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The Whitehurst Diaries: Sunlight on the ticklies



2011-10-10 - Old Gradyville Road, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst.
Sharon Whitehurst captured the glistening of the awns on the ticklies on her walkabout. Ticklies are as important to Adair County romantic encounters and political one-on-ones as boxes of chocolates and candidate cards. Hormonally impelled meetings often culminate sometime later in marriages and big families when, on a first meeting, the teenage boy uses the awn as a tickle brush to tease in the mating ritual, and the young girl feigns annoyance. Her tone in saying "Quit that," conveys affection or rejection. For male politicians, on private meetings with the man of the house, both lean on fences while nibbling on the tender shoots of the ticklies. Eye contact is a bit rare until a common issue is raised, until which, both pol and his mark look at and paw the ground, occasionally spitting into the dust. When a soft probing question reveals common ground, about which something must be did the pol expresses shock, "Did that (xxx) say that!" When the mark agrees, "He sure did. And I got witnesses," the pol says, "Well, when X is elected, that'll change." Never mind they disagree on everything else. That single issue, specific to that voter only, decides the vote. -EW

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