Get ready for the planned exodus of those who find the winter geography south of Greater Jasper less forbidding and are already making travel arrangement. Neighbor Tom announced that he’ll soon be aboard a south-bound Greater Jasper Airlines (GJA) flight from Canisteo International airport (CIA) as soon as Jack Frost lays a finger or two on local pumpkins.

Tom’s destination: exotic Jasper where, he told A-E, he’ll spend the winter luxuriating in that southerly sunshine resort Greater Jasper Sands. To paraphrase songster the late-great Phil Harris: “That what Tom likes about the south.”

Here’s an A-E memory exam: Name a meal that Phil liked about the south. A-E can only remember these few bars and lyrics of the tune: “Way down south in Alabamy, that‘s where (Phil) heard his mammy, fryin’ eggs and boilin’ hammy, that what (Phil) liked about the south.”

Enough 1940s musical nostalgia. How many A-E fans know the name of Phil’s long-time celebrity wife? (Googling for the answer is unfair, this test is not an open book exam). Email your answer to One of the winning answers will be drawn to win a dinner at the Roadkill Restaurant (tips, taxes, beverages, entertainment and napkins not included).

Tom and his buddy, Carlyle, aka Mutt and Jeff (or is it Jeff and Mutt?) take dual responsibility for keeping their porch attached to the foundation. Their carpentry involves sitting and drinking coffee and generally adding a few hundred pounds to the structure. Great job, fellas. That porch looks as if it’s been there with only occasional updates at least since Rover was a small dog.

Tom’s self-assigned task is more dangerous: keeping alligators away from the neighborhood. He claims that a simple prayer “May your house be free of alligators” is the solution. Proof: A-E and Frau haven’t seen any reptilian evidence since their move to the Village nine years ago.

Open Season on Politicians

Political analyst Bill (not to confused with Neighbor Bill, although PA Bill lives in the same neighborhood), four friends and A-E discussed, among other topics, the November election on a shaded porch one recent warm morning. PA Bill’s championing the organization ABD, his characterization of the candidates’ skills as summed up with the campaign slogan “Anybody But Donald” ABD. His porch mates agree unanimously.

Wealthy candidates running for important position such as the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Presidency typically promise to and then arrange to put their investments in a “blind trust.” That way, they can avoid conflicts of interest by not controlling, or even knowing about, personal financial interests.

But Trump has no plan to do that; he says he’ll have his children run the business while he runs the country. Trump’s kids seem like nice people but obviously they have fealty toward their Dad, hardly part of the text-book definition of blind trust. Their phrase: Blindness, probably, but not blind trust..

Theirs’ is a request for blind faith that A-E doesn’t endorse and neither should any sensible voter.

A-E finds the two major party presidential candidates a choice of the lesser of two weevils. He suggested that voting for the Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld as prudent options. Both were state governors, traditionally excellent proving ground for those who want to administer large governments.

Then Gary, who was the governor of New Mexico, asked a CNN reporter “What is Aleppo.” The interlocutor explained Aleppo’s location and significance; Gary admitted he had blanked on the name and that phenomenon will probably happen again.

A-E is at that age when he frequently blanks on the familiar such Kamchatka Peninsula, Vladivostok, Firth of Fourth and Volga River. But to date the names of cities that are in the news daily and involved with major issues such as Syrian refugees don’t slip off the tip of his cerebellum.

Weekly columnist Al Bruce will presumably be ensconced in his Great Jasper compound for the length of the Arctic Season.