Former Governor Mitch Daniels, now President of Purdue University, is never at a loss for words. And he loves to sprinkle in a bit of humor too.
During the groundbreaking ceremony for the Purdue Animal Sciences complex recently, he followed Eddie Creighton. The Creighton Brothers Company is one of the key sponsors of the new project, donating $5 million for naming rights to one of the two buildings to honor their founders.
Eddie related the story, true or not, that the venerable V.C. Freeman, former dean of Purdue Agriculture, had chided him personally for getting not-so-hot grades one semester, and told him to shape up.
Daniels picked up the line and related how glad he was Eddie improved his grades and graduated, so this groundbreaking could happen. Then he shared this story.
"It reminds me of a young man who spent more time messing around than he should have during his first semester at college," Daniels chuckled. "He wound up with 4 Fs and a D. I knew his dad was a hard man, and I couldn't wait to see what he said.
"His dad just looked at him and said, 'Son, I think you spend too much time on one subject!'
Speed limit snafu
I'm not sure I can top that one, Mitch, but a friend at church tells this story. Three elderly ladies were creeping along a county road in northern Indiana. A policeman clocked them at 22 miles per hour and pulled them over.
"Why in the world are you driving so slow, ma'am?' he asked. "You're driving so slow that you are dangerous out here."
The elderly lady looked perplexed, then pointed to a sign just ahead. "See, it says 22, so I'm going 22 miles per hour," she explained to the dumbfounded officer.
It was a sign for "County Road 22."
That's about when the officer happened to glance in the back seat and notice her two passengers were still shaking and white as ghosts. Now he was really bumfuzzled – going 22 miles per hour surely didn't scare them that much.
About then one of the ladies in the back seat blurted out, "Officer, we just came off I-94!"
Once in a while you have to let the serious stuff sit, and just laugh for a moment or two. It makes the rest of the day go smoother.