Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 9, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 4


Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 9, 2019 


 by Deanne Davis

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting 
gratitude.” Jeff Miller

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in 
the bloodstream. It must be fought for, 

protected and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, 
but to live by them. Thank you for your service, protection and support.”

John F. Kennedy

This coming weekend, featuring beautiful weather, I hope, will be filled with celebrations of our 
veterans throughout the land. Children will sing, my granddaughter, Emily will be out at the 
Goodyear ball park on Monday with her school choir singing, “America The Beautiful.” There will be 
flyovers, flags will fly. Our veterans will come out in full dress uniforms, and our Nation will thank 
them once again for their service and their sacrifice. Thinking about all the festivities, including 
Sierra Madre’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony tomorrow at Memorial Park’s Hart Park House at 
1:00 p.m., featuring Philip P. Haney, founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, I 
was reminded that my Dad was in the Navy during World War II. He never talked much about what 
he did, what his job was, what happened to him. As we commemorate Veteran’s Day this weekend, 
I thought I’d put up a picture of some of our Sierra Madre veterans and add the following poem. 
We are fortunate here in Sierra Madre, to have quite a few veterans who come out smartly and 
impeccably dressed in their uniforms to carry the flag, march in our July 4th parade, be on hand to 
kick off the Mt. Wilson Trail Race and be part of the Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day observances. 
They stand tall and straight and we admire them. If you haven’t been down to Memorial Park to look 
at the Veteran’s Memorial Wall, take a few minutes, look at the pictures and see who you might know. 

“Just A Common Soldier”

A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past

Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one

And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,

All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke

But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,

And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,

For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life

Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,

And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,

But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land

A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives

Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small

It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago

That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know

It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Next time you see the flag go by, held in the hands of one of our veterans, stand and salute, for our 
flag and our veterans both deserve that honor.

My book page: Deanne Davis


Kindle readers, give yourself the gift of the Emma Gainsworth Adventures:

“Just Dessert: A Fall Fantasy” – “The Intergalactic Pumpkin Battle” – “The Lost Amulets”

 They’re on on my book page!

Follow me on Twitter, too!


KATIE Tse....This and That

When I tried to save this Word Doc 
just now it claimed this file already exists. 
So I must’ve written on this topic before. 
Oops. Anyway, I don’t remember the 
original one, which means you won’t, 

Just got our “school pictures” back at 
work. It’s the same company and virtually 
the same process the kids go through. 
They make you stand on black footprints 
and cock your head a certain way (even if 
you know from years of experience that 
they’re aiming at your bad side...).

One nice difference for staff is that 
we get to “okay” our picture before 
committing. I guess some people really get into the inspection 
process, and take as many re-dos as necessary to get the perfect shot.

But I’m always afraid of coming off as presumptuous if I were to do that. So I usually just give 
a quick glance and cursory wave toward my mug on the computer screen, mumbling something 
like, “Great. That’s fine, thanks.”

Usually I’m prepared for results that are less than a glamour shot, but this time I actually shocked 
myself when I opened the envelope. My expression was its typical mix of forced cheeriness and 
underlying trepidation. Nothing new there.

In this one my hair’s actually standing straight out sideways from my head. That was a new 
one. I wonder if the photographers are trained to push certain people to redo their pictures if they 
came out particularly bad. But then I look at some of the kids’ pictures, and realize this probably 
isn’t the case.

I remember picture day when I was a kid in elementary school. They had us all lined up to 
take our turn in front of a fake background. Usually muted neutral colors, all blended together like 
soggy Fruit Loops. (You know I could’ve drawn a worse analogy.)

But what I remember more than the stiff backgrounds and bright lights was the conspicuous 
jars of water with combs resting inside. They’d whip one out to tame any unruly hair, then stick 
it back in the same old water. By the end of the day it was chock full of floating stray hairs and 
dandruff flakes. You just hoped your class went early in the day and that you were near the front 
of the line.

Yes, school pictures are a right of passage. As universal as zits and the first advent of body odor. 
One of my favorite wineries in Paso Robles, Herman Story, has put these otherwise embarrassing 
portraits to good use on some of their bottles.

It used to be that they only used guy’s pictures, but now I see that they’ve branched into girls’ 
dorky photos as well. Their current “Late Bloomer” release is a lovely 2015 Grenache, sporting 
what looks to be a fifth grader with lopsided glasses, buck-ish teeth, and hair resembling my own 
staff pic, only more so. I’m sure the girl in question’s a beauty bombshell by now.

Maybe Herman story would like staff portraits, too? There’s an idea. I think they’d take mine. 
It’d fit right in with others they’ve used in the past, and they know I’m very sincere. 

Order “Late Bloomer” now and decant for thirty minutes. Or age for four to six years. Either 
way, it’s sure to please. Unlike most of our school and staff pictures.

*Wanna’ know what else is sure to please? My novel, “A Year at Apex!” It’s got all the humor, 
romance, and commentary on the human condition you’re looking for in a good read. Pairs well 
with a nice Grenache, or any good wine of choice. Look for it in paperback and ebook on Amazon 
and Barnes & Noble.


By Donna Jaffee, Marianna Nikolaidou and Lauren Pressman.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and many of us will be at the dinner table, looking forward to 
connecting with family and friends. Sierra Madre residents have much to be thankful for. Our 
beautiful, serene and safe city remains free from the strife and violence that other communities 
are experiencing. Yet, given the political climate of the last few years, we may more acutely feel the 
need to address some difficult questions as we celebrate this holiday of gratitude. How do we talk 
to people we hold dear but whose views conflict with our own? How do we find common ground 
with those who are different from us, whether by origin of birth, sexual orientation, religion, race 
or political persuasion? 

As fortunate as we are to call Sierra Madre our home, we’re not immune to the toxicity and hate 
surging across the country which often permeates our work and social environments. We can, 
however, take steps to raise awareness and spark action against hostility and for inclusion. By 
doing so, Sierra Madre can become a city United Against Hate.

The United Against Hate campaign, in coordination with “Not in Our Town,” is a call for seven days 
of local civic action by communities nationwide to stop the hate and implicit biases that threaten 
the safety and civility of our towns and cities. This year, activities will take place November 16 
– 22. On Saturday, November 16 from 11 am – 2 pm SMART (Sierra Madre Activists Rebuilding 
Together) will have a table at Kersting Court where children and their families can show their 
commitment to be kind to each other by creating art and compiling a list of ways to show empathy 
and respect for our commonalities and differences. SMART will hold another gathering at Kersting 
Court on Thursday, November 21, 5 pm – 7 pm, to show our solidarity as a community of peace, 
understanding and inclusion. Join us on November 16 and/or November 21 to share stories and 
stand together United Against Hate.

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