And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... as if the infirmities of old age were not enough of a reminder, sometimes a headline will remind of the passage of time.
The headline called the DC3 an “historic” airplane when it was flown into a regional airport recently. Pause.
Open note to editor and readers. I use “an” ahead of words which have soft “h” start, the way the British do, rather than the prescribed “a” Americans consider correct.
Okay, back to the airplane. The fact that apparently the DC3 is now considered in the same category as the Ford Trimotor in aviation lore dates me because my first plane ride was in a DC3. In the early fall of 1956 I boarded a DC3 at the La Crosse airport for a flight to Chicago, where I transferred to a larger plane for a flight to Boston. The Navy later gave me a ride in a DC3 as well. It was (is) a great airplane. Some were used as gunships as late as the Viet Nam war.
Speaking of headlines, today’s papers and TV are full of stories about the earthquake which struck the Napa Valley in California. That’s wine country. Fascinating to see from a car, I found. Even more so for those who actually stop and visit, I’m sure. There were no deaths, but some injuries. Biggest loss may have been wines stored in barrels which ruptured when tossed around. One story said that a Chenille bedspread in a store window near a winery “was soaked and dyed Merlot in color!” Hmm! Suppose one could wring out the bedspread and ... no, probably not. I can hear an expert: “This wine had great body, and a taste of a mixture of cinnamon, pear, cherry and ... bedspread?”
Another headline said, again, that it might be wise not to require high school age students to get up in time for classes starting at 8 a.m. Because their “lifestyle” does not allow enough time for sleep. Aren’t all creatures naturally regulated by a circadian rhythm? And before radio and television, because humans don’t see well in the dark, wasn’t a human’s natural instinct to arise when it was light enough to see and retire when it became too dark to see? So the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves. Make ‘em go to bed earlier so they can get up earlier!
Week after week, the national “best seller” lists of books contain at or near the top works by writers considered conservative. Bill O’Reilly is always killing somebody, and Glenn Beck and Charles Krauthammer have been there. This week, books by conservatives D’Sousa and Carson are one-two. Hillary Clinton’s book is sixth, but liberal authors are rarely represented. Why is that?
The funeral for that young black man killed in Missouri by a white police officer was today. A family minister, who knew the victim, was given ten minutes for a eulogy. Racist Al Sharpton, who didn’t, was given 20 minutes.
Same question: Why was that?

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