• It was a surprise to see Jeanne Mary Smith’s obituary in the paper – not that she had died but that she had still been living last month. So many of our schoolmates have moved on already, we’re more aware of those who have reached their nineties.

• Hey, I always thought that melamine was a kind of dinnerware. Now I find it’s a poison the Chinese add to baby food or some such. Live and learn.

• Not too many years ago, we had some sort of military band every year in concert at the Convention Center and we loved them. Now all we get is lots of publicity about how often such a group appears at the Liberty Theater. How come? I enjoyed those visits every time because they were the one spot where we could be assured that the audience would be expected to sing the Star Spangled Banner! Only thing is, they play it as written, which is too high-pitched for most people. I’ve even tried to get it transposed, since the key is most surely one of the reasons so many people don’t like to sing it.

• Donald and Don are taking some great sports pictures for the Signal these days. We don’t always know what was taken by whom but it keeps us busy guessing. Way to go, guys!

• At the women’s meeting of the Methodist Church, we had a speaker from a small congregation in the rural area of McMinnville. It’s a two-room building with a sanctuary and a Sunday school room, a wood stove for heat, no running water and no bathroom – uncanny! Well, maybe you can call the outhouse a can.

I thought it was wonderful that people would continue to go to that church, wishing to preserve its ancient lack of amenities and more concerned with a study of the bible and what its message meant to the people – something more of us might emulate.

We also learned a child’s definition of love. “It’s when a lady puts on her perfume and a man puts on this shaving lotion and they go out together and smell each other.”

• My friend, Bill, wrote me a thrilling story of the USS New York – LPD21, a ship that was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center, blown up on 9/11. It is a mine cruiser type of warship, designed at special operations for missions against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopter and assault craft. The steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, La., to cast the ship’s bow section. When it was poured in the molds on 9/9/2003, it was a spiritual moment for everyone there.

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the TC steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the hair stood up on the back of his neck. It had great meaning for all of them, he said.

“They knocked us down but they can’t keep us down. We’re going to be back.”

The ship’s motto: “Never Forget.”

• My son, Gary, thinks that Treasury Secretary, Paulson, looks like Daddy Warbucks. Seeing him on a still photo, I concur. He certainly has the head for it. No diamond stickpin but maybe he hides that for publicity shots. Hey, just because he looks like DW doesn’t mean he can handout our money willy nilly!


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