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Road down Republican Ave. more of a bipartisan trip

October 30, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - For those living on Republican Avenue near Smithsburg, revealing their address turns listeners into instant comedians, Vikki Shank said.

Shank said that even though she has been subjected to plenty of needling since moving to the partisan-sounding address five years ago, she still finds the chatter somewhat amusing, especially during election season.

Shank, a registered independent who plans to vote for President Bush on Tuesday, said she has heard plenty of jokes about the address. She said she can't even get through a request or contest victory with local radio stations without some comment.

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"Whenever I call, the (disc jockey) says, 'I guess there's no Democrats on that road,'" Shank said.

Of eight residents polled along the rural road on Thursday, only two said they are registered as Republicans, while four said they are registered Democrats and two are Independents.

"We never really have been true to the name," said Anne Deckert, who has lived on the road for about three decades.

She, like others, said it almost never fails that saying the name of her street usually sparks some type of conversation or joke, especially as early November approaches.

Her husband Al Deckert, a registered Democrat, said their votes Tuesday won't be reflective of their address.

"I'm ex-military, and I tell you, this guy (President Bush) is off-center in more ways than one," he said.

Rick and Sandy Wolfinger are true to the Republican Avenue name and said they plan to support the president's re-election bid.

The Wolfingers are more than happy to tell people of their longtime party affiliation when asked about the address.

"I called for something in the mail the other day and the woman said, 'I hope you're true to the name,'" Rick Wolfinger said.

"People just think it's really funny when I tell them," Sandy Wolfinger said.

Kenneth Gutshall, unlike his neighbors, said he has not been subjected to much banter about his family's Republican Avenue proverbial headquarters. Gutshall speculated they do have one thing in common when it comes to politics this year - they just want the political season to come to an end.

"I think everyone is just tired of it," Gutshall said. "All three (television) stations were saying the same thing about it tonight, so I went downstairs and watched a movie."

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