1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



On My Duff
Dan Duff

The other day I received this piece of mail in my box. It was addressed to" Occupant" which means I could open it and without having to wait until my wife gets home. It was from the United States Census Bureau and I was excited that here at last I was going to count for something. In the past the government, the church and my family had not counted me in on anything and none of them seemed to want my opinion on anything either.

But here it was a simple form that all you had to do was put an "X" in the appropriate box and send it back. I started to read the form the more I read the madder I got. Why is it any business of the government of what my lineage is? I am an American. Born on Muddy Creek Mountain in the dog days of August in the year 1940 of my father and mother were both Americans. I suppose if I wanted to spend some serious money and reach out far enough I could find out just where the roots to this tree first started. I once gave it a try and I only had to go back a few years to find that there was so many of my ancestors hanging from that tree I gave up just to save what little dignity I had left.

I get calls from people who want to ask me very intimate questions about my income, what size house I live in, Who lives here with me along with their names, age and what they do for a living. At first I would tell them that they were asking me for a lot more information than I wanted to give out and would hang up. After a few of these calls I started to give them answers such as "My income last year was over 12 million. I work for my wife and she doesn't tell me what she makes. We live on a 300 acre ranch in Fl. with thousand of cows and such and I would have to have the manager of all this to give them a call back."

I think we in this country have become to flippant with our private information and the government seeks out and draws out far more information on us than they actually need or use. I think the government is like the computer that is built so well that it starts to think for itself and begins to take over more and more of the information until the people who uses the information have to ask permission from the machine to get any answers.

The government has an obligation every ten years to count the people of the United States. That is the simple, straight forward need. Why can't the census send out a form that says where do you live and how many people are in your house. Since the sole purpose of this law is to make districting lines for representation in the United Stated Congress, it would appear that any other question asked is far more information than they need.