This Letter to the Editor to the Midland Daily News (Midland, Michigan) was written sometime before the U.S. House Elections on November 7, 1950 by Yours Truly (Marlene Rupp then, Marlene Diedrick now). Even at the ripe old age of 12, I was very interested in the importance of the voting process – I was getting out the vote.
Harry Truman was in his second term of the Presidency after he succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt upon his death on April 12, 1945 and the Korean War had begun June 25 of that year. Uncle Bob who had served in World War II had been called up to serve again in the Navy and the Rupp family dinner table discussions at Grandma and Grandpa’s Farm in Beaverton, Michigan centered on the current political issues.
My experience at our dinner table at home in Midland, Michigan during the 1944 Presidential Election is what prompted me to write this letter. I was only 7 years old, but it was memorable. My parents were diametrically opposed in all things political. My Democratic Mother was going to vote for Roosevelt vs. Thomas Dewey while my staunchly Republican Father intended to vote for Dewey.
Each night they tried to convert the other until they finally agreed that since their votes would simply cancel each other out, they wouldn’t vote at all.
As luck would have it the polling place was in my grade school (Sugnet), and when I caught them both sneaking in to vote at different times I extracted a ransom not to tell. I made 50 cents that day. PAY TO PLAY – THE CHICAGO WAY!