. We've had interesting elections around here, but nothing like that.
Meanwhile, in Washington, our esteemed Senator Mike Lee is threatening to filibuster the "continuing resolution" that keeps the government funded at current levels because Congress won't do their job and adopt a real budget.
So with that kind of backdrop, it was a wonderful distraction to discover that the raspberries are on. There are a few patches of wild raspberries along the dogs' nightly walk. The berries are tiny, a little on the sour side, and there's really nothing better than eating a handful of them while the marmots taunt the dogs. We've reached the point in the summer when the mosquitoes are gone, the deer flies are down to the holdouts, and raspberries are there for the picking.
Even better, I found that locally-farmed berries are available in the fruit stands. I bought a bunch of raspberries for $2 a cup in Heber. It was getting late in the afternoon, and there wasn't much left at the fruit stand. It was hot and the lady running it wanted to go home. The price dropped the longer I looked at what was there. At $2 a cup nobody is making any money, but they would be spoiled by the next day. Better than nothing. Somebody paid for the land, the water, planted the bushes, picked the berries, packaged them, drove them to Heber, and stood out on the street corner all day for $2 a cup. And she was smiling about it all. She isn't running for mayor.
My grandparents had an egg farm. I was terrified of the hens, and didn't really get through my fear to look at the business end of it. But what's the profit margin on an egg? Their operation was tiny. While not exactly "free-range," the hens had the run of large coops that protected them from predators and the extreme weather. This was no factory farm. Somehow they eked out a living on it, but the net per egg had to be next to nothing. They ate a lot of old, stringy chicken.
Small-scale farmers are a thrifty bunch. Over the Pioneer Day holiday, we celebrated the 70th birthday of a 1943 Farmall M tractor. It was delivered here brand new, and is still running strong. Really just broken in. It was a WWII production, so it came from the factory stripped bare, without lights, generator, battery, or starter motor. I still have the crank. When the war was over, it got upgraded with an electric starting system, lights, and a new paint job. The wartime paint didn't last. So now, 70 years later, it's still here, and still in use.
Somehow, I wish other aspects of life were that stable and predictable. No emailed crotch shots, no senatorial temper tantrums. Just something that you could count on to start every morning with the first turn of the crank and get its job done for 70 years.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.