Category Archives: Opinion

Memories of 4th of July Past

July Fourth brings back a time I worked for the Dallas Morning News on its editing desk. After five p.m., calls to the information center downstairs were rerouted to the editing desk. Why, I don’t know. We didn’t have the authority to reply to requests. We were on an assembly line of correcting typos and writing headlines fast so our readers would have their newspapers to skim as they ate breakfast.
One July Fourth night I got stuck with a call from a woman in tears.
“Why don’t children respect holidays anymore?”
“I don’t know, ma’am.” I kept reading for mistakes in an Associated Press story from Indonesia or some such distant location which had undergone a catastrophe.
“We always tried to make holidays special for them, but they didn’t appreciate it.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Nothing means anything to them anymore, except their silly fishing boats and always drinking that beer.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
My mind went back to a July Fourth long ago when I asked my mother if we could do something special for the holiday. My father was a Royal Crown Cola salesman and those grocery stores needed fresh supplies of soda pop whether it was a holiday or not. That meant the rest of us just sat home and ate hot dogs and watermelon. For entertainment my brothers lit firecrackers and threw them at me. I was only seven or eight so I screamed and ran. That’s why I was hoping this July Fourth we could do something different. If dad could take off a little early maybe we could go out to the local lake for a picnic and splashing in the water.
“We’ll have to ask your father,” she said.
“Yeah, sure, if I get done,” he said.
On July Fourth morning I was up early. I knew we couldn’t leave until dad came home, but I wanted to be ready when he did roll his truck in the yard and load us into the car for the lake. But he didn’t show up. Mom fixed the hot dogs for lunch, and we ate watermelon. In the afternoon, my brothers threw firecrackers at me and laughed when I screamed and ran.
Not only did dad not take off early, he worked extra late so he even missed supper. I didn’t say anything to mom because I didn’t want another lecture about how selfish a little boy I was for expecting dad to do anything except work hard. Here he slaved away to pay the bills and buy groceries and all I could think of was having fun.
“The children never show up for holidays,” the woman on the phone said through her tears.
“I wish I could do something to make you feel better.” I was only in my twenties. I didn’t know the right thing to say.
She sniffed. “Oh, that’s all right. Thank you for listening.”
After she hung up, I realized I was working on July Fourth, and my wife and baby boy were home alone. Some things never changed. No, I told myself. The difference was I wanted to be at home with them, and I promised myself to be there with them every holiday I could.
Then it was time to write another headline. After all, the newspaper had to come out on time.

Juneteenth and Why It Matters

So, how did you celebrate Juneteenth today? Neither did I, and that’s the problem.
To refresh your memory, June 19, 1865, was the day the Union military announced the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas, a really long time after President Abraham Lincoln issued it. One reason put forth for the delay was that the plantation owners wanted to get one more cotton picking season out of the slaves before they set them free. For the first few years, Juneteenth was only celebrated by freed slaves in Texas. Eventually black communities throughout the south observed the date.
I’ve participated in two Juneteenth celebrations since I’ve lived in Florida. When I was a child in Texas I only knew the date as a day my father, who drove a soft drink truck, sold a lot of Royal Crown Cola and Nehi fruit sodas. It was his biggest sales day, second only to the county fair.
A large black man organized both Florida events and asked me to help with the publicity. I wrote letters to business and community leaders asking them to sponsor the event for anything from $50 to $1,000. No takers, but my new friend was impressed by the effort I put into it. One problem we had was that he was dead set on having a four-day event with everything from carnival rides for the children to a living history freedom trail featuring historic artifacts from the slave period. When he was told that area carnival ride companies were all going out of town that week, he refused to take the rides off the program.
“If I have to, I’ll give them all piggy back rides around the park,” he said, refusing to change his plans.
Actually the opening program went very well. City and community officials showed up and made speeches. There was the horse cavalry group, based on the historical black cavalry unit during the Spanish-American war. Local churches sold barbecue, children sang and danced and a good time was had by all. By the last day, however, only a handful showed up to hear a very long presentation on the history of slavery in America.
A couple of years later my friend tried it again, but instead of a city park he had to hold it in the parking lot of a fraternal lodge. Many black residents who participated the first time did not want to bring their children to a place where beer was sold. I think there were more people on the stage than sitting in the chairs. June in Florida is very hot. The highlight of the day was a group of rappers from Orlando who were there to get exposure for their act.
A lot of the problems arose from my friend. He was bull-headed, and his social skills declined from there. It’s sad to want to lead the parade only to have everyone behind you go home early. But he was relentless in keeping the entire community aware of racial injustices in the town’s past, which is tough going when you’re talking to the descendants of the men who owned the slaves.
He was a little sloppy with details too. He tried to run for city council and had to provide a statement from his daughter that he lived in the city limits with her. He had her sign the document and took it to a friend who was a notary public. The man notarized the document even though he did not actually see the daughter sign it. The local authorities were ready to throw him in jail for it when he died of a heart attack. The last time I saw him I gave him copies of stories about the case from a bi-weekly newspaper I wrote for. My friend looked terrible but still determined to fight for his rights.
Now when Juneteenth rolled around I thought of the man who was not socially equipped to fight for the rights of black citizens, but he didn’t let that stop him. Maybe what we need next Juneteenth is a memorial for all who have died to create a society where everyone knows indeed they are equal. And white residents need to acknowledge that the struggle continues, and no one is truly free as long as just one black person marches in a civil rights parade.

The Dream

I have a lot of dreams.
This is mostly because I have Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep disorder. Put simply, I stay in the dream stage and never go into the deepest level of recuperative sleep. Sorry to bore you with my medical history, but it’s plot exposition, and I thought it best to get it out of the way up front.
One recent night I had this vision of a young boy in a tee shirt and blue jeans. He had a long angular face—soulful, sad. He seemed to be sitting on an L-shaped shadow. Then he spoke.
“Mom is worried about you.”
The pronouncement was so shocking I bolted awake and immediately tried to figure it out. My first thought was it was my interpretation of my son’s concern for my health. Before he leaves for work he reminds me where his work number is written down and tells me to be sure to call if I start to feel ill.
But how would he know if his mom was worried about me too? She died three years ago. And why would I see him as a child in my dream? He’s 45 years old. And he didn’t look anything like the dream boy when he was that age.
Then I remembered the framed photographs hanging in my childhood home. My picture was there, as well as my two brothers. The fourth photo was of the oldest brother who died six years before I was born. He was about seven years old. He wore a white shirt and bib overalls. As I thought more about it, his long face in the photograph did look very forlorn.
That meant when he said, “Mom is worried about you,” he was talking about our mother who died when I was fourteen years old.
The pieces were coming together for me. For traditional dream interpretation I am the one who is worried about myself, and I chose family members who had already passed to express my subconscious concerns.
For one who has an active imagination, however, I wonder if it weren’t a dream at all. Maybe it was an actual message from the other side saying I’ve got dead folks who are worried about me. It’s nice to know somebody up there cares.

Sex Education

There was no sex education in Texas schools in the 1950s, but we didn’t need it. We had animals, and we had eyes.
People didn’t neuter dogs and cats. And you know dogs have no shame. When they get in the mood they don’t care if it’s high noon in the front yard. They go ahead and do it. And they don’t care who’s looking. Can you imagine what parents back in the good old days were forced to come up with some sort of explanation when the kids asked, “Mommy, Daddy! What are the dogs doing?”
Cats, on the other hand, are more civilized when it comes to such matters of the feline heart. They have the good manners to go somewhere private. Now when it comes to the actual blessed event when the kittens tumble out into the world, the mother cat does it in the kitchen, under the porch, in front of God and country. After seeing kittens born a few times I was glad humans had the decency to go to hospitals.
By the time the freewheeling 1960s rolled around the schools felt obliged to have some sort of sex education presented in the Phys. Ed. classes, which were segregated by sexes. I remember the year we were marched into the school auditorium where the coach turned the presentation over to the school nurse, a gaunt old woman who you thought would not have any practical knowledge on the subject. She was able to turn something very fascinating into something as boring as dishwater.
Even the class smart aleck wasn’t able to faze her.
“What would happen if a dog and a cat did it?” he asked.
“Nothing,” she replied with a straight face. “Wrong genetics. Any other questions?”
Most people get upset about sex education in school because they’re afraid the teachers are going to talk about technique. Wouldn’t that be the most embarrassing six weeks ever in Phys. Ed.? And you know they’d have it in Phys. Ed. Biology class makes too much sense.
It makes me shudder to imagine a coach standing over us screaming, “No! No! Raise your elbow!”
And think of the other students standing around and watching. I got laughed at enough when I struck out in baseball.
My wife and I thought we’d come up with a good solution to sex education for our kids when we stumbled across this little book in a Barnes & Noble one time. It was written on a second or third grade level with simple illustrations. It started with chickens and ended with humans. When we gave it to our son he seemed to catch on pretty fast. Of course, he was 35 years old when we gave it to him. Not really. He was 25. No, honest, I think he was seven or eight.
Now our daughter definitely was more precocious. She took it to school the next day for show and tell. We had to transfer her to a private school and instructed her to leave her book at home. This created a new problem at the private church school because the students were even more naïve than the ones in public school. At recess the other little girls would tell our daughter that their parents ordered them out of the Sears catalog. With a straight face our child replied, “My parents had sex.”
So when it comes down to sex education I’ve decided it’s much better to have our children learn about the birds and bees from the gaunt old-maid school nurse than from other more worldly children—like my daughter. After all, better to have them think sex is not something exciting and forbidden but rather think it’s just another dry, boring subject taught at school.

The Southland Life

Luncheon meetings in the Southland Life dining room bored William Gatesworth Gordon III to distraction. Yet another corporation tried to convince Gordon and his fellow members of First Bank Corporation Board of Directors to invest millions in its latest project. The top floor of the tallest building in Dallas did not impress him one bit. After all, it was 1975, and everything impressive had already been built years ago.
This food was not going to impress him. The strawberries were not any plumper or fresher than the fruits served by his own kitchen staff at his estate on White Rock Lake in Highland Park, which at one time was considered the most exclusive neighborhood in Dallas. Then that peasant oilman H.L. Hunt built his gaudy replica of Mount Vernon and brought housing values down.
The giant shrimp cocktail was tough and not quite the right shade of pink.
Now, on top of everything else, he was seated next to this gawky young man with an ill-fitting suit coat that did not match his trousers. One could only hope he would have the good manners not to engage him in conversation. No such luck. Before he could take another bite Gordon found a pale scrawny hand stuck in his face.
“I’m filling in today for Al Altwig, business editor of the Dallas Morning News. He was called away at the last minute. He left me his coat to wear which, I’m afraid, is a bit too large for me.”
After a brief handshake which Gordon used as an excuse to push the young man’s arm out of his food, the banker returned his attention to his shrimp and strawberries.
“I’m afraid I’m not fully aware of the details of the Georgia Pacific proposal to First Bank. I was only told about the meeting about thirty minutes ago.”
“They want our money. That’s about the extent of it.” Gordon sipped his Bloody Mary and found it inadequate. He looked around for the waiter who was attending to another suited gentleman two tables away. “Excuse me. Could you get me a fresher stalk of celery?”
“All I know is that it’s for a project centered in a small town in northern Georgia,” the young man added nervously. “It would create a lot of jobs, which would be a good thing, don’t you think?”
Gordon grimaced as he took another sip of his cocktail, thinking a new stalk of celery would not help the taste of his drink. “I think people should be responsible for finding their own jobs. No one ever handed me a job. I had to work for it. Business administration master’s degree from Southern Methodist University. Internship at First Bank and then vice-president.”
“That’s very impressive. Your parents must be very proud.”
“Of course they are.”
“Their investment in your education paid off well.”
“Of course it did.”
“And they provided you with the best pediatric care as a child. You attended the best schools and were always assured that your best efforts would always be rewarded generously.”
Gordon slowly turned his head to stare at the impertinent young newsman. “And what exactly are your duties at the Dallas Morning News?”
“I open the mail addressed to the business news page, edit stories and write headlines.”
“And they allowed you to attend this very important function?” Gordon raised his left eyebrow.
“As I told you, it was an emergency.”
“Hmph, I didn’t realize the Dallas News was employing socialists now.”

And Just When I Thought All the Scars Had Healed

The other day the telephone rang. I didn’t recognize the number so I figured it was someone else trying to sell me something I didn’t need.
“Is Janet Cowling there?” a woman’s voice asked.
This is one of those button pushing questions that sends me through the roof because my wife Janet died three years ago.
“My wife died three years ago! Why don’t you people go to the trouble of updating your call lists? Have you no shame? Have you no decency? What are you trying to sell me anyway?”
The woman’s voice became tiny. “I’m not trying to sell anything. I worked with Janet in the probation office in Belton, Texas, thirty years. I was her secretary. I was just thinking about her recently and wanted to talk to her.”
All of a sudden I was reduced to the size of a piss ant. No, piss ants towered over me.
“Oh my goodness,” I gushed. “I’m so sorry. It’s just I get these calls asking for her and that make me angry.”
“I get those too and I get angry too.” She was being very nice to me, and I felt like a heel. “It hurts me to hear that she is gone.”
“She had breast cancer,” I explained. “She went through chemotherapy, double mastectomy and radiation treatments. She had about two weeks she felt well enough to drive herself to go Christmas shopping. She came hope and wrapped presents. She kept saying, ‘This is so much fun. This is so much fun.’ The next morning she awoke with a blinding headache and dizziness. She couldn’t even stand up. I took her to the doctor and found the cancer had metastasized to her brain. She died three weeks later.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. She was so sweet to everybody. Another girl in the office, Lorena, had asked about her too.”
As a side note, Janet always thought Lorena hated her because she gave her so many probation reports to type.
“I remember one time we had lunch at our desks,” the woman continued, “and we decided to go down to the candy machine and get a chocolate bar. It was so good we decided to get two more. We ended up eating a total of six chocolate bars!”
That sounded just like my Janet. Even though she was an officer she never had any pretense of adhering to some unwritten rule that officers couldn’t be friends with the secretaries. And she loved her chocolate bars.
“I thought it was awful the way some people treated her,” the woman continued. “But she never got upset.”
This was true also. There was a lot of office politics over who would get the next promotion. Janet had the best skills so she became the butt of jokes to make her look worse. Sure, she would be disappointed but she never let it get her down nor did she take it out on anyone.
Of course, I felt a need to apologize again. She was very gracious. After she hung up, I realized why my temper had such a short fuse that day. Recently, my 18-year-old Chihuahua Tootz died. She was the last pet Janet and I had. Each evening when Janet came home from work Tootz would sleep on her lap. We brought her to bed with us, and she always snuggled up next to Janet.
Tootz’ death was just one more connection to my wife of 44 years that was gone. Grieving came back for a short visit. My main weapon fighting the mourning process is to remember there can be no grieving without great, deep longstanding love and joy. And I would not give up one moment of love and joy to avoid the grief.

It Was The World Back Then

Recently I was going through some old files and found this nostalgia piece I wrote in the early 1970s, about 50 years:

It was the world back then. A garden to be tilled, a home for rabbits and chickens and dogs. Oh yes, cats too.
That backyard was long and wider than I had the breath to run past. But, of course, I was always a puny kid.
Half of it for many years was a garden—corn in the back, then okra, many rows of potatoes and tomatoes, then radishes, cabbage and onions. Sometimes a few petunias if my mother was in the mood. They made adequate trumpets, I recall.
To keep the garden alive during those scorching, drought-tinged Texas summers of the mid-fifties, my father and mother put the garden house at the end of a row and let it run.
Much to their chagrin, I often decided to dam up the works and create a lake, with branches seeping from one row to another. This also provided plenty of mud for various products like mud pies. It also substituted for blood for my re-enactment of the Saturday war movie.
Then the hose was turned on me before I was allowed in the house.
But the garden isn’t there anymore. Not since my mother died.
The other half of the yard was for play—with my dogs. I always had a couple; then when one was run over and killed—which seemed altogether too common an occurrence—I still had one.
They would chase me, nipping at my heels, until I would fall down and cover my head. They would lick at my neck and I would squeal with delight.
I learned the facts of life from the cats. Kittens were as common as the rain wasn’t in those days. I can think of no better education than the excitement of gingerly crawling under the house, softly calling out the mother cat’s name and have her return with a pleasant meow. As I crawled closer, she would proudly roll over to show me her babies, their eyes still closed. If I dared pick them up too much they would not be there the next day. The mother would move them.
My father built a hutch in the back and tried raising rabbits once. But that was a futile venture because he wanted to eat them, and I wanted them as pets. Bantam chickens were safer, we both agreed only to eat the eggs. One day, however, I came home to find dead chickens over all the yard. One of the dogs acted sheepishly. I cried and then decided to grant amnesty. The law of the backyard was based on mercy.
And the playhouse. I could never forget that. It began as one small room with tin Royal Crown Cola signs for sides and roof. That didn’t seem large enough so I added another room and a wooden roof and a second floor.
To celebrate the expansion I invited a friend over to spend the night in the house with my brother and me. We watched “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and drank a concoction of mine made of Nehi orange, grape and strawberry and Upper Teen.
Then we ventured out for the night. The sky was clear and the moon full. It was joyous. We danced and frolicked in our underwear at midnight. My friend’s shorts had monkeys on them. I teased him, but secretly I was envious.
Somehow two rooms and a second floor didn’t seem enough. I doubled the bottom, had more lumber for roofing and even had a perch on top of the second floor.
A few years later my interest waned, and my father wanted me to tear it down, but I didn’t have the heart. He relented and tore it down himself. At one point he pushed apart two main posts and bore a strange resemblance to Sampson, I thought.
Now I come home occasionally and the yard has changed. As I said, there is no garden. It is now an expanse of grass. I only vaguely spot where the rabbit hutch and the wonderful playhouse sat.
The only things that are the same are the honeysuckle vines and mimosa trees I planted for my mother many years ago. The trees are quite stout now.
It makes me feel old.
The smell of the honeysuckle is still sweet and brings back the memories, though. I have honeysuckle growing outside the door of the home I share with my wife and son. It makes me feel good.
I want a large yard for my son to have adventures in, to learn responsibility in, a nice place to grow up.
But this yard, for all the world events that transpired within its reaches, seems so small now.

Fifty years later, I have to admit the yard was not always that wonderful. In fact, some memories are best kept where they belong—in the past. And as for the yard seeming so small, to this old man the world has grown much too large.

My First Flight

Companies don’t do this anymore, but a Tennessee newspaper flew me up from Texas for a job interview in 1970. The job only paid $135 a week. At the time I was making $125 a week at the Paris News. This was the first time I ever flew on an airliner.
A buddy in college had taken me up in a Piper Cub one time. We flew around the campus and to the next town. At one point he handed the steering column over to me. It was kinda neat and not too scary. As long as I could see the cows in the fields below me I knew I wasn’t really that high up.
I had to work until midnight Saturday, had Sunday off and then worked Monday morning then had the afternoon off. I asked to switch it to Monday afternoon without explanation, and my boss was nice enough not to ask any questions.
Sunday morning I drove out to tiny Paris airfield, climbed the steps to a commuter plane that didn’t look much bigger than the Piper Cub and took off, following the highways, to Dallas Love Field. I got a slightly larger plane and connected to Nashville then to Tri-Cities Airport located between Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City, Tennessee.
The managing editor picked me up and drove me to the newspaper office. It was a second story rat hole, but he said a new, ultramodern building was under construction.
Then he mentioned my letter to him in which I revealed I had never flown commercially so I didn’t know if the plane ticket was in the right price range. Instead of being impressed with my concern to save the newspaper money, he lectured me on being too honest about my naiveté.
“Never let anyone know how inexperienced I was in the ways of the world,” he said. “If anyone asks you if you’ve traveled much, lie,” he continued, “and say you’ve been around the globe.”
It should have been a warning sign that the man who was about to hire me to report the facts was urging me to lie. But what did I know? I was just a country kid from Texas.
He awed me with a dinner at the Holiday Inn and then sent me back to my motel. It was clean and had a television in it. Like I said I was just a country kid from Texas and easily impressed.
I flew out Monday morning. At one of the airports a flight attendant stopped me at the plane’s door, informing me I had not gotten the proper boarding pass. The engines were revving up and I didn’t have time to return to the terminal. I wasn’t going to make it back to the Paris News by one o’clock so I’d lose my job. The Kingsport paper would decide not to hire me because I was too naïve, and then I would be unemployed.
Another flight attendant walked up and said, “What difference does it make? Let him on.”
So I took my seat on the plane and arrived back at the Texas newspaper on time. In a couple of weeks the Kingsport editor called announcing I had the job. He then asked how soon could I be there.
First time to do things is fun. You get an adrenaline rush. You get challenged over the way you think about the world. You get scared to death. You sigh with relief and tell yourself, “Well, I lived through that.”
I still look forward to doing things for the first time. I need the excitement to keep my heart pumping.

The Trouble with Computers

I am the first to admit I am computer illiterate. I can point and click. I can use it like a typewriter and save simple documents, but that’s just about it.
I got my first computer more than 20 years ago. I could only see half of the page at a time which made it very inconvenient when composing a story, letter or a play. My short term memory has always been a bit chancy so at the beginning I back spaced a lot to see how I had started the sentence. Then there was the printer. It worked on some heat process which I never understood. I had to punch three keys—I don’t remember which ones—to send command to print. I could never get my fingers to hit them in the right cadence, like playing the piano, which I could never do either.
My next computer was easier to use and the printer was cooperative. I had to buy several different programs which were very expensive to make it worthwhile, and each one had its own peculiar way of working.
Then came the internet. I was first aware of the internet through these commercials of a little girl in a woolen coat and a beret of a matching color. She was standing on a rock in the middle of a stream and then instantly was on another rock and then another. She was talking about being here, there and everywhere all at the same time. It didn’t make much sense. But that is what the internet is, after all, being here, there and everywhere all at the same time.
The first time I connected to the internet I thought I had done something dreadfully wrong and the computer was about to explode—that awful screeching noise of dial up. I could imagine someone instantly popping the power button off before the contraption burst. There were certain evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, when I couldn’t get a connection. Everyone, it seemed, didn’t have anything better to do on those nights than go online. Downloading sites took forever.
Now I’m spoiled. Instant connection and downloading and it’s fast. Where I used to have to go to libraries, order books from catalogues and go on field trips to learn background for my stories I now have access to every university library, every museum and every national historic site in the world. Of course, I had to learn some sites weren’t what they were cracked up to be. For instance, Flash Mountain is not the same as Splash Mountain at DisneyWorld.
My only fear now about computers and the internet is that all our knowledge is on line. On the one hand it’s very convenient, at least for those who have computers. We must realize we do live in a world where some people still can’t afford computers. That’s a perception gap that must be closed.
The real problem, however, is that all our knowledge is on computers, computers that are run by electricity. If, for whatever cataclysmic reason, the world loses its electrical power, there goes our knowledge. It’s in a computer that’s now an inert box. We are in a new Dark Ages.
One day, when we are gone and our cities are covered in vines, someone will find these little boxes and maybe figure out how to start them again. They will find the discs with a set amount of gigabytes of information on them. Perhaps they will decide that we were predicting the end of the world because the boxes held only a certain number of gigabytes.

Inoculations Against Fears

All of this debate about childhood inoculations recently brings back memories from about 55 years ago. If there was a shot available I got it. My eldest brother had died of who knows what six years before I was born, so my mother wasn’t taking any chances.
Back then we even got shots at school for polio. They lined us up in the cafeteria and stuck all of us with the same old dull needle, but it was all right because we got ice cream afterwards. Some years later Dr. Sabin came out with polio vaccine on a sugar cube. This time they just said anyone who wanted it could get it for free at the local community center. Yep, I took that one too.
Nobody got more disturbed about small children catching a disease that could kill them than me. I don’t like to watch the 1940s movie Little Women because Margaret O’Brian dies after visiting a sick friend. This latest round of debate has me totally confused. One group will swear that children who got measles inoculations ended up dying or developing something terrible like autism. The other side swears that inoculated children caught the measles from uninoculated kids. That’s a lot of swearing going around, and it makes me nervous because I can’t decide which side is right. Maybe they’re both wrong or both right.
I have a sneaking suspicion that all the preservatives and chemicals our children ingest everyday might have an adverse reaction to all those serums and antibiotics doctors prescribe. My paranoid side whispers to me that corporations which buy elections for our representatives control what government eventually will decide which side is right. There’s a lot of money riding on that decision. Don’t pay any attention to me. I’m just a guy who likes to go out on the street and tell stories to anybody who stops to listen.
I do have to chuckle a bit that we Americans were all in a dither every month or so about a disease that is killing everyone. Well, it usually doesn’t, and we have to look for a new disease to worry about. Be patient. By this time next month we’ll be biting our fingernails over another disease which we absolutely have no idea how to control.
Perhaps that is the real issue here. We do have the ability to address issues like poisoning our water supply, proper labelling for our factory processed food, and proper preventive health care for all our children, no matter what their parents have done to provide for them. Let’s stop the war between religion and science. It doesn’t get us anywhere.
Maybe we could follow the example of Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower who started free lunches for our poorest children. He discovered that many of the young men enlisting to fight in World War II were malnourished. He instigated the interstate highway system to provide easy and fast routes for the transfer of the properly nourished soldiers. Incidental to his initial reason for better highways was the boon to the transportation of goods around the country. By the way, Eisenhower oversaw the desegregation of schools and was the reason all of us kids got stuck by those dull needles.
Perhaps it’s too scary to discuss projects for the greater good of all citizens which eventually enhance the quality of the United States as a whole. It’s easier to worry about the disease of the month.