On May 18, 2021, I attended the Camden County MO Republican Club meeting. I figured I’d check it out and see what went on at these events. I RSVP’d and felt like it might be an interesting experience. Mrs. Dogwood (Monica) was skeptical because I’d already been at the Camden County Commissioner’s meeting that same morning and her strategy to get “retired me” out of the house by keeping me busy was apparently starting to backfire on her.
I got off to a rough start when I stopped at Patriots Bank and the drive-thru ATM at Patriots Bank froze on the “Withdraw how much from your checking?” screen with my ATM card locked in its grip. I had to get out of my truck and alternated pressing the Cancel button, swearing at the machine, trying to press $60 dozens of times, and attempting to pull my card from its clutches. I’m sure all of this video provided a lot of entertainment for the Patriots Bank day shift. Eventually, I drove away and left my ATM card to its fate, glancing one last time at the screen with its last line reading, “$300 from Checking?”
Luckily, USAA is efficient and a quick call cancelled the card while I drove to the meeting.
Dave breathes and calms himself.
So, what is the Camden County Republican meeting like? As I approached the front door, a Hipster Guy (foreshadowing) held the door open for me. I felt a tingle through my spine. The club reserves a private room with a bar and the crowd was very friendly and welcoming. I met Dan Ousley there and made him buy me a beer that he owed me. I grabbed an upper table in the back and sat down and enjoyed a Bud Light. There was a nice range of ages in the crowd.
One might come into an event like this and assume that it would be an older group but there was a good mix of folks. I had met Neal Gist earlier that day at the Commission Meeting and he brought his wife and baby girl to the meeting so he came by and introduced them to me. I met Jim Pasley and I loved running into him because I am a huge military history nut.
Presiding Commissioner Hasty sat down at my table and we talked for around 10 minutes. I’m a firm believer that we should be able to talk with our elected officials. It was a good conversation with a lot of back and forth and I explained to him the issues I had with Gravelgate.
The event has a dinner/cocktail hour from 6:00 to 7:00. The crowd had what I consider to be a typical Missouri laissez faire attitude to drinking (approved by me!!!) and by the time the guest speaker was ready to go on at 7:00 p.m., the crowd was appropriately loose.
Which was a good thing because the guest speaker, Herb Brownell, had quite a show planned. He dressed up in an outfit covered with Marxist/Che/Communist logos and roleplayed as if he was Bill Ayres. He would then tell the crowd what his various strategies and schemes were to take over our country. The crowd could then ask him questions and he would have to defend his (Ayres) positions. I think the performance did okay, but the participation was lukewarm. He was yelling a lot and I feel like a lot of us aren’t really up for being yelled at for an extended period of time.
There was a stroke of irony for me when Brownell (Ayres) said that our government would be subverted and the government would use its enforcement apparatus to silence us; the crowd seemed to be surprised that law enforcement or the military might silence citizens.At that exact moment, I was sitting at a table with my friend, Nathan Rinne.
Nathan has been banned from all county property by the Presiding Commissioner. He has been banned from all Camden County property for no articulated crime. When Nathan later entered the Camden County courthouse to vote, someone within the law enforcement community of Camden County secretly wrote and served a search warrant on Nathan’s Facebook account and then sealed it so no one can see it. Rumor has it that no judge in Camden County would sign that search warrant.
But the crazy thing is that the Presiding Commissioner who banned Nathan from all Camden County Property, Greg Hasty, had been sitting in Nathan’s seat talking to me at this event 20 minutes before. They were in the same venue for 2 hours. They were never more that 50 ft apart from each other at any time. Yet Nathan was banned from all county property.
After Herb Brownell’s presentation, there were discussions about the upcoming Guinness Book Record parade and how participants couldn’t have Trump flags or logos on their boats. Boring.The bright spot for me was Lisa Thomas who came to talk about the latest legislative results from the Missouri session. She did a great job and even though people weren’t happy about what she had to say, she had the guts to show up and talk to the crowd even about about results that she did or didn’t agree with.
At this point, I went to the bathroom because I had a few light beers. I came out, fresh as a cucumber, and put a dip in to get ready for my ride home. I figured I’d have a glass of water, a dip, and thank Lisa Thomas because I really respected the way she stood up there and met with her constituents.
Suddenly, I was standing on the upper area, my old police senses tingled, and I noticed a Hipster Guy who was really angry and talking about some incident with the Treasurer of the Republican Club.
For the entire time Hipster Guy was arguing, I was just waiting to talk to Lisa Thomas. Lisa Thomas was tied up for quite a while with an older couple who wanted to talk to her and I was basically just standing there waiting for them to finish. Standing next to the Hipster Guy. I have to confess that Monica (Mrs. Dogwood) has always told me that I would make the worst secret agent. If I am listening in on a conversation, I have a tendency to stare directly at the involved parties like a slack-jawed yokel. Even my breathing seems to get louder.
Apparently, this triggered Hipster Guy.
Sidenote: I did not know that Hipster Guy had already been involved in a confrontation with Nathan while I was happily dreaming about 2022 in the bathroom. So now Hipster Guy gets pissed at me. Once most of you meet me, you’ll know that I’m an aggressively friendly person. Hipster Guy asked me “WhoTF” I was and I strode right up and shook his hand and told him, “I’m Dave Maupin and I write about the Camden County Commissioner’s Meetings”.
After my entire work history and all the 30 years of military and law enforcement service I put in risking my life for others, that’s what I said.
That’s all I said about me.
I wish someone could have been there to see it.
Hipster Guy threw my hand down from the handshake and accused me of not being conservative enough and said we were basically diluting the Republican cause by causing trouble. I described my work history but I didn’t have a resume shoved into my underwear so I had to assume he was Captain America.
The guy was super aggressive and we actually, literally got into an argument over who was being more aggressive. I think I won the argument by just using bigger words. I usually name public figures but I won’t name Hipster Guy because I believe in people making mistakes and just being human. Just apologize for your dumb behavior. I have a policy of not naming private people in my articles.
When he left, I could have sworn I heard Hipster Guy whisper under his breath, “Thank you for your service.”