Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 21, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, December 21, 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

I indulge more 
deeply in Christmas 
with every passing 
year, but it 
turns out that doing 
so is a good 

“Nostalgia,” according 
to Merriam-Webster, is “a 
wistful or excessively sentimental 
yearning for the return to some past 
period or irrecoverable condition.”

Time is certainly irrecoverable. I 
wish I’d known, when I was child, 
that time would go by so incredibly 
fast – which makes me now long for 
my past.

I remember vividly one Christmastime 
Saturday when I was 5 or 6. It 
was uncharacteristically warm for 
Pittsburgh – so warm, my mother 
opened our living room windows, allowing 
a fresh breeze in.

I sat by those windows, waiting for 
my hero – my father – to return 
with our Christmas tree. Trapped in 
a kid’s time warp, minutes ticked by 
like hours.

In future years, I’d be his sidekick as 
we shopped for the perfect tree. But 
it was too early for that yet.

Eventually, our white Ford station 
wagon pulled into the driveway, a 
big, thick evergreen tied to the roof. 
As my father got out and began untying 
it, I ran outside to help.

He was in his early 30s then, his hair 
black as coal. He stood nearly 6-foot-
2, a powerful man. In an era when 
children argued that “my dad can 
beat up your dad,” my dad could.

I marveled as he set the tree on the 
living room platform like it was a 
stick. Then he kissed my mother, as 
he did every single time he walked 
through our front door.

This memory still fills me with a deep 
sense of security. How blessed I have 
been to be part of a large family, imperfect 
as it was and still is, with my 
parents together, doing their best to 
sacrifice for and love their children.

I re-experience the deep sense of 
the security they gave my sisters and 
me when I watch “A Charlie Brown 
Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole 
Christmas!” and “Rudolph the Red-
Nosed Reindeer.”

All were huge childhood events, 
which my family gathered around 
the television to watch with Snyder 
of Berlin potato chips and French onion 
dip, a special treat in our home.

For years, according to Dr. Max Pemberton 
in the Daily Mail, psychologists 
warned against such nostalgic 

But Constantine Sedikides, a Southampton 
University professor, says 
they got it wrong. Sedikides, who 
researches the effects of nostalgia, 
argues that nostalgia can comfort 
people, helping them connect and 
cope with adversity.

Nostalgia, writes Pemberton, can 
“imbue us with resilience by reminding 
us that we possess a store of 
powerful memories and experiences 
that are deeply intertwined with our 

Scratchy old Christmas albums, luminaria 
lining the streets, Christmas 
Eve gatherings with our longtime 
next-door neighbors the Kriegers, 
bittersweet memories of so many 
people no longer here – this is the 
nostalgia that holds more power over 
me each Christmas season.

It makes me hold doors open for 
strangers, give more to those in need, 
try to be more understanding and 
gracious toward those with whom I 

These are the benefits of Christmas 

May you and your family – and our 
country as a whole – enjoy an abundance 
of those benefits this year.

Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures 
of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous 
memoir available at amazon.
com, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 
humor columnist and is nationally 

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I have been in a bad mood, more or less, since 
the powers that be determined that I would no 
longer be able to watch most Dodger games on 
television. Of course it would be possible for me 
to switch Cable Providers and thereby receive 
the games on television once more. I did not 
do this as I had considered it my inalienable, 
if not Constitutional right to receive Dodger 
games on television, similarly, I considered it 
my inalienable right to park at Courthouse and 
Medical facilities for free. Therefore, I have willingly parked at great 
distances from the Courthouse and hospitals in spaces that only allow 
parking for a limited time. Consequently, as you might have guessed, 
I have paid far more for parking violations than I would have paid to 
park but who cares? I have my principles and I will not allow logic or 
common sense to influence me.

 I know that this behavior makes no sense but I can tolerate it 
in myself. What I cannot tolerate is the non-sensical, illogical, and 
unquestionably destructive behavior of the society in which we all 
live. Scientists tell us that the entire human habitability of our planet 
is endangered, Within a generation or so no one is going to be able 
to live here. Something must be done and it must be done soon. 
Instead the focus of the society is on the meaningless horse races 
between Democratic Presidential aspirants who challenge one another 
on matters of infinitely lesser importance. 
There are other issues of great importance that are similarly 
ignored. The existence of huge nuclear stockpiles possessed by unstable 
governments (unfortunately including this one.) To my mind the 
tremendous damage to the society occasioned by the intemperate 
use of alcohol is unconscionable. I use the word intemperate but 
the stuff is actually poisonous, detrimental to civilized behavior and 
totally destructive to physical, mental, and emotional health. Yet the 
encouraged use of alcohol is seemingly celebrated and there seems to 
be a societal belief that life cannot be enjoyed without it. Of course 
there is the argument that prohibition has already been tried and failed. 
Cannot we persevere and try again. Of course we can but the problem 
is that we do not want to. At its heart this particular civilization finds 
its rules and restrictions oppressive and any excuse to break away from 
civilized patterns of behavior are welcomed and glorified as long as it 
does not detract from the ultimate purpose of the society which is their 
accumulation of money

 Let’s face it. The television battles and the political races are just 
about money. I frankly think that the powers that be fear a sober 
electorate would see through the nonsense that passes for political 
dispute. A sober electorate, one that could not be bought off by cheap 
promises of entertainment and festivals and fantasy beliefs in celebrity 
would understand that we are on the road to ultimate and foreseeable 
destruction and would act in such a way as to threaten the financial 
seemingly impervious strength of the super wealthy. Instead we poor 
unmoneyed people try to content themselves with meaningless refusals 
to conform who are tolerated for so lo long as they do no not raise social 
concerns. Poor Colin Kaepernick but I gather he too is being corrupted 
with highly paid commercial endorsements. Money triumphs over all. 

Well not quite. I will not change my cable provider or succumb to the 
need to pay for parking. With that I wish you all Happy Holidays. 


During the Holiday Season, which now stretches from Autumnal 
Equinox to New Year’s Day, it’s nearly impossible to 
turn on the radio or walk through a shopping mall without 
hearing the rich, mellifluous voice of Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives. 
Few people can place his name but in the coming weeks 
millions will sing along or tap their toes to the improbable 
holiday hit he recorded in November 1964.

Ives, who died in 1995, compiled a remarkably diverse 
showbiz resume. Yet, while memories of his noteworthy accomplishments have faded, 
his sappy little tune remains as popular as ever. Last Christmas, more than half a 
century following its release, the song ranked among Billboard’s top 10. Coming 109 
years after his birth, the achievement made Ives the oldest artist, living or deceased, 
to have a top-40 hit.

Burl Ives began performing at age 4 in rural southern Illinois and by his teens he 
sang professionally in venues described by one obituary writer as: saloons, parks, 
churches, hobo jungles, lumber camps, prize fights, steel mills, cattle ranches and 
fishing wharfs. He twice enrolled in college and twice dropped out, preferring the 
life of a rail-riding, singing vagabond.

Rotund and bearded, Ives looked to be a jolly sort of fellow, yet on stage he rarely 
cracked a smile. Although known primarily as a folk singer, he won an Academy 
Award in 1959 for his performance in the film “The Big Country,” one of 32 movies 
in which he appeared. He won wide praise for his stage performance as Big Daddy 
in Tennessee Williams’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” one of his 13 Broadway roles. He 
had his own TV series, “The Wayfarin’ Stranger,” on CBS, and he released over 100 
record albums.

In the midst of this acclaimed career as an actor and balladeer, Ives was hired as 
the narrator for NBC’s 1964 animated special, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” 
Music for the special was composed by Johnny Marks, who 15 years earlier had 
written the classic Christmas tune of the same name, an enduring hit for singing 
cowboy Gene Autry. Marks, a Jew who made a fortune writing Christmas songs, 
would compose “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for Brenda Lee, “I Heard the 
Bells on Christmas Day” for Bing Crosby, and “Run Rudolph Run,” recorded by 
Chuck Berry.

For the NBC program, Marks picked a schmaltzy and forgotten tune he had written 
a few years earlier for a group known as The Quinto Sisters. Ives, cast as narrator 
Sam the Snowman, was not supposed to sing in the show, but the network decided 
he should be given Marks’ little ditty, running all of two minutes and 15 seconds.

No Christmas songs made Billboard’s Hot 100 list for 1964, dominated as it was by 
nine hits featuring The Beatles. In fact, the Marks-Ives record did not officially make 
the chart until digital downloads were tabulated, after which it placed #46 in 2016, 
#38 in 2017, and #10 in 2019.

Inexplicably, the song has grown in popularity. It’s message, certainly appropriate in 
these tense times: “Say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.”

And, of course, “Have a holly, jolly Christmas.”

A list of Peter Funt’s upcoming live appearances is available at www.CandidCamera.
com. Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available 
at and 

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