By Tom Quiner

It’s been intense these recent weeks as politicking reach a fever pitch. I think it’s time to decompress for a few minutes with a little political humor.

I received the story below from a Quiner’s Diner reader. I think it’s made the rounds over the years. I don’t know who wrote it. But it certainly tickled my funny bone. Hope you enjoy it.

The Birth of Political Spin


Judy Wallman, a professional genealogy researcher in southern
California, was doing some personal work on her own family tree.

She discovered that Congressman Harry Reid’s great-great uncle,
Remus Reid, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery
in Montana in 1889. Both Judy and Harry Reid share this common
ancestor.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the
gallows in Montana territory:

On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription:

‘Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.’

So Judy recently e-mailed Congressman Harry Reid for information about their great-great uncle, Harry Reid:

Harry Reid’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch for her genealogy research:

“Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

[For the record, I checked this out at Snopes.com and none of it is true. It’s still awfully funny!]

No Comments

  1. Monte Gray on November 4, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Is that what you call “gallows” humor?

  2. quinersdiner on November 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I love it!

  3. Rhonda Phillips on November 6, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Snopes, I have learned, is actually a liberal leaning husband and wife team who do their ‘research’ from their kitchen table. I don’t go there for fact finding any longer. So, the Reid spin could be true!

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