A long, l-o-o-n-g time ago when we were very young, we remember politics and the excitement of elections in our then-home state, New Mexico.
One of the great joys of not having a television was listening to radio announcers make things up to fill the dead air while they waited for results from the different precincts.
"Yes, sir, Bill," Don Husted would repeatedly say to Bill West as they desperately sought anything new to say, "Mayor Gossett is clinging to that six-vote lead over Joe Gant." Just as he had been clinging to it for the two hours since the first votes came in.
No precinct wanted to be among the first ones in, lest they tip their hand and not be part of the late-night drama. So, it was not uncommon for leads of 14 to 8 to last for three or four hours.
There were no timed printouts.
There were also some election-night traditions. For example, at 7:01 p.m. sharp every election night, announcer Don Husted would proclaim that "the ballot boxes in Rio Arriba County have been impounded." The polls closed at 7 p.m.
Rio Arriba was a county in Northern New Mexico that had a proud old tradition of letting dead people vote. When our parents first told us kids about this tradition we thought it was a ghost story, but later learned it was just an overenthusiastic "get-out-the-vote" drive.
Of course, neighboring states had their stories, too. Our parents were astonished when "Landslide Lyndon" Johnson went on to become Senate majority leader then vice president and, finally, president.
Johnson had received the sobriquet "Landslide Lyndon" following the 1948 election for the U.S. Senate from Texas. He had apparently lost the election to then Gov. Coke Stevenson. But, lo and behold, six days after the election 203 previously uncounted votes were found in Alice, Texas. Amazingly, 202 of those people had voted for Lyndon.
He won the election by 87 votes and Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black upheld the result when Stevenson protested.
Thus did Congressman Johnson become Senator Johnson and continue his march to the White House.
A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.