Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 30, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page B:5

OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, October 30, 2021 
B5 OPINION Mountain View News Saturday, October 30, 2021 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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In a way I feel like I have been freed from the 

terrible burden of worrying about the Dodgers. For what 

seems like months I have brooded about the success of 

the team as they pursued the San Francisco Giants in the 

hopes of winning their eighth consecutive National League 

West Title. Yes, I know that eventually they won only to 

be defeated by the Atlanta Braves in the National League 

Championship Series, or whatever it is called. I know it’s 

silly but a huge part of my identity is to be a DEVOTED 

Dodger fan and to watch each game. All right now the 

Dodgers are gone, so now, after all this watching, what 

have I learned? 

Notwithstanding all of my personal, social and political concerns it feels really 
significant to have a favorite team. In this lonely disorganized world, especially during 
this time of the Pandemic requiring huge personal restrictions I felt connected to that 
huge invisible, at least to me, body of Dodger fans. I was in touch by email with relatives 
with whom I am barely speaking but we are united in our concern for the Dodgers. I 
am in touch with a Dodger fan living in France for the past thirty years who still cares 
and stays up to date despite the distance. 

I had the pleasure of sitting next to my wife and dog as we first watched the playoff 
game with the Cardinals, them the five games with the Giants, and the eventual loss 
in five games to the Braves. Really this was an unusual and marvelous experience as 
normally my wife and I, forgetting the dog, cannot agree on any television to watch. 
I am a faithful Bill Maher fan but he has completely alienated my wife. I still watch 
Rachel Maddow but my wife now closes her eyes. My wife’s favorite program is the 
Sunday morning CBS program with Jane Pauley which I have trouble watching for 
whatever reason. Actually my feelings have to do with the fact that Jane Pauley always 
looks so healthy, just as if she finished taking a shower, when, in reality, she suffers from 
depression and mental instability. Perhaps I should applaud her but I don’t; instead I 
feel like I have been deceived. 

In fact this feeling of being lied to is what I experience when I watch most 
television. My wife and I for a long time were faithful CBS Morning news fans. I 
watched Charlie Rose on the news in the morning and on his own program at night. 
Then it was announced that he had consistently made inappropriate vulgar advances 
and displayed himself to young co-workers. I guess, I knew this kind of stuff went on--
but not Charlie Rose who seemed to me to be a real authentic knowledgeable man—
not just a news reader. Now I wonder if there is such a thing.

 Americans are not being presented with truth but rather entertained and 
distracted. Speaking of distractions I noticed that alcohol is sold again at UCLA home 
games in the Rose Bowl. Every other man seems to have two expensive beers in his 
hand as he screams to support the hapless Bruins. Frankly I wish we had a better team, 
a less-expensive coach and the return of the alumni band and old alumni cheerleaders. 
I have been told that these traditions had been eliminated because of questionable 
political statements or positions or something. Does anyone care anymore what the 
truth is? Actually we know what the truth is and we don’t like it. Who wants to think 
about the climate catastrophe, conflicts with China, five dollar per gallon gasoline 
charges? Today, I am not surprised to see monsters and skeletons decorating every 
house; IT SEEMS APPROPRIATE. Should we stamp out reality altogether and just 
ignore what is going on and pretend it’s all make-believe and that everything will be 
okay by Thanksgiving- but don’t forget your booster shots. The old Dodger fan slogan 
was “wait ‘til next year”; but how many next years will there be?! Do we want a treat 
and to ignore the unpleasant truth that we are all being tricked? Maybe go Dodgers 
and yelling drunkenly at football games is the best alternative. Still, I wish I didn’t 
know what I know about Charlie Rose.

 TRICK OR TREAT OR TRUTH---it’s a choice we all must make. 



Halloween was fun while it lasted. 

For decades it has been the one day of the year we could all forget 
our worries and live in the moment. 
When I was a kid in the 1970s, Halloween was for kids. 
As the weather became chilly and the leaves turned brilliant 

colors, we knew our annual candy haul would happen soon. 

We didn’t put much effort into our costumes — any old sheet could be converted into 
a ghost outfit — but planning our trick-or-treat route took hours. 

Since our parents wouldn’t let us begin trick or treating until it got dark out — and 
since we had to be home before 8 p.m. — Tommy Guillen and I refined our routes 
every year with the intensity of logistics executives. 

We’d hit the well-to-do homes on the other side of the railroad tracks first. 

Those people gave away full-size delicacies, including Hershey’s, Nestle Crunch, Milk 
Duds, Almond Joy, Snickers, Milky Way, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and my favorite, 
the Mallow Cup. 

The only downside with well-to-do people was that, because their homes are farther 
apart, we had to travel a greater distance to earn that name-brand candy. 

We’d then return to our own neighborhood of modest homes and then hit the small 
post-WWII ranch homes a few blocks away. 

The wonderful people who lived in those houses had only one minor flaw: they favored 
the budget-conscious, locally made Clark Bar, which was made of peanut-butter taffy 
and a chocolate coating. 

As an adult, I love Clark Bars and love that they are still being made 104 years after 
they were launched. But as a kid, they weren’t as valuable to me. I’d have to trade 10 of 
them to get a single Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. 

I’m incredibly nostalgic about my old trick-or-treating days. 

To this day, when I enjoy an occasional candy bar, the taste immediately transports 
me back to 1972 and the wonderful memory of arriving home with a pillowcase full of 
sugary loot, my feet raw from the effort. 

Here’s why I am especially nostalgic about my childhood Halloween memories: it 
was a time when kids were free to be kids — free to explore, create and blossom — 
completely unburdened by the worries of the adult world. 

In 1972, the Watergate scandal was in full swing, Bloody Friday bombs were exploding 
in Belfast and the last U.S. ground troops were being withdrawn from Vietnam. 

But as those and other awful experiences played out in the wide cruel world, we 
kids were free to completely immerse ourselves in our innocent and uncomplicated 
Halloween traditions. 

In recent years adults have grown to enjoy Halloween. 

Until recently, it was the one day when they, too, could dress up in ridiculous costumes 

— costumes that often satirized current events or mocked people in the news in very 
funny ways — and really let themselves have fun. 
But now, thanks to the fun-crushing power of social media, those days are over, too. 

Politics has infused itself into every waking moment of our lives, including Halloween. 

Some schools are canceling Halloween parties and parades. The media offer guidance 
on what costumes are politically and socially unacceptable. 

Everyone is on guard, worried that he or she may be recorded doing or saying 
something politically incorrect that inadvertently offends somebody else. 

It’s become a very bad idea to let yourself have too much fun, or one too many adult 
beverages, at a Halloween gathering. 

As I said, our Halloween fun was good while it lasted. 

Tom Purcell is an author and humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 



Isn’t life tough…all over? Problems and challenges never 
seem to leave. How many times have we heard, “If it’s 
not one thing, it’s another!” And whether we are 7 or 77, 
the torment and turmoil we face seem insurmountable 
(What I wouldn’t give for a 7-year olds turmoil!) 

Let’s take a look at what young children ask God. Maybe 
we can gain a new perspective on how to deal with the 
chaos in our lives. 
Dear God: I bet it is hard for you to love everybody in 
the whole world. There are only 4 people in my family and I’m having a hard 
time loving all of them. 

Dear God: Are you really invisible or is it just a trick? 

Dear God: Do you know when I’m good or bad? Or is that just Santa Claus? 

Dear God: Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident. 

Dear God: Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can 
look it up. 

Dear God: In school they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on 

Dear God: Who draws the lines around countries? 

Dear God: Why did you make spiders and snakes? They really scare me. 

Dear God: Is it true my father won’t get in heaven if he uses his bowling words 
in the house? 

Dear God: Did you really mean “do unto others as they do unto you?” Cause 
if you did, then I’m going to get my brother good. 

Dear God: Thank you for my baby brother. But I really wanted a puppy. 

Dear God: We read that Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school 
they said you did. So, I bet he stole your idea. 

Dear God: Why do we talk to you if you don’t talk back to us? 

I hope I have lightened up your day just a little. As I have said before in the 
column, the difficulties that lie before us somehow seem to even out over 

On a personal note, this is my birthday weekend. Probably comes as no 
surprise when I tell you I was born on Halloween. Answers a lot of questions 
huh? The surprise comes when I tell you I was part of a two-fer! Twins. 
Fortunately my twin and I weren’t identical. It would have been a tough slug 
for my twin…Ruth Ann. An even bigger surprise came 13 months later on 
Thanksgiving Day when my productive mother gave birth to another boy/
girl set of twins…Elizabeth and Roger. Talk about conflict. At the peak 
statisticians figure there was a diaper change every 7 minutes. 

I will end with the Serenity 
Prayer penned by American 
theologian Reinhold Niebuhr 
(1892-1971.) Is it profound? If 
it helps you gain perspective 
then yes (I hope it does.) Be 

“God grant me the patience 
to accept that which cannot 
be changed, the courage to 
change that which can, and 
the wisdom to know the 

Hey Rich..... 
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