Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 28, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, December 28, 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

‘Twas the night 
before Christmas, 
when all 
through America, 
were angry or 
de-lighted, and 
most uncomplimentary.

Despite it being 
the time of the year to unite, gather 
and share good cheer, the president’s 
impeachment turned the country on 
its ear.

“High crimes for certain,” his opponents 
did claim, “because since his 
election we’ve been taking aim.”

“Not so fast,” did his defenders retort, 
“’high crimes’ demand the highest bar 
and your ar-gument fell short.

“He’s an unconventional president,” 
his defenders continued, “uncouth to 
be sure, but with good intent.

“The economy is flourishing, which 
is just what we need, to address other 
challenges and do so quickly indeed.

“The deficit is massive and requires 
trimming, our failing health care, 
roads and schools also demand 

“But what of the environment?” his 
opponents declare. “This president 
denies it’s an issue and plumb doesn’t 

“He gets under our skin and makes us 
wild with rage, we must remove him 
from office and put him in a cage!

“Our goal is noble, why can’t you see, 
that we must damage and discredit 
Trump before 2020.

“If he’s elected again, and we fear he 
may be, he could appoint a third judge 
to the Su-preme Court judiciary.

“That we cannot allow and never will 
we agree, to leave elections up to the 
people in a fal-tering democracy.”

And so commenced an unpleasant 
debate, one with no middle, just two 
sides of irate.

But Christmas and Hanukkah have 
finally arrived, a time of the year to 

We’re not so divided as many may 
think, we are not yet near the brink.

In the history of our incredible republic, 
you see, we’ve survived far worse 

Let’s not forget our own Civil War, 
620,000 Americans died in that awful 

If only the country had heeded the 
words President Lincoln did speak, 
during his first in-auguration week:

“We are not enemies, but friends,” he 
read, and warned about high passions 
straining our bonds of affection as 
they spread.

He urged us to rise above emotional 
thinking by every measure, by embracing 
“the better angels of our 

By failing to listen to what Lincoln 
said, our young country suffered misery, 
death and de-struction instead.

And though it may appear nobody 
knows “where to” from here, one 
principle remains clear.

This democracy is ours and should reflect 
the will of we the people. If you 
are not happy with what you are seeing, 
get to the voting booth promptly.

Call or write your congressperson and 
pen letters to the editor. Engage, speak 
out, help us regain a commonsense 

Renew with your neighbors civil debate, 
be respectful and inquisitive, not 
filled with anger and hate.

The holiday season has arrived this 
year, let’s get back to enjoying and 
spreading good cheer.

Our country is a continuous work in 
progress and much needs to be done, 
but let’s re-member our blessings and 
how to have fun.

We have the power to love or to hate. 
We choose to be happy or irate.

Let’s unleash our nature’s better angels 
instead. Merry Christmas, Happy 
Hanukkah, Hap-py Holidays are what 
should be said!

May your homes be happy, your families 
be swell! May the New Year be 
your best year — and our country’s as 

Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures 
of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous 
memoir avail-able at, is 
a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor 

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I am writing this 
article on the day 
before Christmas, 
a week before the 
New Year begins. 
As is usual, this 
is a time of great 
confusion for me. 
In order to gain 
some clarity for 
myself and tell 
you some of the 
reasons for my 
confusion. Perhaps you are feeling 
some of the same things. 

 This Christmas I am the proud 
new grandfather of my daughter’s five 
month old daughter Justice Josephine. 
This relationship is inter-wound with 
my recovery from a double hernia 
surgery one week ago which prohibits 
me for the next month or so from 
carrying or lifting anything that 
weighs over 10 pounds. “JJ” .although 
weighing below 5 pounds at birth, has 
admirably already reached 15 pounds. 
Do you understand the problem?

 On Sunday I, my wife, JJ’s 
parents, my son and his girlfriend met 
for what has become our traditional 
Sunday family breakfast. Everyone, 
pretty much has their assigned role 
with the baby’s parents doing a lot of the 
cooking, my wife keeping everything in 
order, and my son, his girlfriend and I 
staying out of the way and cooing with 
“JJ.” This Sunday I felt a particular 
need to talk about myself and my own 
parents to this next generation who 
really knew little about them. On top 
of a cabinet in the dining room there 
is a memory box, constructed by my 
wife with pictures of my Dad. I had 
to reach high to bring it down so that 
I could explain things about him to the 
rest of the family. Truthfully, at that 
time no one except me, was interested 
in hearing any description but everyone 
united in yelling at me to stop standing 
on my toes and reaching for the box as 
this would surely pop the stitches from 
the recent surgery. Still I persisted.

 In my defense I had been 
isolated in my bedroom for the past 
week unable to get out of bed and 
taking prescribed opiates to deal with 
the overwhelming and unexpected 
intense pain. Finally, when I was able 
to get out of bed, I went immediately 
to the mirror, dropped my pants and 
was horrified by what I saw. I will not 
describe what I saw any further, but 
imagine the worst thing you can think 
of and cause it to be swollen and purple. 
I have not returned to the mirror since. 
I saw a doctor yesterday and have 
been told that, although this is hardly 
normal, there is some likelihood that in 
a month or so everything will be in its 
proper place.

 This shock, combined with 
the effect of multiple days of regularly 
scheduled opioids undoubtedly has left 
me feeling more than a little crazy. I 
am retiring from law practice, really as 
of now, and it has all combined to make 
me fear the complete disappearance of 
my whole heritage from my children 
and grandchildren’s lives. I pulled the 
box down and displayed the items. “I 
remember that grandpa was blind and 
couldn’t see me except for one time, 
for about five seconds, he could see my 
face.(This had actually happened when 
once my father, who had been sightless 
for years, suddenly said he had seen my 
son’s face in glaring sunlight.) What’s 
with all these pictures my son and 
daughter wondered? There they were: 
pictures of my father as the foreman of a 
CC in the 1930’s (gee, I hope you know 
what the CC camps were) pictures of my 
father in a stylish hat next to columns 
describing FDR’s efforts to combat the 
great depression by hiring unemployed 
young men, “starving and sweltering” 
in the heat of a Chicago summer and 
transporting them to rural upstate 
Wisconsin where they built roads, and 
fought fires and grew fit and strong. A 
final picture was the most surprising! 
There was my father’s name spelled 
differently from ours; TOLSCHIN. I 
explained that his name was really 
spelled exactly the same as ours and that 
his first name was Abraham but that he 
went by the name of Al. Why?

 It’s of course easy to understand 
if you are old like me but somehow in 
School we are never taught that long 
prior to Hitler and the 1930’s and 1940’s 
there was pervasive raging anti-Semitic 
and anti-Russian feelings viciously 
expressed in the United States. My father 
was both Russian and Jewish and I guess 
a small name change helped him avoid 
a few fights. We never talked about that 
or much else about his life-experience 
before walking across Poland, ending 
up in Liverpool, and a year or so later 
coming to America. In fact this lack of 
knowledge goes a long way in explaining 
my planned celebration of Christmas 
Eve tonight. Fifty years or so I ago I 
saw the movie Fiddler on the Roof, 
which at the time my college-graduated 
mind took to be a shallow, superficial, 
mainly inconsequential presentation 
inaccurately portraying historical 
religious conflict and ethnic differences 
which would soon be forgotten (the 
movie not the differences). Tonight I 
will go, accompanied by wife to the 
Laemmle Theatre’s annual Christmas 
Eve Sing-Along to Fiddler on the 
Roof. Tradition!! Well, not exactly, 
my wife’s Hispanic, but it’s all I have 
left. I do not want my own life and 
presence to disappear from my children 
and grandchildren’s memories like so 
much of my father’s life has already 
disappeared. Can I be blamed for 
wanting my family to retain more of me 
and my dad’s no matter how he had to 
spell his name? TRADITION -you just 
have to make the most of what is out 

What a great holiday season it is.

Know why?

Congress is on vacation, which means all the rest of us get a 
break from poli-tics.

We’re in the middle of what amounts to a national Christmas 
ceasefire in our never-ending, 24/7 political civil war.

Political bombshells, childish name-calling, stupid tweet battles, partisan pos-
turing, congressional hearings, Democrat primary debates, FBI leaks, trade wars, 
Brexit, Jeffrey Epstein’s “suicide” … all are almost totally absent from the news 

The best present I received this year was that no one talked politics at my house all 
Christmas day.

The “Trump” word was never spoken. Neither was the “Pelosi” word or the “Impeachment” 

We actually wished each other Merry Christmas, opened gifts and watched our 
grandkids go bonkers opening their toys.

That’s what Christmas Day in the U.S. is supposed to be all about – and used to be.

The nicest and most important present of all for me this year, however, was that my 
sister Patti came over and spent part of the day with us.

She and I share little common ground when it comes to politics, to put it mild-ly, 
and she had never even been to my house in Los Angeles before.

Actually, until this year, I hadn’t spoken to her since 2004, when my father’s will 
was read.

But when Patti was recently asked to do a TV program about our family for a cable 
station, she asked me for my help.

The project was going to be about what life was like for us Reagans before my 
father ran for governor of California and politics took over his life and changed 
ours forever.

The program idea didn’t work out for Patti in the end, but it brought the two of us 
together this year for first time since 2004.

I met her for lunch a couple of times, but we had not been with each other at 
Christmas since 1992 or 1993, when the family got together at my dad’s house 
when he was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

On Wednesday Patti came over for several hours and saw my kids Cameron and 
Ashley. She met her grand-nieces Marilyn, who will be 4, and Penelope, who will 
be 2.

Patti and I sat down and talked about the family, what we we’ve been up to lately 
and lots of other things – but not a word about politics.

We had no good reason to discuss or argue politics.

I know how she feels about conservatives and President Trump. She knows what I 
think. Why bring it up?

The two of us Reagans were able to enjoy Christmas Day without getting mad at 
each other because, as our father used to do when his politically divided family was 
together, we completely avoided politics.

If Patti and I can exchange gifts and have a wonderful time without letting it be 
ruined by politics, I don’t see why everyone could not do the same.

In fact, keeping partisan politics out of Christmas – and all our family holiday 
gatherings — is the best resolution I can think of in 2020.

Happy New Year.

..Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and 
the author of “Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of 
Ronald Reagan.” 

Mountain Views News

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