Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 1, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 1, 2020 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Stuart Tolchin 

Audrey Swanson

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

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee




Friday was my granddaughter’s first birthday and 
the idea hit me, I ought to write a letter to the 
baby. Now I have the idea to write a letter not to 
be opened for twenty years when I certainly will 
no longer be around and the twenty one year old 
young lady might actually be interested—or not. I 
imagine asking her to look around and notice the 
way the sky looks, can she see the stars? What is the 
air like, can she breathe without a gas mask?

 Speaking of masks I plan on describing to her 
what our present life is like during which time we 
cannot go outside without a mask. I will tell that 
at her first birthday party that her mother, father, uncle, grandmother and I 
attempted to sit on two separate benches in the park near her house but were 
told by a person overseeing the park that sitting on the benches was prohibited—
only walking was okay. As I imagine writing this I realize how crazy it will 
sound to someone in the future as I assume and hope that the memories of this 
pandemic are lost. 

 As I begin to think about writing I now realize that she has already 
taught me more than I can reasonably teach her. Although she is not able to 
walk or communicate through the use of words she has taught me a great deal 
about the simple joy of existence. Being near her is one of the great experiences 
of my life. Her range of sounds are an expression of unrestricted freedom. 
There are screams and coos and humming. She has created her own rhythms 
which repeat themselves in my head as I picture her or find myself tapping my 
denture against my upper palate. (Yes, I am that old). Her body movements 
when she laughs are a complete vibration of her body with a wild kicking of 
her feet and joyful wild rhythmic waving of her arms. I have begun to notice 
that as she has learned to crawl her joyous celebratory moves have decreased. I 
now notice that she has specific destinations and experiences a different kind of 
frustration when she cannot obtain what she wants.

 I imagine as she learns to use the same language that her parents and 
I use her joy in simply expressing herself in every sound or pitch she can 
manufacture will disappear as she learns to “talk” to us. I am beginning to 
realize that the time of her great teaching is nearing an end. I must remember 
what I have already been taught by her. It’s hard to remember, especially today, 
that our miraculous existence is wonderful no matter the current conditions. If 
I have any message I want to emphasize to the perhaps bewildered confused girl 
of the future it is that she was born wonderful and enriched the life of everyone 
who came in contact with her.

 I know how tough it is for all of us today to appreciate the incredibly 
fortunate circumstances of our lives. Yes, some of us are more fortunate and 
privileged than others; but somehow, through no effort of our own, we have 
all come into existence. As infants we experienced the great pleasures of our 
senses and the development of our own individual abilities. Most of us were 
loved and cared for and interacted joyfully with others. My granddaughter’s 
seeming only sentence so far is “I did it” and whether she knows the meaning 
of the words it’s true “she did it”! 

 If my letter to the girl of the future is able to remind her of the wonder 
and beauty of her own existence I will be a very happy, satisfied grandfather. I 


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math. A successful political coalition is built on the 
principle of addition, not subtraction. Basically, you welcome 
anyone who wants to help. You park all disagreements 
and join forces for the common cause.

All Democrats should be thrilled that vocal cadres of anti-Trump Republicans 
are laboring to defeat – by the most decisive margin possible – the worst excuse 
for a human to ever squat in the Oval Office. But alas, that does not please 
the Democrats’ purity police. The GOP veterans who are currently agitating 
against Trump have worked with conservatives in the past, therefore, their sins 
apparently render them unqualified to help in the present.

Case in point: We got word last week that former Ohio Republican Gov. John 
Kasich will endorse Joe Biden and address Democrats at the virtual national 
convention in August. Lots of liberal litmus-testers are predictably horrified. 
As one of them wrote the other day, “I don’t think that having a ‘big tent’ means 
it’s necessary to highlight people who would knock down your tentpoles.” And 
lefty Twitter predictably weighed in: “Kasich is pro-capitalist. The more Dems 
lean right, the more we lose.”

One big rap against Kasich is that he signed anti-abortion bills and withheld 
state funds from Planned Parenthood. But his Republican track record is precisely 
why he should speak for Biden at his convention.

During this unprecedented national emergency, it should be all hands on deck. 
If Kasich can help persuade even a small percentage of Republicans to switch 
sides in November – especially in Ohio, which is unexpectedly competitive 
for Biden – it could have an outsized impact on the results. Trump’s support 
is eroding – his approval rating on the pandemic has dropped to a record low 
32 percent – and Kasich’s old-school GOP credentials make him the perfect 
person to woo more Republicans.

Is it possible that the purity police have never heard of the old axiom that politics 
makes strange bedfellows? Isn’t it smart politics for Biden to accommodate 
the Bernie Sanders wing on the left (which he’s doing) while also reaching out 
to anyone on the right who cares about the national interest?

Indeed, the progressives who are hostile to Kasich have somehow overlooked 
the issues they have in common – most notably, Kasich’s gubernatorial decision 
in 2013 to defy the GOP by expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. When 
Republicans assailed him for that blasphemy (because any support for Barack 
Obama was a blasphemy), he said that he wanted to make “real improvement 
in people’s lives.” He also said: “When you die and get to the meeting with Saint 
Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping 
government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You 
better have a good answer.”

Kasich, like Biden, speaks the language of human decency. In this dire election 
year, there’s a strong yearning for decency, ideally powered by people who can 
reach across the divide. If Kasich and other anti-Trump Republicans want to 
help steer the careening American ship, why should it matter what they did 
five, 10, or 20 years ago?

The liberal purity police would be wise to remember what Ronald Reagan – 
winner of two decisive presidential elections – once said about strange bedfellows: 
He wasn’t endorsing them; they were endorsing him.

Uh oh. Is it OK if I invoke Ronald Reagan?

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and 
a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.
net. Email him at



I missed it again. So did the rest of America.

July 1’s unofficial International Joke Day came and 
went without fanfare.

That’s regrettable, because we could all use a good belly 
laugh right now — which gave me an idea.

The other day, after hearing more doom-and-gloom 
news while driving, I said to the Apple CarPlay app on my truck’s stereo, 
“Hey, Siri, tell me a joke.”

Siri, Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, replied, “My cat ate a ball of 
yarn. She gave birth to mittens.”

That’s an awfully corny joke — but I laughed so hard, I accidentally steered 
my truck onto some roadside gravel.

When you laugh like that, it’s impossible to be angry — or to dwell on whatever 
personal or business challenge may hang over your head

A belly laugh is an antidote to the self-seriousness that’s one of the greatest 
afflictions of modern times. And with a pandemic killing thousands and 
crippling the economy, plus protests and social unrest, we need belly laughs 
more than ever. One psychologist suggests practicing laughing with a friend 
because “utter seriousness can drive us to despair.”

Social media gives everyone a platform to share thoughts, which is good. But 
some self-serious people get awfully huffy with others who disagree with or 
challenge their thinking. They’re so serious and so certain that those who 
disagree with them are wrong, even evil, that they demonize their detractors.

They don’t try to converse, debate or understand differing viewpoints. “OK, 
boomer” and “OK, Karen” memes offer cases in point.

Humor and laughter, wonderfully infectious, keep us from falling into the 
trap of self-seriousness, promoting goodwill, thoughtfulness and civility. 
“Humor is an elixir, a tonic that is good for mind and spirt,” says an executive 

Laughter’s power is incredible — and that power lasts.

One of my favorite family stories dates to the early 1950s. Freddy, my dad’s 
uncle on his mother’s side — a real character — had a neighbor who was 
among the first in their area to buy a VW Beetle. Behind the neighbor’s endless 
boasting about his Beetle’s terrific gas mileage was conceit — essentially, 
“I’m smarter than you, which is why I’m getting way better gas mileage than 

Freddy began sneaking next door at night to fill the VW’s gas tank. As he 
did so, his neighbor’s boasts grew louder and more tiresome — the guy was 
ready to call the Guinness World Records people, as his VW clearly was getting 
more miles per gallon than any other Beetle on Earth.

After a month, Freddy continued sneaking next door. But now he siphoned 
gas from the Beetle’s tank — to the point where the neighbor thought his 
VW was getting worse gas mileage than any other Beetle on Earth.

We’re still laughing at the braggart neighbor who suddenly stopped bragging.

There’s more evidence of the power of laughter. More than 60 years ago, my 
mother first heard this joke, which she vividly remembers, and still laughs at:

A lady who’d been grocery shopping was walking to her car when she tripped 
and dropped a paper bag and two eggs fell out of the carton and broke onto 
the pavement. She was so upset that she started crying. A drunk walked up, 
surveyed the situation, and told her, “Don’t worry, lady. It wouldn’t have lived 
anyway. Its eyes are too far apart.”

We all need to laugh more. It really is the best medicine for our current ails.


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

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