23 January 2011

Genetically Unimpressed with Authority

It's not that I don't respect people in authority. I just don't respect them any more than any other people. It turns out that my disdain for authority may be genetic.

My great grandparents ran a bed and breakfast up in the Redwoods between the Oregon border and Eureka, California. It was partly a business (the real business was the dairy) and partly a service since there weren't really hotels in that part of California in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They let out their bedrooms and served meals to the occasional visitors to the area. The beds were offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and when those were full, additional guests were sent out to the barn to sleep.

The governor of California, Governor Gillett, was hunting in the area on one busy night. My great grandparents treated him as they would any other guest; given the house was full, they sent him to sleep in the barn.

One nice post script to this is that Gillett was apparently appointed by Republican Party heads because they knew he'd favor the railroads over the local communities and Gillett was not a particularly popular governor.

It seems like a shame that this tradition never caught on. How fun would it be to periodically send politicians out to the barn?

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