Follow-up: Dave Van Pelt's memorial service was held today in Chicago. Along with my tribute, another old friend named Chris Madsen read one of Dave's collection of "Comrade Stalin" jokes, which use to annoy the Marxists so much. I'll quote a couple of them here, just to add to Dave's legend.
One day Comrade Stalin was touring the collective farm at Nowheresgrad, and eventually he made his way into the kitchen. There he saw a young proletarian lad stirring an enormous kettle of borscht with a teaspoon.
"Ho, young proletarian lad," said Comrade Stalin, "One might as well stir the soup with one's pecker as with that tiny spoon."
"Ho, ho, Comrade Stalin," said the young proletarian lad. "With a pecker of your size, one would do well to pick the lock on the supply closet and get a real soup-ladle."
"Ho, ho, ho," said Comrade Stalin, never one to fail to appreciate the broad earthy humor of the Russian peasant masses, "Have this one shot."
One day Comrade Stalin was inspecting the People's Theatre in Dedboringsgrad, when he came upon a man holding the leash of a scruffy dog. "Why is a dog allowed in the theatre?" asked Comrade Stalin.
"This is no ordinary dog," the man hastened to reply. "He can talk as well as you or I."
"Is that so?" said Comrade Stalin, and he bent down to look the dog in the eye. "So, good proletarian dog," he said, "Is it true that you can speak?"
"I can indeed, Comrade Stalin," said the dog, scratching its ear.
"Astonishing! And what do you think of our Glorious People's Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?" asked Comrade Stalin.
"Frankly, Comrade Stalin," said the dog, "I wish it were all gathered into one telephone pole so that I could lift my leg and piss on it."
"Ho, ho, ho," said Comrade Stalin, never one to fail to appreciate the broad earthy humor of the Russian peasant masses. "Have this one made into a dog borscht."
Yes, they all ended with pretty much the same punchline. My buddy Chris is collecting them all, along with the other tributes given at the memorial service, to make into a booklet. Whether or not the Railway Brotherhood remembers Dave, we'll make sure that the I.W.W. does.