Election 2020 – Adventures in Voting

Voting in absentia

by Frank C. Siraguso
July 28, 2020

voting stickersThe Missouri primary election is Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Today we, Molly Margaret and I, went to the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners office in Union Station. We cast our absentee ballots for governor, U.S. congressional representatives, and whether to expand Medicaid, which Missouri has so far refused to do.

The reason we voted absentee is that we will be out of town on election day. I have never voted absentee, and neither has Molly Margaret. But this is one time we needed to and almost didn’t make it. We decided to head to the lake, not really on a whim but, maybe. Last Monday, July 20, I realized we’d be out of town and then learned the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot was Wednesday, July 22. (more…)


It was a week past Christmas. Mom and I had walked the half block up the street to my grandparents, my mom’s parents, for New Year’s Eve. It was just the four of us – me, mom, grandma and grandpa.

My dad was working. He was a bartender and New Year’s Eve was a big night. When it fell on a Sunday, he had the day off. Bars weren’t open on Sunday in those days. Nothing was open on Sunday in those days. Well, hardly anything. This New Year’s Eve it was Wednesday and I’m sure the joint was jumping.


A Northeast Christmas Scene

We had just set the Christmas tree in the flimsy, three-legged, red-and-green metal stand, and tightened the three bolts to hold it. This was Christmas of ’69 or ’70. I was still living at home, and was on break from college. I was at my friend Lee’s house, helping him put up the family Christmas tree in the living room. It was a real tree, about 8 feet tall.

We stood back to see how the tree looked. It started to lean slowly, then faster. Before we could stop it the Christmas tree crashed onto the butsudon. Hearing the noise, Okaasan sprang from the kitchen into the living room, yelling in Japanese. (more…)

California Rake

It was during that summer of 1984, while I was living in Long Beach, California, that I first saw them. The two guys cutting the grass in the tiny front yard of the house across the street had finished and put the mowers and weed whackers in their truck. I thought they were getting ready either to rake up the clippings, such as they were, or just pack up and leave. Instead, they got these other machines from the truck that looked like vacuum cleaners or maybe those things the Ghostbusters wore. (more…)

Vote, Don’t Drop

Dave and the Fish Church

Election 2016 is proving to be weirder than any in living memory. I am not impartial, fair or balanced about the outcome. I’m for Hillary, not Trump. Some think Hillary has it in the bag but I offer this cautionary tale about an election long ago that reverberates to this day. This is a true story. The subject is still alive and well, living somewhere on the West Coast. The moral of the story is simple: Unless you actually get out and vote (dammit), any bitching and moaning you do is pointless.

St. Anthony
The Temptation of Saint Anthony

It was 1972, and Senator George McGovern was running against Richard Nixon, the incumbent president. I had just turned 21 and this was the first year that I was eligible to vote. (more…)

Nixon resigns – 40 years ago today

I remember exactly where I was Thursday, August 8, 1974, the night Richard Nixon announced his impending resignation

NixonI and a friend were glued to the radio in his car, parked outside the house where our band was practicing. Band practice or not, Nixon’s speech was not to be missed. Not all the band members felt that way.

Things had not been going well for Nixon that summer. The Watergate scandal was closing in on him but the embattled president clung to power, stonewalling to the bitter end. Finally, on August 8 we learned that he would address the nation that evening, 8 p.m. Central time. Lee, the band’s drummer and my best friend (I was the bass player), and I knew we’d be at practice but planned to listen on the radio if nothing else. (more…)

Piss on ’em

Part of me thinks there’s too much hand-wringing about the four U.S. Marines pissing on dead Afghani fighters. It’s not like they dragged them behind their humvees, like the Somalis dragged and desecrated our soldiers in the1993 Blackhawk Down incident. And it’s not like they burned the bodies to a crisp and hung them from a bridge, the way the Iraqis did those Blackwater mercenaries. (more…)