Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Where Are We Now?

 


Most “senior citizens” who populate various types of government-supported living facilities are beginning to spend a major part of their time contemplating on their future—however long that may be.

Eighty five years ago most of them were toddlers; Mahatma Gandhi was making his Salt March, and the Planet Pluto had just been discovered.

Most of them, your writer included, weren't aware that we were entering into what became known as “The Great Depression,” because the news focused more on Gangster Al Capone's going to prison for tax evasion, the completion of the Empire State Building, and on our National Anthem becoming an official reality.

In the following year that great blessing “air conditioning” was invented; but it took about a quarter century for it to become something we took for granted.

Scientists split the atom in 1932, and the Zippo lighter was invented. Most of us remember that item as an inseparable part of our wardrobe, and can remember the sound of Zippo lighters coming to life early in the morning as we were awakened in the barracks by the sound of Zippos being ground into life; followed moments later by intense coughing.

We were somewhat distracted then by the rantings of Adolph Hitler as he spewed forth his Utopian plans for Germany becoming a world power. It was not long before most of today's senior citizens became an integral part of a taxing effort to thwart Der Fuehrer's dream.

And in this same year the folly that gave new life to prohibition and gangsterism; “The Great Depression,” came to an end. Bottoms up.

Finally, in 1945, World War II came to an atomic halt, as the might of atomic power became a reality in two Japanese cities. But the cost in human life and human suffering was devastating.

The troops came home, the GI Bill put many of them through college and helped them to become home owners, and the “Good Times” began.

Then came Korea, followed by Vietnam, both of which we failed to win, the threat of Soviet invasion in Western Europe, and television. Not much to boast about.

And it also began to be apparent that those we were electing to serve us in Washington were more concerned with serving themselves.

Richard Nixon started it off with Watergate, followed by a succession of disastrous White House occupancies until Ronald Reagan taught us what a “Beacon on the Hill” meant; but that was short lived. Things began to worsen as we sank into the Obama years where we have now been introduced to our present foray into world events; a step that eventually gave us what columnist Charles Krauthammer has dubbed “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.

The President's cheering section, on the other hand, heralded it as a victory. From all indications the farce played out in July will become Obama's Vietnam. But the cost in human suffering could be horrendous.

But it won't be President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry who will pay the ultimate price of war; it will be innocent civilians going about their daily routines who will be gunned down, beheaded and murdered—this time in their own land—in their own homes.

As Dr, Krauthammer said recently: [President Obama] “has laid down his legacy and we will have to live with the consequences for decades.”

If President Obama and his minions think their recent actions will be an alternative to nuclear war, or an end to the arms race in the Middle East, they may have made an incalculable blunder.

The only alternative the American people can hope for is for our Congress to return to the President a “resolution of disapproval” and thwart this endeavor—if even that is possible.

The way events are unfolding now this is likely to become the worst debacle in our nation's history.

One would have hoped that, after all that they have endured, our senior citizens could have finished up their lifetimes in a more peaceful and serene setting.

Contemplate on that.

A MONTH FOR CELEBRATIONS

August is a definitely auspicious month for celebrations. If you've ever wondered why, when you use your knuckles to tell you which months have 31 days, it's because the Roman Senate decreed that it would be so.

Augustus was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar, and he was not without honor himself. Therefore, the Roman Senate decreed that he, too, should have 31 days in his month, And so it was to be.

Like the days in the month itself.

There are, at least, 31 special days set aside for celebration. We won't list them all, but the second day of August is worth consideration, it's “Friendship Day.” Also on that Sunday we celebrate international Forgiveness Day.

Forgiving this years may be a stretch.

The U. S. Coast Guard has its day on the 4th, and either the 14th or the 15th is set aside to celebrate VJ Day.

August 7 is Purple Heart Day, and unfortunately, the market is brisk for the awarding of this honored medal. But we'd prefer that this were not so.

Backing up a bit, left handers are honored on the 13th, and the 11th is “Presidential Joke Day.” It's best to leave that one without commentary.

We surely must not overlook the 21st, it's Senior Citizen's Day. And on the 26th, we celebrate Women's Equality Day.

Looking back, one of the reasons for the month being named in honor of Augustus was that it was the month in which an end was put to civil wars. Now wouldn't it be nice if we could not only end civil wars; but put and end to all wars?

THE EROSION OF TIME

Over the past dozen years or so your writer has made his home in a number of local independent living facilities and has frequently been inspired to levity by some of the situations observed in them. Here is a starter for our readers:

There chanced to be living at the facility two gentlemen who happened to comprise half of a quartet who had in their earlier days been high school chums, and who now, with their spouses, met for lunch each Friday afternoon, and who once each decade went out on the town for dinner and drinks.

By the time the group had reached their 40th anniversary they decided to get together for dinner. They met at one of the swankier restaurants in town, the Embers. Their wives knew one another to some degree and on their first gathering all seemed to hit it off well. At the conclusion of their gathering they agreed to meet together like this on occasion.

The time between occasions became greater with each year to the point that their next real date out on the town occurred at the golden anniversary of life. They talked it over on the phone and agreed to meet once again at the Embers since the food was good, the service prompt, and they offered a respectable beverage selection.

When it came time for their 60th anniversary dinner the Embers continued to be their restaurant of choice because the place was quiet and had gone smoke free.

Ten years later, when they began to make plans for their next reunion the Embers was once again their choice, mainly because it was wheelchair and walker accessible, and everything was on the ground floor.

By the time they reached their 80th anniversary both were widowers, and the Embers became their choice because none of them recalled ever having eaten there in the past.

 

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