Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 12



Mountain View News Saturday, November 23, 2019 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee

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All right, how 
and why did you 
find me? You 
must be looking 
for something. 
So here I am 
hiding in the back 
pages of this local 
newspaper so 
I’ll take you with 
me in my imagination on this morning’s 
sunrise walk around the canyon.

 First thing we hear this morning 
is our neighbor across the street greeting 
us with “Another day in paradise.” Do you 
hear me say to him “yeah, so far”? Okay, 
let’s keep walking. Here with us now is 
the mother deer and her two fawns. Look 
they know me so well that they don’t even 
flee. She and her kids trot right along 
with us and look at the squirrels leaping 
about from tree to tree. Oops, they heard 
something and are now disappearing 
down that steep hill. Amazing.

 You’re right this canyon is still a 
paradise, a hidden enclosed area almost 
like a garden. Yeah, last week some wiseass 
writer guy told me that enclosed garden 
was the original meaning of “paradise”. 
Beautiful and enclosed and therefore 
SAFE. Sierra Madre Canyon, the lower 
canyon we call it, is surely still beautiful 
but not quite the safe removed paradise 
as it was before. Gradually things have 
changed. First I noticed that the stars were 
just not as numerous as they were before; 
I guess that’s the result of light pollution. 
Then I noticed that it isn’t as quiet as it used 
to be. There’s construction everywhere 
and the little 600 square foot cabins that 
were built years ago as healthful escapes 
from urban pollution have been gradually 
replaced by multi-storied houses, like 
mine, which involved the removal of really 
sacred trees. Now you can barely drive or 
even walk around the circle as giant trucks 
and work crews are everywhere and the 
roads are blocked and everywhere there is 
a detour. Still new arrivals seem to try and 
race around the curves. After all they have 
paid a lot to get here.

 Well even though it doesn’t feel 
safe we made it back home and I’ve turned 
on the TV news hearing about global 
warming and that nothing is being done 
to stop it. Next, the ongoing war in the 
Ukraine and the possible involvement 
of our President in a bribery scheme. 
When I hear any talk about the Ukraine 
I immediately experience a chill. In the 
Ukraine were villages called shtetels where 
Jews were allowed to live for centuries. I 
am pretty well versed in that history 
because that was where my father was 
born and lived for the first ten years of 
his life in an area right next to Chernobyl, 
the location of the unspeakably horrific 
nuclear disaster that occurred on my 
birthday, April 26, 1986. About 65 years 
earlier, soon after the Russian Revolution, 
the persecution of the Jews increased. 
My father had explained to me that there 
always had been some persecution but 
for the Jews living there the place was a 
kind of Paradise. In this small area Jews 
had been allowed to live for centuries 
very close to their gentile neighbors. 
Right after the Russian Revolution the 
persecution increased and specifically a 
group of Jewish women returning from a 
fare were attacked, raped, and murdered 
by Cossacks. Some of the older Jewish 
Men in the shtetl somehow managed to 
capture the leaders of the murdering gang 
and kill them. The bodies of these men 
had been thrown into a giant oven that 
was used to heat the water on the land 
where my father and his family lived. Very 
soon thereafter the brass buttons from 
the uniforms of the Cossacks were found 
unmelted in the stove. My father said that 
fear overcame his whole fatherless family 
at that time and that very night they took 
all they could carry and began the walk 
across Poland catching, somehow, a ship 
to Liverpool where they stayed for a year 
before they could get to America. 

 Of course that wasn’t the end of 
disaster on Chernobyl. About 65 later 
the huge nuclear explosion occurred (if 
you don’t know about it there’s actually 
a successful TV series describing the 
disaster that threatened the world which 
you can watch right now. I haven’t 
watched it—it scares me). That’s my 
point. I know you probably don’t get why 
I connect Chernobyl with Sierra Madre. 
For centuries things were relatively safe 
and then they get worse and eventually 
the whole place became uninhabitable. 
Where my father lived is now within the 
Nuclear Wilderness and no one can live 

 Do you get it? The same thing 
could be happening here. For a long 
time it was a safe hide-away and then it 
became not so safe and then eventually 
it was the end for everybody. Oh you 
think I’m overdramatizing and there is 
no connection and all this fear I feel is 
imaginary just like you are. Okay if you 
don’t like it find another paper to read but 
if you want me hopefully I’ll still be here, 
unlisted, hidden in the back pages trying 
to make us feel better if I can. As Leonard 
Cohen said “Here I am. I’m your man.”

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man has 
been busy becoming woke and preparing 
for the holiday but he did 
make time to help you with all your 
Thanksgiving so-cial and culinary 

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man, is it 
justifiable homicide if you kill the 
guest that you catch hiding in the 
kitchen, stealing turkey skin? Asking 
for a friend. DW

I have no mercy for turkey skin thieves. But best you should make it look 
like a “kitchen accident” involving lime Jell-O with those floating fruit 

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man, do you prefer carving ahead of time with a 
nice display on a platter, or carving at the table “al fresco” style? BK

I’d rather carve al fresco, which I hope means “wearing clothing.” But 
carving at the table also requires a platter. And platters should be reserved 
for the pre-meal Thanksgiving ritual, “The Presentation of The Bongs.”

Before digging into Thanksgiving dinner, a family I know goes around the 
table and says what they’re thankful for. One of the senior members is al-
ways tempted to give thanks he was not given any federal jail time during 
the past year, and that none of the bodies (metaphorically speaking) have 
been accidentally dug up. But he’s worried how the grandchildren might 
react. What’s your opinion Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man? Should he say 
how he really feels or mouth the usual platitudes? Asking for a friend. RS.

Tell the kids the truth. No one else will. Then have them call the feds.

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man, my cousin is going to bring fried okra. He’s 
also going to bring a really good pie. Would it be too rude to make him 
keep the okra on a card table in the garage while we eat the pie in the living 
room? MK

Eat the pie and keep the barbarian in the garage where he belongs. Fried 
okra? Yuk!

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man, how many cocktails for obnoxious uncles 
be-fore dinner? How many for small children? Is it OK to let them sleep 
through the meal, thus eliminating the children’s table and the (uncles) political 
blath-ering? LT

As an obnoxious uncle myself, I expect many cocktails with a generous 
pour. And when primed, I’ll sing the name of “the so-called whistleblower” 
and a bawdy limerick comparing Adam Schiff to Robespierre. As for 
the little ones, our parents used to let us pluck the maraschino cherries 
from the Manhattans. Try it, that should calm them.

Dear Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man, what is the proper response when your 
host does/doesn’t have the television on during the game? Alcohol accompa-
nying the. start could lead to many unintended consequences later in the 
day. GR.

Thanksgiving without football? What are we, commies? And drinking 
should begin by 11 a.m., because there’s nothing like a big family fight 
later, with the kids screaming and everyone in the driveway throwing 
punches, with much hair grabbing and heavy breathing, and your sister-
in-law weeping as she calls 911. That’s how families make lasting holiday 
memories. Don’t forget to video the whole thing.

Mr. Thanksgiving Advice Man has one more thing to say: Happy Thanksgiving 
everyone. (Excerpts from his Chicago Tribune column by permission)

Mountain Views News

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