And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that as I sat down to write this shortly after noon Monday, October 2, the television stations are reporting an increasing number of deaths in that Las Vegas shooting.

Because that story is still fairly new at this point, I can’t comment on much, but when a story such as this greets you when you awaken in the morning, you can’t help but wonder what’s wrong with this world. We seem to be beset by natural and man-made catastrophes at an increasing rate as the years go on. Have we done something to really irritate God?

I can’t help but wonder about the motivation of the killer. There had to be something dark and ugly in his mind to trigger that action. It is inhuman.

Along with everybody else, I have many questions about how he was able to accomplish the horrific act. Maybe by the time you read this, some of my questions, and yours, will have been answered.

Meanwhile, there are other things to note.

I watched the Cubs lose the final game of the regular season Sunday afternoon, thus continuing my boycott of the professional football league.

So, I looked at the stories in the Monday morning dailies to see how many players and coaches took a knee to protest the playing of the National Anthem. And did not find a mention of it. Has that stupidity ended, or have fans become accustomed to it, like the singing of the anthem being butchered by singers who obviously do not respect the original version.

I was reminded of the time aboard my aircraft carrier when we stood at attention while the Japanese anthem was played by a Navy band as we were anchored off a port in Japan. That was 12 years after the surrender of the Japanese to end that phase of WWII. Memories were still fresh concerning atrocities. But the Navy had invited the kids at a Japanese orphanage aboard for a tour and meal, and crew members had invited some apres guerre geishas (bar girls) to act as interpreters, although the orphans were being taught English as a second language. It never occurred to us to protest by demeaning the Japanese anthem.

I noticed where students at Grinnell College in Iowa have unionized and are demanding wage increases for those employed by the college. Up to $9.50 an hour. I remember being happy to get jobs as a student. The pay was minimal, maybe 35 cents an hour, but we also got two meals a day, which was worth a lot to those of us working our way through college without much family help and no scholarships.

I progressed from busing tables to salad maker to fry cook, and in the latter capacity we also could save and eat our “mistakes,” so we made a few mistakes!

The summer between my junior and senior years, I stayed on campus to get more time on the air at WSUI, some of which paid a little, and also worked evenings at the doctor’s and nurse’s cafeteria at University Hospital, which also included a meal and a few cents per hour.

It is a different world indeed.

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