Will Rogers

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“Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.”

Will Rogers was a classic, the best of the best, when it came to common sense. His comedy and quips were always right on target.  We seniors refer to people like him as an ‘oldy but a goody.’ What is happening among the younger generation today that has caused ‘common sense’ and ‘comedy’ to go so far astray? 

I was not going to blog about comedy and/or common sense, but here I am doing what I thought I wasn’t going to be doing.  Is the word phrase ‘common sense’ even in the dictionary? Let’s find out. IT IS!  Common sense is referred to as “the unreflective opinions of ordinary men.” “Sound and prudent but often unsophisticated judgment.” Sounds good to me.  Now, who is Will Rogers?

I knew of Will Rogers when I was a young child. He was in many movies, mostly of the western type. At a very young age, I took a liking to him – as an intelligent person, a man, an example of a good person, an honest person, a funny person, etc. So who was he?  Here’s a thumbnail sketch…

  • Will Rogers was born on November 4, 1879, in present-day Oologah, Oklahoma. In the earlier days this was considered part of Indian territory.
  • Career wise, in 1905, Will Rogers began performing a lasso act on the vaudeville circuit. His charm and humor, along with his technical ability, made him a star.
  • He died on August 15, 1935, when a plane carrying Mr. Rogers crashed in Point Barrow, Alaska.

Extra details: Will Rogers, whose full name was William Penn Adair Rogers, was an American stage and film actor, vaudeville performer, cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.

The plane crash that killed Mr. Rogers was described by the Associated Press as “a prelude flight to a planned Trans-Siberian flight to Moscow.” Will and his Pilot Wiley Post were flying from Fairbanks to Barrow when they encountered fog and low visibility. Wiley located a hole in the fog at Walakpa Bay, and they landed. After receiving directions from the natives who lived there – for the short distance remaining to get to Barrow, they proceeded to leave. They were barely airborne, around 50 feet when the motor failed. The aircraft plummeted into the lagoon and overturned. It was the first fatal air accident near the city of Utqiaġvik (Barrow). Both Will and Wiley were killed instantly. 

Will Rogers was loved by everyone. His death at the early age of 55 was devastating to the many who idolized him. He was known as a World-famous, widely popular American humorist of the vaudeville stage and of silent and sound films. He graduated from military school, but his first real job was in the livestock business in Argentina, of all places. He transported pack animals across the South Atlantic from Buenos Aires to South Africa for use in the Boer War.

As you can see Will Rogers in his short life time was a colorful character, along with being an adventurer. 

Bill Takacs in his mini biography of Will Rogers tells us that “over the years Will gradually blended into his act his unique style of topical, iconoclastic humor, in which he speared the efforts of the powerful to trample the rights of the common man, while twirling his lariat and perhaps chewing on a blade of straw. Although appearing in many silents, he reached his motion-picture zenith with the arrival of sound. Now mass audiences could hear his rural twang as he delivered his homespun philosophy on behalf of everyman. The appeal and weight of his words carried such weight with the average citizen that he was even nominated for governor of Oklahoma (which he declined).”

Rogers had four children with wife, Betty. They were: Fred (died 1920), Mary (died 1989), Will Rogers Jr. (died 1993) and Jimmy Rogers – the last to die in (2000).

It’s share time with a few of his many satirical witty remarks. 

This is one of my favorites:
As a friend, and frequent critic, of several U.S. Presidents, Rogers once visited Warren G. Harding (1865-1923, President 1921-1923) and said, “Morning, Mr. President! Would you like to hear the latest political jokes?” Harding replied, “You don’t have to, Will. I appointed them.”

Others include: 

  • It’s a good thing we don’t get all the government we pay for.
  • There’s only one thing that can kill the movies, and that’s education.
  • I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.
  • I never met a man I didn’t like.
  • People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.
  • If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone, ‘America died from a delusion that she has moral leadership.’
  • The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

Do those last 3 sound familiar in today’s politics? 

You are probably asking yourself, ‘what does this post have to do with health?’ In the chaotic world we have been thrown into politically, our health – mental and physical is or has already, for many people, been destroyed. A little bit of humor of the good old fashioned kind is welcome in my book. The comedians of our era have destroyed the ‘humor’, the real humor in the jokes and comments they make on the late night TV shows. Their comedy is targeted at destroying people to include, families, morals, religious beliefs, children, and life in general. The majority of the comedians today, in my opinions are sadists, and narcissists. If you don’t know what that means, do your own research and look it up in the dictionary. 

To suit my fancy, jokes should be satirical, and show common sense meaning. But then, to each his own…que sera, sera. 

Humor – good humor is humor that makes one laugh. A really good laugh is food for our soul and our good health. 



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