Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 23, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain View News Saturday, September 23, 2023 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Stuart Tolchin 

Harvey Hyde

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Dinah Chong Watkins

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







I wonder why? Why would anyone read my column? I make sure my 
photo is at the top of each column to “scare” you away. Furthermore, I 
insure my every column skates on the edge of the U.S. Supreme Court 
standard for an obscenity conviction under the Constitution! Really! I 
looked it up.

In Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973) a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court 
modified its earlier definition of obscenity from: “utterly without socially redeeming value” 
to that which lacks “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”. Known affectionately 
as the “Miller Test”.

I qualify under every test. And yet here we are.

Oh well. Speaking of wondering why, why is it illegal for you to pump your own gas in New 
Jersey? Don’t know but station owners get fined $250 if you do and get caught.

Why are dalmatians connected to fire departments? I know this one. Cause before fire 
trucks, departments used horses to pull fire engines. Thieves stole horses and fire departments 
discovered dalmatians and horses bonded easily. And dogs bark when robbed. Who 

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard? There is an answer. Because even though he loved his 
ape friends, he didn’t want to become one. So, he shaved with his knife. Ouch.

Why is there a light in the refrigerator but not the freezer? Actually, there is one refrigerator 
out there that offers a lighted freezer. It’s the Sub-Zero Pro 48 model. It costs $16,950. 
Knock yourself out lol.

Why does Goofy stand on two legs and Pluto stands on four? Official Disney answer: 
Because Goofy is actually a person drawn to resemble a dog. Geesh! By the way, Goofy 
originally had no name, then he was “Dippy Dawg”, then “Dippy the Goof”, and then “Mr. 
Geef”. (Rumor has it Disney is considering changing his name to “Rich Johnson”)!

Why do dogs not like to be blown in the face but love sticking their head out the window 
in a moving car? I don’t know. I’ve asked a few dogs and got no answers. Face it…we may 
never know.

Will pushing an elevator button over and over again bring the elevator quicker? I think 
the answer is obvious. But I do wonder if pressing the “close doors” button actually works?

What’s the speed of darkness? The speed of light travels at roughly 186,000 miles per second. 
Darkness is the absence of light. So, once light is gone, darkness returns. Darkness 
has the same speed as light. (Go figure that one out.)

So, while we got the astronomers on the line, I asked them what the oldest thing was in 
the universe? The answer? GRB 090423 Of course, thanks for answering. Ummmm, what 
is a GRB 090423?

The astronomer looked a me like I was a electron. No, a proton. Come to think of it, he 
said I looked like a moron. The GRB 090423 is obviously a Gamma-ray burst. Time for 
this “moron” to burn out.

I won’t remind you of the JJ Jukebox, Saturday, October 28 Halloween/Rich Johnson the 
Moron’s Birthday concert at Nano Café (626) 325-3334. Come as GRB 090423.

there seems to 
be no reason for 
me to feel all of 
this angst. My 
wife tells me that it annoys her to be 
around me just because she can feel 
my dissatisfaction and discomfort-
--and that’s before I say anything. 
She’s not wrong. When I do talk I 
seem to get into an argument with 
whomever I’m speaking with. Outwardly 
there seems to be no reason 
for this chronic displeasure. I live in 
this beautiful house in this beautiful 
place and am in no physical discomfort. 
Really, my wife is wonderful, 
my children who I see a few times 
a week are nearby and caring ---so 
what’s the problem?

 Speaking of my children, 
a few months ago as a continuing 
birthday present, my daughter ar-
ranged for me to receive a monthly 
communication from an organization 
called History by Mail located 
in Las Vegas. What is contained in 
these monthly envelopes are historical 
communications such as letters 
to the sitting President or letters 
from one General to another. A 
particular favorite of mine is an 
exchange of letters between President 
Ford and his appointed Ambassador 
to Ghana, Shirley Temple 
Black. That’s right child-star Shirley 
Temple in her later years is revealed 
in these letters to be much more 
knowledgeable about Ghana and 
Africa than is the President.

 In the letter to the President 
Shirley said “I have no trouble being 
taken seriously as a woman and diplomat 
here (referring to Ghana)…
My only problem has been with 
Americans who----refuse to believe 
I had grown up since my movies.” I 
believe that is still the problem for 
many of us Americans including 
me. We refuse to grow up and adapt 
and don’t recognize the problem. 

 Recently I spoke with a former 
colleague who is still practicing 
Law at the age of eighty. He is 
a member of a County Panel that 
receives appointments to represent 
indigent Defendants. He with great 
irritation informed me that he had 
been suspended from the panel for 
90 days because he had said to a 
female Alternate Public Defender, 
“You have nice legs”. The conversation 
ended at that point but I 
was already fuming with probably 
unthinking righteous anger. My 
daughter, who is almost fifty and 
a hard-working attorney herself, 
called me soon thereafter and I relayed 
the conversation and my anger 
to her.

 She somewhat condescendingly 
explained that the times have 
changed and I would have to “grow 
up” and understand that women 
no longer would accept being “objectified”. 
My daughter had little 
patience with this conversation 
and terminated it saying in conclusion 
that perhaps old men (like me) 
should be given a pass implying that 
they are generally beyond hope and 
don’t make much difference anyway.

 That is the problem I think. 
I and many old guys still want to 
make a difference but find them-
selves completely out of step with 
the current rhythms. Yesterday I 
received another envelope from the 
History by Mail folk which contained 
a letter from General Dwight 
Eisenhower directed to 175,000 
Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary 
Force. On the eve of history’s 
largest seaborne invasion which 
would take place on D-Day June 6, 
1944 a statement was distributed to 
soldiers, sailors and airmen as they 
stepped on their transports across 
the English Channel. The fighting 
men were reminded that their task 
would not be an easy one but that 
the General had full confidence in 
each man’s courage, devotion, to 
duty, and skill in battle. You undoubtedly 
know, I hope, that the 
invasion resulted in a Full Victory 
during which an estimated 10,000 
Allied Soldiers were killed, of which 
over half were Americans. 

 Today I am my only enemy 
and I recognize my need to find relevance 
and purpose and frank-ly 
I am pleased that I am willing to 
continue that battle. Maybe I enjoy 
feeling superior to those relying on 
mood altering drugs that so many 
around me ingest daily to tolerate 
themselves. I want to “grow up” like 
Shirley Temple. I want to be my own 
hero but it would be nice to have 
General Eisenhower or somebody to 
commend me on my courage in at 
least writing the articles. 

It would be well-received if you 
would contact me at stuarttolchin@ no matter what your 
message is. 

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I suppose it was just a matter of time before casual dress 
hit the U.S. Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has told the Senate’s 
sergeant-at-arms to no longer enforce the hallowed 
chamber’s informal dress code, which had required senators 
and their staffers to wear business attire.

Schumer’s directive appears to be tailor-made for Pennsylvania Sen. John 
Fetterman, who prefers gym shorts and hoodies over the suits and ties 
male senators have always worn.

When Fetterman first arrived at the Senate, he attempted to wear a suit 
and tie — but looked as uncomfortable as a kidnap victim constrained by 
a straitjacket.

After being treated for clinical depression, however, he returned to the 
Senate in his favorite frump duds.

To paraphrase comedian Dennis Miller, Fetterman’s clothes make him 
look like the kid who taps the keg at fraternity parties.

As someone who prefers slothful wear over formal attire — running pants, 
a long-sleeved Pitt Panthers shirt and frayed sandals — I’m sympathetic to 
Fetterman’s situation.

On one hand, I think the Senate deserves incredible courtesy and respect. 
It is a tremendous honor to be among 100 of the most accomplished and 
powerful people on the planet.

Senators must honor their colleagues through their manner, gestures, 
words and dress — one man’s comfort should never trump one’s duty to 
show respect to his colleagues and the august institution he represents.

On the other hand, our culture sure has gotten sloppy.

I recently found an old photo of my grandfather at a baseball game in the 
1920s. He and the other guys at the game were sporting suits and ties and 
fedora hats.

Pretty much everyone dressed up in formal clothes when they went to restaurants, 
movies and Sunday Mass well into the 1970s.

The Atlantic reports that our national shift to casual wear began in the 
mid-’80s with tech companies in California.

“Restrictive clothing worn for appearances’ sake was inefficient, and Silicon 
Valley was all about efficiency,” reports the magazine.

Long work hours writing computer code gave way to tech employees dressing 
down in khaki pants and button-down collar shirts.

Casual Friday soon loosened corporate dress standards across the country, 
and that evolved into casual day every day.

Now, thanks to covid, we’ve become a country of wrinkled slobs who look 
like we just crawled out of bed.

Like it or not, we are living in the heyday of frump, and no public figure 
symbolizes frumpiness more than Fetterman — whose bold stand for slovenliness 
surely motivated Schumer to abolish informal dress standards for 
senators. Schumer may rue the day he made this change, however.

It’s just a matter of time before Mitt Romney interviews witnesses as he 
still wears last-night’s silk pajama top, Ted Cruz casts votes in cargo shorts, 
black socks and scuffed wingtips, and Bernie Sanders filibusters in the raggedy 
white robe given to him as a gift 40 years ago.

Though I’m guilty of frumpism, if I were a senator I’d embrace the 
old saying “Dress for the job you want.”

I’d wear a crisp suit and tie and make sure my shoes were perfectly 

I’d do so for the simple reason that dress is a form of expression and 
communication — and that “dressing like a senator” will make it 
easier for my colleagues to respect me and collaborate with me than 
they would with the kid who taps kegs at frat parties.

Mountain Views News

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