Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 4, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 4, 2022 10 OPINION Mountain Views-News Saturday, June 4, 2022 10 OPINION 




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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Does the title of this article mean anything special to 

you? I wondered about it as I watched hour after hour of the 

French Open Tennis tournament for the last ten days. I am 

a person who for whatever reason has always been awake for 

most of the early morning. In past years I would do calisthen

ics as the sun rose and feel specially honored by the morning 

light. I actually felt connection to ancient peoples who, in those 

pre-electric lighted times, tenaciously arose and did what was necessary to reproduce 
and maintain the existence of the species. They must have worried whether the sun 
would arise each day and wondered if they could adjust to possibly changing circumstances. 

Today, in a kind of related way my mind is filled with concerns about the conditions 
of this planet. I worry about all of the immense problems facing us as our own habitability 
of the planet is threatened. As you must know it’s not just global warming and 
air pollution. It is also drought and hurricanes and earthquakes combined with political 
movements which threaten democracy and seemingly move us toward ultimate tyranny 
if we survive that long. I would like to think I’m just being overly dramatic but there is 
increasing talk about a nuclear threat while ongoing unthinkable attacks on children and 
religious groups have become commonplace. There are more guns owned by people in 
the United States than there are people and even in the face of the violence occurring 
every day this American government has found it impossible to even discuss civilian 
disarmament. Walking the streets for the first time in my life feels unsafe. 

Enough of this talk! For me this particular two weeks of the French Tennis open 
at Roland Garros Stadium located in Paris has provided an almost successful method 
of avoiding my constant worry. Because of time differences the matches have begun at 
around 3:00 a.m here in our time zone and continue for twelve hours or so and are then 
shown again. I have been amazed at my ability to watch hour after hour and continually 
being invested in the outcomes. As I continued to watch the matches in the French 
Stadium covered with signs advertising Emirate Airlines and Banks and Renaults, and 
Perrier mineral water I noticed etched on the walls the statement in English “Victory belongs 
to the most tenacious” written on the wall. The other side of the stadium displayed 
what I took to be the same statement written in French. 

To further distract myself I used my IPhone to do a little research. Contrary to 
my expectation Roland Garros, for whom the Stadium was named, was not a tennis 
player or a famous athlete. Roland Garros was a French inventor and aviator who had set 
altitude records and was famous for being the first to fly across the Mediterranean Sea. 
At the outset of World War I he actually invented a machine gun that could be mounted 
on a fighter plane. During the war he flew several missions against Germany but on one 
mission his plane was hit and he was forced to land. Subsequently he was taken prisoner 
but after three years in captivity he managed to escape. The story goes that as a result of 
his capture he became badly short-sighted and had trouble seeing well enough to fly a 
plane. Amazingly he made himself eye-glasses in secret and reentered the war; but sadly, 
on October 5, 1918 he was killed in the skies of the Ardennes. 

Ten years after his death, after the defeat of the Germans, the new French Stadium 
was named, and remains, named in his honor. In the information revealed in my 
research it is stated that by retaining and honoring Roland Garros “and his intelligence, 
courage, and most importantly his tenacity in the face of unspeakable adversity, we can 
draw inspiration in our own lives when it comes time to meet our own challenges…and 
rejoin the fight to defend our values because as Garros said, “Victory belongs to the most 
tenacious.” For me the message reverberates that no matter how bleak is today we must 
maintain our belief that the sun will rise again in the morning and we must not let ourselves 
be overcome by fears and doubts and dissolve into unhappiness.

It is now after 3:00 a.m and I can go back to watching tennis. Go Coco! 




The only worry I 
had was that Old 
Man Miller might 
be hiding out behind 
the shed trying 
to catch us running 
through his 
garden when we 
played “Tag” in our 
back yards. 

If you grew up in 
the ‘70s in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Our childhood was essentially a 1950s childhood, a great time to be a kid. 

We played outside all day long in the summertime and no kid was ready to come home for dinner 
or when the street lights turned on. 

We had zero involvement in the adult world. There was one television in our home and it broadcast 
the news an hour or so a day, but we never watched the news. 

Most broadcasting was family oriented. I still have fond memories of going grocery shopping with 
my dad every Thursday night and arriving home just as the credits for “The Waltons” began to 

We’d enjoy Snyder of Berlin potato chips — the giant aluminum-foil family-sized bag — and 
French onion dip as my sisters and I gathered around to watch the show about John Boy and his 
large rural family making their way through the Great Depression. 

The closest thing we had to social media was the CB radio it took me weeks to save up for. 

I dubbed myself “The Trail Blazer” and chatted with other “good buddies” into the wee hours 
about trivial things. 

We lived simple lives in what appeared — to us, anyhow — to be a simple world. Our suburban 
world was free of chaos and suffering, because we weren’t exposed to it. 

It’s not possible for children to just be children that way anymore — because children are immersed 
in the awfulness of the adult world through 24-hour news channels and social media. 

One of my nephews is now 24, but I remember something he did that never could have happened 
in my childhood. 

My sister was driving him down the highway in heavy rains and he began to panic because of a 
sensationalized documentary he saw about hurricanes on the Weather Channel. 

He believed that hurricanes happened regularly and that he and his mother were going to die for 
the simple reason that a cable channel had to over-dramatize its content to draw in viewers. 

Now add social media into the mix. 

Kids are getting the same sensationalized news adults get — and the same often-wrong information 
— through their social media feeds. 

Now, in the aftermath of another horrendous school shooting, there is great national sadness, but 
nobody is surprised — least of all our children. 

School shootings are ever present in their minds, reports Yahoo News. 

I had trouble enough focusing on my lessons. How do kids focus now when, every day in class, 
they wonder if they may be shot? 

Last December, NPR reported the U.S Surgeon General issued a stark warning about the state of 
our children’s mental health. 

There is a direct link between the proliferation of social media platforms and the many mental 
and other issues our youth are suffering, according to a recent National Library of Medicine study. 

The shooter in Texas used social media to broadcast his horrible intentions. 

How I wish our children could be free to be happy, anxiety-free kids again — as we were when our 
only worry in the world was that Old Man Miller might be hiding out in his garden. 

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


This week’s episode of The First Lady was powerful. Eleanor 
Roosevelt was issuing her strong opposition to segregation and 
racism; Betty Ford proclaimed her support for the ERA and 
a woman’s right to choose; Michelle Obama faced the heart-
wrenching gun violence that befell Sandy Hook and Hadiya 
Pendleton in Chicago. Astonishingly, these societal ills are still 
being suffered and because of the Congressional Republicans’ 
utter disregard for human life, once outside of the womb, they 
refuse to do anything to safeguard our democracy and our lives. 
At the very least, there is a lack of empathy; do they really need 
to experience horrific events personally before they see the need 
to take action? The worst scenario, which I believe to be true, is 
that they just don’t care and their only goal is to remain in office. 
This is our reality now. It is overwheming to contemplate where 
the country is headed. 

We cannot be silent and watch the demise of our democracy 
happen right in front of us as we wallow in grief and fear for our 
children’s lives. In the realm of continuing gun violence, there 
are actions we can and must take. This coming weekend, June 
3-5, is Wear Orange Weekend. Wear Orange originated with the 
friends of Hadiya Pendleton. They decided to commemorate 
her life by wearing orange, which is the color hunters wear to 
protect themselves. There is a Peace Walk scheduled in Pasadena 
June 4. You can go to to find an event 
near you. 

March for Our Lives is a student run organization and was created 
after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School 
in Florida. There are rallies all across the country on Saturday, 
June 11. There will be one in Pasadena as well as in downtown 

L.A. and other locations around the Southland. You can go to to find a rally near you. 
There is so much to do. I remind myself to breathe deeply and 
often each day so that I can continue to be alert and to have the 
endurance to fight for what is right. Apparently, the Republicans 
in Congress are not willing to work for the health and welfare of 
their constituents. That means we must be loud and clear in the 
streets and with our vote to send the message that we are a force 
and will not accept their callous and malevolent disregard for 
our lives and for our democracy. 

Laura, Sierra Madre 



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