Walt, Sulo, and Joseph McCarthy

Walt Karnosh and Sulo Lahti are good friends.  Walt used to have a small farm in Scappoose, where he would raise a few cows.  What he had was more a hobby farm than a serious operation, but he and his wife Mary were very serious about their livestock.  They took care of their animals, and were determined to try and raise the best and sturdiest animals that they could possibly find.   Sulo worked as an Artificial Inseminator.  Sulo Lahti believed that the company he worked for had access to some of the best bloodlines in the country, and Walt wanted the best. 

It took only one visit for Sulo and Walt to become friends.  Three visits, and they became good friends.  Although there was quite a difference in their ages they discovered that they had lots in common. They both were easy going and unassuming, both had a sense of humor, both enjoyed doing things out of doors, and they both liked wine.  Sulo liked to make his own wine, and Walt liked to drink it.  It was a good combination and they got along famously.

A few years passed; Walt sold his farm.  Sulo got out of the A.I. business, fell in love, and  married a tall, blonde school teacher who he called "little Annie."   Sulo and Annie set up housekeeping in Clatskanie, where they seemed to do well for themselves.  Conditions change, but their friendships remained.

Although Sulo and Walt were close friends, Mary and Annie never really hit it off.  I don't mean to say that they weren't friendly to each other, but they just didn't seem to have a whole lot in common. Mary was in her late sixties, while Annie had just crossed the thirty mark.  Mary was an ultra conservative, Annie a liberal. Mary was a (self-professed) devout Catholic, who seldom attended Mass.  Annie was an active hard-working Lutheran, who took her religion quite seriously.   Mary was a Scappoose High School graduate; Annie sported a Masters from Stanford.

Sulo and Annie lived in a renovated farmhouse outside of Clatskanie in a locality called Quincy.  He made his living raising heifers. If asked, he would tell you that his financial success was more dependent on his wife keeping her teaching job, than his keeping his cows.

The two couples would often gather in Sulo's barn, where Sulo made his wine.  Sulo had built a heated room, with an adjoining Finnish sauna (pronounced Sow-naa).  The room was furnished with an old overstuffed couch, a dining room  table and some cast off padded chairs.  Over all, it was a comfortable place to gather, drink wine, play cards, and try to solve the problems of the world.

Both Sulo and Walt were discussing the intricacies of wine making, ball playing, and cattle buying, when an obviously bored Mary Lays her cards down and says: "It's all the fault of those Communists."

"I beg your pardon?" responded Annie.  "Am I missing something?  What do communists have to do with anything?"

"They have lots to do with Stuff" Mary replied. "Our nation would not be in near as much trouble now if Joseph McCarthy would have had his way…"

Annie looked dumbfounded.  "I can't believe what I am hearing you say.  McCarthy was a liar, a drunk and a bigot.  He used his position as senator to persecute innocent people.  He used lies, innuendo, and his office to intimidate people.  He used his lieutenants - Roy Cohn, David Schine, and others - to extort money and political promises from people out of fear, and all for his own personal benefit."

"That ain't one bit true".  Replied Mary.  "The government was filled with Communists.  Queers and Communists; and there are more today than there was then." 

Annie laughed.  "What does one have to do with the other?"

"Plenty" says Mary.  "The Communists promoted a queer lifestyle to weaken our American moral fabric…and they've succeeded too."

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