Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 11, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 13

13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 11, 2023OPINIONOPINION 13 Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 11, 2023OPINIONOPINION 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Dinah Chong WatkinsHoward 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 

Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated asa newspaper of GeneralCirculation for the County 
of Los Angeles in CourtCase number GS004724: 
for the City of SierraMadre; in Court CaseGS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in CourtCase No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024.
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not bereproduced without the 
express written consent ofthe publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper becomethe property of the Mountain 
Views News and maybe published in part or 
Opinions and views expressed 
by the writersprinted in this paper donot necessarily expressthe views and opinionsof the publisher or staff 
of the Mountain Views 

Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by GraceLorraine Publications,
and reserves the right torefuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 

Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 

Mountain Views News 
80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 
Sierra Madre, Ca.

Phone: 626-355-2737 
Fax: 626-609-3285 

A member 
of the 

Mountain Views News 

Mission Statement 

The traditions of 

community news

papers and the 

concerns of our readers 

are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperous

community of well-
informed citizens. We 

hold in high regard the 


quality of life in our 

community, includingthe magnificence of 
our natural resources. 

Integrity will be our guide. 



Putting the lights on, that very simple act, has some per

sonal significance to me. It is connected perhaps to a feeling 

that I have every day , even though I do not acknowledge it—to 

be related to something bigger than myself, something older and 

something not yet born, that will endure through time. Does 

this language ring a bell for you? I stumbled upon it Sunday as 

I thought about writing this article earlier than the Wednesday 

night. I have been told real writers prepare in advance, make 

corrections, and perhaps even rewrite parts. That is what real 

writers do and alas I realize I am not a real writer. It is now 

almost midnight on Wednesday and I am just beginning the ar

ticle that must be submitted tomorrow morning.

Anyway on Sunday, thinking about my article and looking for inspiration I casually 

reached up into the bookshelf and brought down this black book hoping that it was a large 

print book that I could easily read. The book surprisingly was a Jewish prayer book. Really

I know little about the Jewish faith or any faith but I remember once in Elementary School 

in Chicago being asked questions relating to religion and nationality whatever that meant. I 

remember asking my mother, who unlike the rest of my family was not an immigrant but was 

untutored in any religion, what nationality meant. She told that for me the answer to both re

ligion and nationality was Jewish – Jewish. I think she meant that for Jews the country made 

no difference because we were Jewish no matter what country we were in. I asked what being

Jewish meant and understood that we were not Christian and that I shouldn’t sing Christmas 

songs along with the other kids.

I asked what else she knew about being Jewish and she said that she knew that on the 

Jewish Sabbath, which started Friday night and continued until Saturday night, observant 

religious Jews would perform no regular work or other normal activities like ride in cars or 

even turn on the lights. If things needed to be done these observant Jews relied upon non-

Jewish friends who she called Shabbos goys, to perform these activities. On the Sabbath, I

imagine now, that observant Jews would do nothing but “observe” as a method of clearly 

seeing and finding themselves. Even turning on the lights got in the way of simply observing 

without doing much else.

Anyway, returning to Sunday I opened the black book and realized that it was a kind 

of Jewish Prayer Book. How it got on my bookshelf I will never know. As I opened the back 

of the book and read I thought of the title of all my articles “Put the Lights On” and laughed 

to myself about the prohibition which I did not understand. Anyway. It was Sunday and the 

lights were already on. 

I read the very first back page of the book and it contained the language that I re

ferred to in my opening paragraph about feeling a need to be related to something bigger 

than oneself, something more alive…something that will endure through time. I don’t know 

about you but I feel such a need. I always experience that people’s need to amuse and divert 

themselves is a recognition that there is something wrong. Something is missing and they

don’t want to think about it. Well I do want to think about it and even talk about it but no 

one I know seems to want to. These articles which I have been writing for about fifteen years 

are a recognition of my need to communicate with that unknown and unacknowledged part 

of my self. Perhaps religiously observant people are able to connect with that need through 

prayer and the overall manner in which they live. Who knows? 

It is now almost 7 A.M. Thursday morning and there is something else I want to 

share. Yesterday evening as my wife was driving us home from the Drugstore she asked me 

if I had my wallet. I couldn’t find it and after stopping the car and searching it was still not 

there. It was already dark, and it seemed hopeless but we drove back a couple of miles to the 

parking lot of the Pharmacy we had just left probably ten minutes earlier. As we entered the 

parking lot and stopped the car a man asked if I was Mr. Tolchin”, he said. I told him I was 

and he said he was looking for my address so he could bring the wallet by my house. The 

wallet contained my Driver’s License with picture and address but no phone number. Really

it seemed unlikely that he could bring the wallet to my house as I lived miles away in a hard 

to find place in a canyon. After I told him that I was Mr. Tolchin and thanked him, he handed 

me the wallet. 

This morning was trash day and at about 6:30 a.m. I brought our trash barrels out 

to the street. I noticed at the house next door that the trash barrel had been knocked over, 

probably by a bear, and trash was all over the street. Thinking about this article which I had 

written last night, but not yet submitted, I told my wife I was going to pick up the trash, other 

people’s trash. She laughed and said that if I was going to do that I better wear some gloves. 

I went upstairs and put on a pair of unopened work gloves which lay on the dresser. I keep 

them there to remind me of something. The gloves were a birthday gift from my learning

disabled son who is a wonderful person and always tries to help. He thought he was buying 

golf gloves.

I put on the gloves and remembered a statement proclaiming “A good person always 

picks up his own trash and other people’s as well”. I am generally NOT such a person. This 

morning I was. In my mind this morning this all connects with the language concerning the 

feeling of incompleteness that began this article. Remember I am a lifelong disbeliever in all 

religious faiths and I don’t know how that book got on my bookshelf. Right now, however, I 

feel a little less incomplete and I hope you understand. Anyway, I suggest that we all do our 

best to observe the opportunities to be the person we would like to be. But don’t do anything 

crazy and remember to wear the gloves. 


All my father 
ever wanted as a young man was to marry my mother and start a family 
— plans that were interrupted when he was drafted into the Armyduring the Korean conflict. 

As he served in Texas, Germany and other parts of the world, there 

was only one affordable way to stay in contact: writing letters.

Every single day, seven days a week, my mother told me, he wrote a 

letter to her and she wrote one to him. Some letters ran four pages 

long. Some days, they wrote two! 

They shared their hopes and dreams, and how they missed each other so.
My father joked that they’d have four boys — a football player, a baseball player, a 
basketball player and a priest. 

Their cursive handwriting was as impeccable and as artful as their words. Their letters 
offer a case study in the art of romance.
Romance, according to, is “to court or woo romantically; treat with 
ardor or chivalrousness.” 

“Ardor” defines my parents’ romance especially well: “great warmth of feeling; fervor; 
passion; intense devotion, eagerness, or enthusiasm; zeal; burning heat.”
Halfway through my father’s two-year tour, my mother stopped writing to him for 
three weeks. 

He was mortified, thinking she’d found someone else — unaware that she’d become 
so sick from rheumatic fever that she nearly died. He was relieved to learn there was a 
reason her letters had ceased, but now he agonized over her well-being.
Finally, after two long years, he was able to return home to her. Finally, they were able 
to get on with their lives. 

The romance my parents enjoyed is a dying art among younger people. Romance is 
about kindness and honesty and graciousness and affection — it’s about patience and 
sacrificing now to enjoy greater fulfilment later on. 

It’s about trust. It is the sense that someone places you above all others and cares more 
for your needs than his own. 

My parents really did believe that when they married they became one under God.
They fully accepted that their commitment to each other was to “have and to hold, for 
better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do them 

Some consider these dated concepts in a modern era of instant gratifica-tion, cynicism, 
self-centeredness and hook-up dating, but without the principles on which my 
parents built their love, romance cannot flourish. 

My father told me on many occasions that the first time he set his eyes on my mother 
he knew he would marry her — and his proudest achievement was that he made it 

Well, I am hopeful to learn that younger generations are the biggest be-lievers in love 
at first sight, according to a 2017 Gallup survey. They are romantics at heart — as we 
all are! We are all authors of our own stories, too, so why not begin writing ro-mance 
into our lives? 

This Valentine’s Day, turn off your computer and smartphone. Gather some stationery 
and a ballpoint pen and write to someone you love — or someone you know who 
makes your knees wobble. 

Maybe you’ll fail, maybe you’ll succeed, but know this: The act of writing our stories 
is where true romance begins. 

My mother and father wrote a love story for the ages. Young or old, all of us can do 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 



Okay guys. If you are about to entertain 
a lovely lady this upcomingValentine’s Day, listen up. If you 
are not entertaining a lovely lady this Valentine’s Day you maybe too far gone. Irregardless, I’m only going to talk about this 

Literally, one or more ladies have contacted your sophisticated, 
suave and chic columnist pleading that I address vital issues of 
critical importance to the fairer sex. You might want to take 
notes. If your significant other (assuming you have one) ever 
reads my column, it is certain to be posted on the refrigerator, 
in the garage, and/or on the wall above the john. 

Minimal Standards of Hygiene 

1. Hot water is your friend. Deodorant, cologne and aftershave 
are no substitutes for a hot shower. If you lift things for 
a living that are heavier than a bread box, shower often. Soap 
would be a nice touch. 
2. Deodorize. If your 24 hours are up it’s time to reload. 
Stick or spray, it doesn’t matter. Some of you need to do both. 
3. Send an expedition up those two little caves above your 
mouth. If you need a machete to clear a path invest in a nose 
hair trimmer. If you can actually convince a girl to get close 
enough to kiss you, she’s going to notice if there’s a rain forest 
hanging down from the twin towers. 
4. While you’re at it, check the hairs above your eyeballs. 
Yeah that’s right. There are two rows: one on the left and 
one on the right. If they connect in the middle its no wonder 
women run away from you. No eagle wings or feather dusters. 
They need to be groomed, trimmed and all going in the right 
5. Dust off your tooth brush. In fact, replace it and then 
USE IT. No, not to clean tile grout. Stick it in your mouth and 
spin your head. While you’re in the neighborhood…floss. Leftovers 
from dinner need to be kept in the refrigerator. not between 
your teeth. I’m fairly certain if you floss regularly your 
breath might improve. 
6. Do you know what the biggest organ in your body is? 
Oh, that’s just disgusting. I’m talking about your skin. Were 
you aware that in the animal kingdom the male of the species is 
always more beautiful than the female? Not us. So listen up and 
lets get back on the evolutionary track. Start with moisturizer. 
Buy some and rub it all over your body. Then, just maybe, some 
woman won’t mind looking at you. 
7. Did I mention changing clothes regularly? No, not 
changing out of yesterday’s boxers and into the day before’s. 
Change into CLEAN clothes. While we’re at it wear socks. 
Smelling bare feet in tennis shoes would make an effective form 
of torture at Guantanamo. Remember, hot air rises. Typically 
right up to her nose. 
8. Optional body noises are not the homosapien males 
mating call to the female. Save your belches, burps and farts for 
the guys at the ballgame. Try it on a woman and you will foul 
out (Get it? Foul out…baseball? Oh, never mind.) 
Men! Everyday can be Valentine’s Day with the ladies if you 
follow a few basic rules. Don’t be a walking billboard for evolution. 
Remember, Neanderthals died out as a species cause theydidn’t get lucky. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285