Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 23, 2019 

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Why should we continue this useless relic from the past?


Let’s return to Standard Time All Year!


Our lawmakers, in their infinite wisdom, continue to tinker with time. Manipulate the clocks and we can 
trick the people into saving energy. And twice a year, Sierra Madre residents are all subject to the changes 
and inconveniences that occur as a result of the springing forward or falling back. We have to quickly adjust. 
It is part of our annual ritual, our relic from the past, where we go back to standard time from daylight 
savings time. And now we are expected to extend this “better” time a few more weeks.


But are there real and tangible benefits from doing this? Must we continue to do so?


Daylight savings time is a manipulation of the basic solar time within each time zone’s standard. It was said 
to be an idea of Benjamin Franklin, and was begun in the United States during world wars one and two, and 
eventually became “official” in all but two states. That right! At least two states have said “No, thanks, we’ll 
stick to standard time.”


Indeed, daylight savings time is like a quaint tradition of a bygone era that refuses to die. It is a pointless 
habit with little recognizable merit. Michael Downing, author of “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of 
Daylight Savings Time,” demonstrates that the clock-change saves energy in theory only, but not in practice.


David Letterman once asked the question to his audience during his monologue: “Why do we practice daylight 
savings time? It’s so the farmers have more light,” he laughed, answering his own question. “But how 
does that give the plants more light?” That’s a Letterman joke for you, but there is a truth hidden under his 
humor. Most people queried on the street don’t know why we have daylight savings time, and fewer still 
experience any tangible benefits from it.


There are two often-cited reasons for the use of daylight savings time. One is so that the children can have 
more light going to school in the morning. But consider: the children have an hour more of morning light 
in late October, when the clock is set back (“fall back”) to standard time. That is, it is the very use of daylight 
savings time which creates a darker morning as the days get shorter and shorter. The “falling back” an hour 
merely puts us back in sync with the local time zone. It is the use of daylight savings time that created the 
problem of less light in the morning, and only in that sense can you say that the “falling back” to regular 
time gives children that extra hour of light. In other words, this is a problem caused by daylight savings 
time. This is not a bonafide benefit from daylight savings time.


My grandfather, and all my uncles on my mother’s side were farmers. I have some knowledge of the schedule 
of farmers. There is not one that I know who does not arise at the crack of dawn, if not sooner. There 
is no other way to function as a farmer. You then proceed to work as long as needed, and as long as you are 
able, daylight savings time or standard time. The manipulation of clocks in no way affected how much work 
they got done, or not done. 


I have talked to many people about daylight savings time. Some like it, some do not. Some are annoyed by 
it, some find the long afternoons of summer very enjoyable. Everyone has arrived late (or early) on the first 
Sunday (even Monday in some cases) after the changing of the clocks. Daylight savings time thus gives millions 
of people a quasi-valid excuse for lateness at least once a year.


Let’s end daylight savings time entirely and adopt a year-round standard time.


Those who wish to start school or go to work earlier can do so! Such voluntary time alterations are fine if 
those individuals and businesses choose to do so. It may even make the freeways less crowded at rush hours. 
But keep the standard time year-round.


Yes, this is a small thing in the context of a world at war, with hate and suspicion in all political camps, and 
endless economic hardships all over the world. In that big-picture sense, this is just a little issue. But this is 
still an issue that should be resolved, and dealt with.


Since daylight savings time is a state-by-state decision, we can begin with California. Write to Governor 
Brown and ask him to implement year-round standard time. You can write to Brown at Office of the Governor, 
State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, or phone at 916) 445-2841, or on-line at 
(if you live in another state, write to your governor if you agree).


Take a poll of your friends and acquaintances before you write to the Governor. See if you can find anyone 
who derives tangible benefits from daylight savings time. Secondly, there is always the initiative process 
where a Proposition can be put on the ballot to be voted on by the people. This is a process that would take 
an organized effort and cost at least a million dollars, and probably more. 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


My grandfather had a favorite saying that went something like this, “A frown is just a 
smile upside down.” Nobody could smile quite like my grandfather. He never waited 
for any reason to smile, he just smiled.

In fact, thinking about it today, I do not ever remember seeing my grandfather frown. I am sure he did, because 
we all do. However, it was not a major part of his life.

Whenever the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sends me to the grocery store, I usually notice most people 
have an upside down smile. Some of them look like they have worked very hard to get it. Me, I walk around 

Occasionally I will have to do something to make somebody smile. It gets under my skin when I see somebody 
not smiling and I start itching. I know I have to do something to change that situa-tion.

I notice when walking around smiling and looking at people right in their eyes, I usually get a smile in return. 
Then I will smile at the people smiling back at me who do not have any understanding of why they are smiling. 
They are smiling because a smile is contagious and they don’t know it.

Recently my wife was worried about something; I forget what it was now. She was thinking and thinking and 
I could see she was trying to solve some kind of a problem. She is a great problem solver. I, on the other hand, 
only know how to create problems.

Her demeanor was rather down, her face had one of those upside down smiles and I knew she was working 
on something rather serious. I had two choices. Either, I go along with her upside down smile or I turn things 
around and get the smile going. The only way to do this is not saying anything, just smile outrageously.

If I am good at anything, it is smiling outrageously at nothing at all. Maybe I inherited this from my grandfather, 
I am not sure.

The situation demanded that I do something. So, whenever she came into the living room where I was sitting 
I would smile outrageously to her. I would smile so outrageously that it almost devel-oped into hysterical 

After coming in several times she finally stopped, put both hands on her hips and said, “Why are you smiling?” 
At that point, I knew I had her. What I do next is very important if I am going to turn her frown upside 

“Oh,” I said while laughing, “I was just thinking about what one of the grandchildren said the other day.” All 
I have to mention is the word “grandchildren,” and I got her in my claws.

Her hands dropped off her hips, she walked over, sat down looking at me all the time and said, “What about 
the grandchildren?” As she said that she was smiling and if I can get her smiling long enough, she will forget 
about what she was frowning about.

So, I went into a long detail of what the grandchildren were doing the other week. By the time I was done, she 
was laughing and said, “Oh, those grandchildren. Aren’t they the best grandchildren in the world?”

Not only are smiles contagious, but they have a healthy element to it. For the rest of the day all I had to do was 
smile when she passed me and she smiled back because I knew she was thinking about those grandchildren.

Personally, I do not spend much time with an upside down smile. I like to get my world straight-ened up and 
enjoy it. I do not know how long I have to live, but I certainly want to die smiling. I want people coming to 
my casket, looking at me and walk away asking themselves, “What is he smiling about?”

On occasion, I enjoy going to a restaurant by myself and have a cup of coffee. I like to sit in a back corner 
somewhere so I can see what is happening.

One thing I noticed is that most waitresses do not smile too much. I know they have a hard job to do and 
very few people appreciate them. My objective in a restaurant of that nature is to leave the restaurant with 
everybody smiling. What does it take to get somebody to smile?

One time I went up to the cash register to pay my bill and noticed the woman behind the cash regis-ter was 
not smiling. I was thinking she was having a hard day. Then an idea snuck into the corridors of my mind.

“My waitress told me that if I mentioned to you how nice you look today, you would give me a discount.” 
Looking at her, I was smiling and suddenly she broke into laughter. She told me it was the first time she 
laughed that day.

Much to my surprise, she did give me a discount on my lunch. I was not expecting that and so I was smiling 
all the way to my car.

One of my favorite Bible verses is, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the 
bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

If that is true, and it is, I want a doctorate in smileology and as far as I know, nothing can cure laughter-itis.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious Mis-tress of the 
Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail The church web site is

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