Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 21, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page B-4



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 21, 2012

HAIL Hamilton My Turn

STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


Patricia Colonello




Richard Garcia


Lina Johnson

Ivonne Durant


John Aveny 


Jeff Brown

Pat Birdsall

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Stuart Tolchin

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Hail Hamilton 

Rich Johnson

Chris Bertrand

Ron Carter

Rev. James Snyder

Bobby Eldridge

Mary Carney

La Quetta Shamblee

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Wellborn

Dr. John Talevich

Meaghan Allen

Sean Kayden



 The 3D version of the James Cameron’s 1997 
Academy Award Best Picture “Titanic” opened 
last Saturday at local theaters, marking with much Hollywood 
fanfare the 100th anniversary of the tragic loss of the Titanic and 
most of its passengers. Surprisingly, however, the Titanic is not the 
most catastrophic maritime disaster in history. In fact, based on the 
death toll, it only ranks as number 5. 

5. RMS Titanic

Date: April 14, 1912

Location: North Atlantic Ocean

Official death toll: 1517

The most famous wreck in history, and the most romanticized, the 
White Star Line’s flagship RMS Titanic was the largest passenger 
steamship in the world when launched from Belfast in 1912. On 
the night of 14 April that year, on her maiden voyage, she struck 
an iceberg and sank two hours and 40 minutes later, early in the 
morning of April 15. A final tally of 1,517 dead made it one of the 
worst ever maritime disasters, and one of the most notorious, in part 
because her owners had advertised the glamorous vessel as being 
“designed to be unsinkable”. The public fascination which followed 
the sinking continues to this day. 

4. Sultana

Date: April 27, 1865

Location: In the Mississippi River, near Memphis, Tennessee.

Official death toll: 1547

The loss, in April 1865, of the SS Sultana, a classic Mississippi 
steamboat, resulted from an on-board explosion about eight miles 
north of Memphis, Tennessee. Many of the 1,800 dead were former 
Civil War soldiers being returned home, but the event was somewhat 
overshadowed by the recent end of the American Civil War and 
shocking assassination of President Lincoln. Despite the resulting 
fire illuminating the sky for miles around, it received relatively little 
coverage outside the local area.

3. MV Joola

Date: September 26, 2002

Location: Off the coast of Gambia

Official death toll: 1863

The MV Joola, a Senegalese government-owned ferry designed to 
carry a maximum of 580 passengers had at least 2000 on board when 
it capsized in rough waters during a dangerous storm in late 2002. It 
was down in under five minutes, its passengers and luggage tossed 
into the sea.

2. SS Kiangya

Date: December 4, 1948

Location: the mouth of the Huangpu River, about 50 miles north of 

Estimated death toll: 2750-3920

The SS Kiangya, a passenger steamship packed with refugees from 
the Chinese Civil War fleeing the advancing communist parties, 
blew up and sank after hitting what most believe was a mine leftover 
by the Japanese Imperial Navy. Several hours passed before rescue 
boats arrived.

1. MV Doña Paz

Date: December 20, 1987

Location: Tablas Strait, Philippines

Official death toll: 1565

Most of the passengers aboard the MV Doña Paz were asleep when 
the ship collided with the MT Vector, an oil tanker carrying 8800 
barrels of gasoline and petroleum. The collision ignited a fire aboard 
the Vector that spread to the Doña Paz, leaving desperate passengers 
with no other choice but to jump into the the shark-infested waters 
and swim among the charred bodies. Estimates of casualties vary 
because of overloading and stowaways and could be as high as 4000, 
making this the deadliest peacetime shipping disaster, ever.

It has been more that a century since the Titanic sank to its icy grave 
in the Atlantic, taking over 1500 souls with her. Although the Titanic 
was not history’s deadliest shipwreck, the fascination with the “ship 
of dreams” which began long before her launch continues today. 
The Titanic left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness 
because, in a way, her demise symbolizes the brightest in human 
ingenuity and the darkest failure.

One thing though: We should make a clear distinction between 
Hollywood’s silver-screen portrayal of the Titanic and the actual 
disaster. Although the 1912 sinking of the Titanic was not history’s 
worst shipwreck, the 1997 movie “Titanic” remains Hollywood’s 
highest money-making motion picture of all time.


Well it certainly was a 
relief to get back to 
good old $4.35 gasoline. 
This morning my wife 
and I returned from a 
brief 4 day holiday in 
Maui. Before returning 
the rental car there we had to fill it up with 
gasoline and the price was well over $5.00 a 
gallon. We had talked about the price with 
some English travelers who were marveling 
at the low prices for gas in the islands. I 
gather that the price for gas in the U.K. is 
something over the equivalent of $8.00 per 
gallon. Yes, I know everything is relative as 
that was one of the first things I learned from 
our little holiday. 

 To explain a little bit, this short 
trip was a part of a time-share program 
that included an obligation to sit through 
a presentation obviously designed to make 
us spend more money. My wife and I had 
committed to a firm we ain’t buyin’ nothing’ 
policy but we failed. Who knows whether 
or not we got a good deal? We were spun 
around and around during the presentation. 
The experienced salespeople presented us 
with numbers and options and in the end 
we succumbed to some sort of deal wherein 
we agreed to pay more money for some 
future benefits. I had trouble staying in 
the present and my attitude kept changing. 
First, I felt that I had no business at this 
luxury resort at all. Next, I was sure that I 
am an easily manipulated fool who has no 
way of telling a good deal from a bad deal. 
Then I got a glimmer of an idea that the 
deal that was being suggested would make 
it possible for my wife and I to bring along 
our son and his girl-friend the next time we 
came. Now I felt better about myself. Yes 
I really am a good caring father rather than 
an old over-privileged potential sucker. 
. What’s the truth? There is no truth. 
I thought about the same sort of thing later 
that night. We had spent the day at this 
beautiful spot called big beach and I had 
gingerly approached the ocean and had got 
knocked down by the waves. I used to love 
this sort of thing and always enjoyed body-
surfing but this time I sort of had trouble 
getting to my feet and it disturbed me. Was 
I really getting that old? The prior day my 
wife and I had done a little snorkeling. We 
were in the water properly attired with 
fins and goggles and mask and sucking 
on a mouthpiece. All at once I realized I 
was just about standing on this giant turtle 
which was intent on making friends with 
me. I started screaming, “Irene, Irene” 
because I wanted my wife to swim over and 
see the turtle. Unfortunately my speech, 
I guess, was obscured by the mouthpiece 
and all my wife heard was unintelligible 
screaming. She thought I was suffering 
from sort of sudden leg cramp and needed 
to be rescued. Bam, she swam over and 
courageously grabbed me, knocking me 
back into the water and causing me to step 
on the giant turtle. Yuk, fortunately neither 
the turtle nor I were injured. I felt my wife 
was angry at me for unnecessarily scaring 
her and I was upset because she thought I 
was so fragile

 Nevertheless, when we returned to 
L.A, I was feeling pretty good filled with 
pleasant memories. Upon disembarkation 
(that’s an airport word) we called the 
shuttle and were driven directly to where 
we parked our car. How pleasant! I made 
use of the conveniently located bathroom 
and was feeling pretty good. As I returned 
to the counter my wife was already in 
conversation with the young man behind 
the desk. It turns out that he had made 
some deal at the very same place we haed 
stayed in Maui.

 In fact he had made a better deal 
than we had. He had access to a better room 
for a longer time at a cheaper price. He had 
located a cheap place to eat that served great 
food that was right near the hotel. That did 
it. Now I knew I was a sucker just as I had 
feared. Hey, maybe you’d like to purchase a 
time-share from us?

 All right, maybe I’m just kidding-
maybe; but e-mail me anyway if you have 
any reaction to this or any other of my 
articles. Me e-mail address is noeltrauts@ and I’d love to hear from you. 
Maybe though I’ll hate what you write 
and then I’ll regret the whole thing—but 
only for a while. Probably, when and if 
the gas prices go down my attitude about 
everything will shift again.

 One last question. Is it possible that 
our whole election system and our entire 
Democracy is dependent upon the fickle 
attitude changes of people like you and me? 

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Julius Henry Marx

 If you had to describe yourself based upon those people of note 
who inspired you, whom would you list?

 Julius Henry Marx is one of my great inspirations. You may 
remember him by his nickname, Groucho. How he came by his 
moniker, Groucho, is questionable. One is that it came from his 
disposition. The other possibility is that during their Vaudeville 
days, Julius aka Groucho was the keeper of the act’s “grouch 
bag” aka money purse. Groucho admitted that he never did 
understand how he got the name. Harpo was named due to his 
harp playing ability, and Chico (actually pronounced Chick-O) was named after his description as 
“chicken chaser” (girls) 

 Noted composer Irving Berlin once wrote of Groucho: “The world would not be in such a snarl, 
had Marx been Groucho instead of Karl.” His famous brothers (I’ll list them in order of age). First 
born was Chico aka Leonard; Harpo aka Adolph, then Arthur; Groucho aka Julius; Gummo aka 
Milton; and Zeppo aka Herbert. 

 Remember the major movies? I’ll tell you and also give you Groucho’s character’s name in each 
of those films: 

 The Cocoanuts (1929) (Mr. Hammer)

 Animal Crackers (1930) (Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding)

 Monkey Business (1931) (Groucho)

 Horse Feathers (1932) (Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff)

 Duck Soup (1933) (Rufus T. Firefly)

 A Night at the Opera (1935) (Otis B. Driftwood)

 A Day at the Races (1937) (Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush)

 Room Service (1938) (Gordon Miller)

 At the Circus (1939) (J. Cheever Loophole)

 Go West (1940) (S. Quentin Quale)

 The Big Store (1941) (Wolf J. Flywheel)

 A Night in Casablanca (1946) (Ronald Kornblow)

 Love Happy (1949) (Sam Grunion)

Now the good stuff. Famous quotes of Groucho’s

 “Before I speak, I have something important to say” (my favorite)

 “Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped”

 “I didn’t like the play, but then, I saw it under adverse conditions – the curtain was up”

 “I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members”

 “I have had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it”

 “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury”

 “I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty”

 “If I held you any closer I would be on the other side of you”

 “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others”

 “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

 “Why, I’d horse-whip you if I had a horse”

 “If you fall out of that window and break both your legs, don’t come running to me”

 “My brother thinks he’s a chicken – we don’t talk him out of it because we need the eggs”

 “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and 
applying the wrong remedies”

 I would just like to add that in addition to developing my sense of humor patterned after Groucho, 
I also had the humor help and the added bonus of music from John Lennon. Thanks guys for the 

RICH Johnson

OUT TO PASTOR A Weekly Religion Column 
by Rev. James Snyder


The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and 
me were locked in a hopeless Mexican standoff. 
She was effectively arguing her side of the 
issue and I was, well, let's say I was not agreeing. 
I will not say who won, just that it wasn't 

She then looked at me, put both hands on her hips and said, "Time 
will tell that I'm right."

I cannot wait. The problem is, time is never on my side. I simply do 
not know what it is about time, but it never does me any favors. Always, 
and I mean always, time proves my wife was right. I hate it.

I thought it was supposed to be "Father Time" we are dealing with. If it 
is, he certainly does not have the male side of the issue in good grips. 
Why does time always prove my wife right? Perhaps Mother Nature 
has so bullied Father Time that he always takes up the side of my wife.

The past week I have been thinking about this aspect of life; time. It 
seems that for the most part, we have put a lot of pressure upon time. 
For example, my wife keeps reminding me that time heals all wounds. 
If it was not for time I would have no wounds, I retorted.

I got in trouble just this past week because I was running out of time. 
I had to get across town for an appointment and believe me; time was 
not on my side. It would have been nice if I could just sit down with 
Father Time and negotiate a little bit. Would it be that hard for him 
to press the pause button and suspend time in order for me to catch 
up? Why is it so important that time keeps marching on? Why can’t 
it, at least on the weekends, just take a slow stroll down memory lane?

Often I look at my watch to determine if I have enough time to do a 
certain project. Time has become an austere taskmaster, refusing to 
give up one second.

Think with me a little bit. Wouldn't it be nice to have every week just 
one "do over" moment? How hard would that be? Father Time insists 
on perfection always. He does not allow for screw-ups, which is rather 
pressing for me. If I could just have one 15-minute period during the 
week that I could do over, I might be able to catch up a little.

He wants me to be "on time" every time. When it is 2:00 PM, it is only 
2:00 PM for one second, that is all. I believe there is an error here 
somewhere. If time is so valuable, why can't I enjoy 2:00 PM for say, 15 
minutes? But no, by the time I acknowledge that it is 2:00 PM Father 
Time is tapping his finger on his watch and saying, "Let's keep moving 
because time waits for no man."

At the very center of my life, and everybody else's as well, is the infamous 
clock representing time. And what a harsh, demanding element 
this invention has become. Who invented that clock in the first place? 
Why was it not good enough just to look at the sun and guess what 
time of day it was? If it was dark, it was time to go to sleep. If the sun 
was up and it was light outside, it was time to get up.

Oh, how I miss those good old days.

But no, Father Time tricked somebody into inventing 
a device that keeps time. Or, so Father Time convinced 
the unsuspecting inventor.

The joke is on us who wear watches. No watch I have 
ever owned has ever kept time. All it does is show me 
that time is passing and I am late for an appointment. 
Where is that inventor that can invent some mechanism 
or some technology that can actually keep time? 
I would be the first one to buy such a contraption.

 Why can't Bill Gates come out of retirement and do 
something useful for humanity and invent the technology 
that actually keeps time. I would settle for 
half-hour increments. I could live with that.

For many years now, time has not been on my side 
and neither has it been involved in the healing of any 
of my many wounds. Then never, contrary to what 
my wife says, has time ever told me anything. It just 
keeps on ticking while giving me a licking.

I am older, but certainly, I am not any wiser. And 
I blame Father Time. He has not given me enough 
time to learn everything that I need to know. Every 
day it seems I am always running out of time. And I 
cannot believe it is my fault.

Time marches on and I need to make the best of it 
as best I can.

The apostle Paul understood the urgency of this matter 
we call time. He writes in his epistle, "For he saith, 
I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day 
of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the 
accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 
Corinthians 6:2 KJV).

The only time we really have is now. I never have a 
"now" to do over so I need to make time my friend 
and not my enemy.

Mountain Views News

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