Submitted for Posterity…

This letter is to my Dad from his brother, William (Bill) Minnick. I have a clutch of letters from him to Mom and Dad. Our family has a long and documented history of bullshit.
Text transcript below.

June 1, 1994

“My dear brother Ed, (or in better circles, George.)

I was struck by your acquisition of an office at Shrine Hdqts. I don’t know why I should b e surprised because you always were the biggest bullshitter in the family. I want to caution you, though. You are mow perceived by people on the outside as someone who’s important and with that perception, you must always watch what you say or do.

A political friend and I have a “Luke Toomey theory” that could be of great benefit to you with the new status you’ve had bestowed at this late stave of your existence. In 1971, when Milt Shapp won the race for Governor in Pa. Jack Freed and I were hired at the Department of Agriculture. Neither one of us knew shit about farming, but that didn’t seem to matter. It was our expertise in gouging farmers who were well off to contribute for future elections. There were unique ways of doing this and I’m not going to get into that at this stage of the game.

Anyway, there was a man in the Bureau of Markets who at one time was a Republican legislator from Perry County where foreplay is defined thus: “Get into the back of the truck Bitch.” He was being paid at that time about what they’re worth; $5,000 a year and no perks. So, during the Scranton term in the early sixties, he stepped down as a legislator and took a job at Agriculture as Director of Markets. The salary; $35,000. That sumbitch was thinking retirement at middle age. He was there 3 years under Scranton, 4 more under another Republican Administration, and when Shapp won in 1970 the bastard quit as Director and became a Civil Servant in the same department. He actually went into hiding. No one saw or heard from him the next 8 years. It became a standard joke between Jack and myself. I would walk into the office and remark to Jack, “Guess who I saw today?” Jack would ask, “Who?” “Luke Toomey,” I answered. “Where?” “In the elevator.” Jim McHale, the Secretary of Ag, left office and never knew the sumbitch existed. Luke got 8 more years under Thornburg and retired after 30 years using his best three years, which averaged $50,000, and now lives on a farm with a huge mansion in Perry County. In 1988, the legislature passed and it was signed by the Governor, a bill that named a bridge after him in his home county. It spans the Little Buffalo creek and is named “The Luke Toomey Bridge.”

If you play your cards right, this could happen to you. Don’t give opinions. Don’t make any commitments to do anything. Don’t express strong beliefs. Don’t mess around. Don’t do any thing but sit in that damn office and when asked to make a foursome for golf, play,—but don’t bet. If a friend loses, he’ll start detesting you. Do all these things and one day they’ll the damn course in your honor. In the immortal words of Wasil Hrenshew, “I’ll tell your true.”


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