reimagined what I saw on a Funniest Videos program. A rare
white-winged wilson lands near a mighty hunting dog. It flops
around a bit, then lies still in the grass. The dog eyes it
warily. Is it going to take off again?
it doesn't, the dog begins to stalk it. He cautiously
approaches within four feet, then backs off. The wilson makes
no move to escape. He cautiously approaches within three
feet, then backs off. The wilson remains still. He
cautiously approaches within two feet, then backs off.
The wilson still doesn't move.
the dog dares to come even closer, standing over the wilson, staring
at it, not moving a muscle. This wilson must be a world
champion at playing dead! The dog stands there motionless a
good 15 seconds, hardly daring to breathe.
he launches an attack, and the wilson tries to squirm away!
But there the video ends.
GETTING IT BACKWARDS
week, the President's legal advisor Jenna Ellis retweeted a
quote. I have at least three problems with it.
One should not wish to anger either conservatives or liberals.
Rage is a destructive emotion.
The quote is fake.
I've written about this sort of thing before.
The alleged quotation has things exactly inverted. Instead, I
upset a liberal,
Trump has lied 25,000 times in the 1,400 days of his Presidency.
upset a conservative,
her the truth.
her Joe Biden won the election, living things evolved, she will not
live forever, the Earth is not flat and it's getting warmer, and
COVID-19 is real.
from Abby Haglage, New York Times:
stubborn people refuse to accept facts about the coronavirus, even
after a positive test. Kentucky nurse Karina Molina laments,
We'll have patients come up positive and they'll say,
You're just trying to take our money or You didn't
do it correctly. People have said, No, I'm not
going up to the COVID unit. I don't have it. How do you
argue that? How much more real can it get? And many
conservatives defiantly refuse to wear masks, the mark of Satan.
Iowa emergency physician Dr. Thomas Benzoni says, The warped
logic that I'm seeing used.... In the old days, that would warrant
you an antipsychotic and a psych bed.
from Siobhán O'Grady & Adam Taylor, Washington Post:
journalist James Ball tweets that the United States is in
absolutely deadly, delusional denial. Yap Boum, a
Cameroonian epidemiologist, says the willingness of some Americans to
risk their and their family's health to gather for Thanksgiving has
left him befuddled. I found it really crazy. On one
hand you see the people dying, on the other hand you see that the
vaccine is close. Why can't you wait? People have the
freedom of choice, and everyone considers that he can decide for
himself. But your freedom stops where someone else's freedom is
starting. We are not free to harm other people who are more vulnerable.
WE GATHERED TOGETHER
those times long ago when the whole family dined alongside each
other at a big table, then spent the rest of the day in each other's
company, all indoors in one house? Many folks are forgoing the
traditional Thanksgiving festivities this year due to the pandemic.
remind myself of how things used to be, I've located a few pictures
I took of relatives on my mother's side of the family, starting with
my grandmother's basement in 1962.
photos below were taken
at her nephew's home five years later. Let us be thankful in
our own ways.
set that Jello on the counter! It belongs in the refrigerator,
because it hasn't set yet. But you can open the new set of
dinner plates and set the table. If you do it quickly, maybe
you can set a new record.
don't set that book aside! Why is it set in an old-fashioned
font? Because the tale is set in the late 19th century.
The author set his scene in a town on the Oregon coast, as pretty as
a movie set. The local preacher, who liked to set psalms to
music, wanted to be set free from his church. After playing one
last set of tennis, he set out to prospect for gold. He watched
the sun set over the ocean as he set sail for Alaska. But the
preacher's son was more set in his ways, and he stayed behind.
His heart was set on marrying a certain young lady. He gave her
a ring that was set with a diamond, and they set a wedding date, but
then his broken leg had to be set.
set me thinking. Did you remember to set the alarm? I
want to get up early to set my hair. And have you finished your
math homework on set theory? You should set a good example for
your brother. And please turn down the TV set. The
volume's set too high.
WE WANT EVEN MORE BLESSINGS, FOR US
heden nu treden voor God den Heere begins a 1597 Dutch
hymn by Adrianus Valerius. Because Holland was under the rule
of a Catholic king, Philip II of Spain, Dutch Protestants had been
forbidden for years to assemble for worship. They sang, We
want today to step before God the Lord.
1609, those Protestants were joined by others, the Pilgrims from
England. Later some of the Pilgrims decided to move on to the
New World. There they gathered together with Native Americans
to celebrate the first Thanksgiving likely
remembering the tune they'd heard during their decade in the Netherlands.
November 19, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control advised against
gathering with anyone who hasn't lived in the same household for at
least 14 days.
38% of Americans plan to eat Thanksgiving dinner with 10 or more
people. "Bringing a deadly disease to people with little
to no immunity is a very authentic Thanksgiving reenactment."
words to the old hymn (not actually a translation) were written in
1894. They appeared in The Methodist Hymnal in 1935 and
now are popular at this time of year.
sing it too; it's #93 in Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, titled Prayer of
one Mormon examined the words closely and protested in a column 20
is no prayer of thanksgiving! It's a regular old prayer of
askin' for stuff! Do you think we're fooling Him, calling a
song a 'prayer of thanksgiving' and then slipping in some requests,
hoping the title alone will trick Him?"
is the choir expressing gratitude and then adding a few
requests. We gather together to ask the Lord's
blessing and pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be. Let
Thy congregation escape tribulation. O Lord, make us free!
common error in prayer technique is sitting around asking for
stuff. Most experts agree a more effective method is getting
off your ass and doing something."
was superspread from a small-town wedding in Maine three months ago,
namely a coronavirus outbreak that infected nearly 200 people and
killed seven of them. "None of the seven who died attended
this wedding. So people planning a big Thanksgiving aren't
simply jeopardizing their own families; they're saying, 'I'm happy to
kill strangers if it means I can have what I want.'"
OBERLIN DIGEST, SPORTS EDITION
I was the sports director at WOBC-FM in Oberlin, Ohio, I hosted
interviews about college athletics on Friday nights between 1966 and
1968. I feel I should call your attention to a modern-day
feature which was presented three nights ago by Oberlin College's
was at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 that Tommie Smith and John
Carlos finished first and third in the 200 meters. Smith was
the first ever to run the race in under 20 seconds. On the
victory stand, each of the two Americans removed his shoes, donned a
black glove, and raised a fist with head bowed to demonstrate for
human rights during the National Anthem. It was a moment worthy
of a statue.
Smith became a member of the athletic faculty at Oberlin for a few
years during the 1970s.
week, as Dr. Smith continues to fight against systemic racism, a
thousand Internet participants heard him share his story with George
Smith (Oberlin '87).
can view that Zoom webinar here.
the way, you'll hear stories about a part of Oberlin called
across the tracks. Although I was aware that much
of the local Black community lived in the southeastern part of town,
I hadn't heard that term before; I spent most of my time near the
college's Tappan Square, outlined here in green.
along the way, you'll hear from Howard Cosell, and you'll meet
Tommie's wife Delois.
don't know much about authentic Vietnamese food. I've dined at
only one Vietnamese restaurant. It was in downtown Lincoln,
Nebraska, of all places, on a very cold Saturday night in 1996.
The fare was delicious.
since learned that Vietnam's national dish is pho, pronounced
fuh, a soup of broth (available in boxes at grocery
stores) with herbs and meat and rice noodles. I decided to try
it. I bought some pho broth, but what to add?
never mastered chopsticks, so rice noodles are even more difficult
than spaghetti to wrangle into my mouth; forget the noodles. I
do have little cups of brown rice in my cupboard, so I microwaved one
and added the grains to a bowl of broth. With no herbs or meat
on hand, I substituted lime juice and a bit of hot-pepper hoagie
spread, then microwaved the whole for a couple of minutes.
lips don't fit the deep ladle-shaped soup spoon depicted on the
front of the broth box, so I elegantly sipped my tasty
homemade soup with a teaspoon. Delight-phol.
16, 2010 ANNIVERSARY
would have been my parents 70th wedding anniversary.
They were married in Covington,
Kentucky, on November 16, 1940.
Ive discovered, it was not
unusual for young couples to travel hundreds of miles to be married
in Covington. Another example came to light recently:
this time, a 100th anniversary.
to the Richwood Gazette of Thursday, August 25, 1910,
Miss Elizabeth Daniels and Edward Niebler eloped to Covington,
Ky. and were married. The groom is 23 and the bride is but
17. ...The parents of neither the bride nor groom had any
thought of their intentions of eloping.
Daniels, whom I've represented by the Sears, Roebuck catalog drawing
at the right, was noticed to take some of her wearing apparel
in a valise around 11 oclock on a Friday. She was
asked where she was going, and the reply was
nowhere. But she did confide her plans to her sister.
usual, Elizabeth drove the milk wagon to town and delivered the milk
at the Richwood Creamery. She then hitched the empty wagon in
front of the Church Hardware Company store and asked Constable George
Curl if he could arrange for someone to take the wagon home.
The officer enlisted his son Rolla, with the help of Edgar Wilkinson,
to return the rig to the Daniels place.
the Big Four railroad depot, Mr. Niebler was waiting for his
sweetheart. The crowd which had gathered there had
considerable fun at the expense of the youthful lovers before they
departed on the 3:59 train on their way to Covington.
AN ACHILLES TRAGEDY?
couldn't resist Photoshopping an illustration for Gretchen Koch's
tweet, a riff on imagining words as though they were ancient Greek
names ending in the syllable pronounced kleeze.
you see what's going on over there? asked Popsicles.
replied, Well, Vehicles is trying to drive away, but Tentacles
won't let him go. Barnacles insists on coming along, and
Obstacles is in the way. You don't have to be Oracles to see
what'll happen next.
Pittsburgh's North Shore, a veteran's family welcomes him back from
Let the historians
the political questions.
As long as we remember,
there is still some love left.
picture story is this month's 100 Moons article.
10, 2016 COME
television commercials have become much kinder. Let us give thanks.
the day before the election between 6:15 and 6:30 pm, two commercial
breaks on a local station were cluttered with 23 spots. I kept
track. In addition to five sponsors' ads, there were three
promos for upcoming shows on the station. There was one
positive political ad: John Rafferty promising what he'd do if
elected Pennsylvania Attorney General.
then there were 14 negative political ads. Of these,
one attacked Rafferty's opponent, four attacked Hillary Clinton, two
attacked Donald Trump, five attacked Sen. Pat Toomey (including three
such spots in a row at one point), and two attacked his
challenger. All were hateful. All were filled with
accusations of lying and other moral failings while asserting their
the day after the election, there was a wonderful silence. Not
only were all the political ads gone, but commercial sponsors
began giving us uplifting inspiration. These ads don't sell the
sponsors' products directly; instead, they promote love for other
Americans! For people who may be different from ourselves!
a commercial for Johnnie Walker, a Latino voice recites:
I went walking
saw a sign,
on the sign it said
But on the other side
It said nothing.
That side was made for you.
roamed and rambled,
I've followed my footsteps
the sparkling sands
all around me
voice was sounding:
land was made for you."
This land is your land;
Esta tierra es mía.
This land was made for you
speaker, Rommel Molina, was of course quoting Woody Guthrie's 1940
folk anthem, which ends with this stanza:
ever stop me
I go walking
ever make me turn back!
land was made for you and me.
commercial, originally aired by the University of Phoenix during the
Rio Olympics, features a poem from Maya Angelou spoken by black
lesbian Gail Marquis, a 1976 Olympian in basketball.
may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies.
may trod me in the very dirt.
But still, like dust, I rise.
can shoot me with your words.
You can cut me with your lies.
can kill me with your hatefulness.
But still, like air, we rise!
7, 2020 OVERCROPPING
graphic designers don't like to limit themselves to highly-legible
black-and-white text. A football scorestrip reading HOUSTON
TEXANS 0 / NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 0
would be boring. Sports teams have colorful logos, and we ought
to use them!
ESPN and Fox have excised team names entirely from some graphics,
not even abbreviating the cities to HOU
networks rely entirely on hieroglyphic symbols which they assume
viewers can easily identify. But can we?
TV graphics have limited space to display those symbols, lest they
cover up too much of the action. So the logos get cropped into
small rectangles, leaving only their central portions. This works
better for some teams than for others.
on an NFL broadcast last weekend and thought my old hometown's North
Union High School must be on the field. I puzzled over the
chocolate Easter bunny on Fox until I realized that it was merely
part of the Browns facemask. And back when I worked on ACC
telecasts, I was required to use II
to represent Duke; isn't that just the Roman numeral for 2?
Let's crop less tightly, designers!
Sitting and snacking in front of the computer most of the day, then
lounging in front of the TV most of the evening, I've put on 10
pounds of COVID-19 weight since July. Your results may vary; I
follow one tweeter who, in quarantine, has stopped going
out to movies and has lost 15 pounds. Anyway, I've
resolved to mend my ways, exercising more and not eating unless the
sun is up.
Tom Photos, retired from editing American History textbooks for
McGraw-Hill Publishing, now writes a music blog.
also involved with an online arts & music magazine called 43302,
which is the Zip code of Marion, Ohio.
grew up near there, my first TV
job was in Marion, and I reminisced about it here on my own
website. Therefore Mr. Photos has added a portion
of my writings and photos to 43302. Thanks, Tom! I'm honored.
even added a couple of other images related to my recollection that
the Uhler Building in Marion was where Daniel W. Brickley Jr., my
childhood EENT doctor, had his office.
1, 2010 WHISTLING
this cartoon appeared on the front page of my mothers high
school newspaper in Byesville, Ohio, it was the morning after
Halloween in 1929.
and signs and tires had been discovered to have mysteriously strayed
from their wonted locations. Two young lads were nonchalantly
walking to class, innocently unaware of any mischief that might have
taken place overnight. Nevertheless, the working men of the
town were obliged to restore order.
Ohio, this minor vandalism on the night of October 31 had been going
on for years. I found items
published in the Richwood Gazette 45 years before, warning of
19th-century juveniles who stole cabbages and turnips and apples on Halloween.
were played, but as yet there was no trick or
treat. It may have been some Canadian kids who first got
the idea of running a protection racket. Trick or
Treat Is Demand of local youngsters, an Alberta newspaper
reported in 1927. In other words, well play a trick on
you unless you buy us off with a tasty snack. (This information
comes from here.)
extortion ploy spread south to the United States. By 1934, a
paper in Portland, Oregon, was reporting that young goblins and
ghosts, employing modern shakedown methods, successfully worked the
trick or treat system in all parts of the city.
Helena, Montana, another writer described the scam.
Pretty Boy John Doe rang the door bells and his gang waited his
signal. It was his plan to proceed cautiously at first and give
a citizen every opportunity to comply with his demands before pulling
any rough stuff. Madam, we are here for the usual
purpose, trick or treat.
the custom may not have become well established in Ohio, under the
name Beggars Night, until about the time I entered the
world in 1947. I still have objections
to the concept.