The Gettysburg Times from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on June 8, 2002 · Page 4
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June 8, 2002

The Gettysburg Times from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania · Page 4

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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
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Saturday, June 8, 2002
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A4 GETTYSBURG TIMES • SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2002 Opinion Published daily. Monday Ihrotigh Saturday hy the Times and News Publishing Company — & Copyright 2002 — 1570 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325 Internet: www.sburgtimes.com Email: info@gburgtimes.com Cynthia A. Ford President Thomas Ford. Director of Operations Rohert Wright. Advertising Director Randy Gardner. Production Manager Krisli Cramer, Commercial Printinc Coordinator Robert B.,J. Small, Editor John P. O'Donncll, News Editor Kenneth A. Picking, Sports Editor Donna White. N.I.E. Coordinator The (jellyshurt; Times, founded in IW2. continues The Stnr ami Sentinel ( 1800). The Gettysburg Cinn/>iler I ISIS), The Ynrk Spring Comet I 1X7.1). The New Oxford Item (1879). and TVic East /icr/m/VcmvdSXO). Keystone Press Award in 2(102 /Vmi.vv/uiMM /U.vfriVtfri/ /'rt'.v.v M(tncif>in^ lidilors Awiirtl in 2002 As others see it Change has us all on the run Remember the old Paul Simon song, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"? "Just slip out the back. Jack, make it new plan, Stan Dim't need to be coy, Roy, just listen to me Hop on the bus. Gits, don '; need to discuss much Just drop off the key, Lee, tmd get yourself free. " I've been singing it for days now with slightly different lyrics. I call it "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Laptop." Sometimes it seems the real challenge in life is not how to win, but how to lose — how to let go and move on with a measure of grace. Why is that so hard? It's a lesson I've yet to learn, despite years of practice. If you look up "born loser" in my personal dictionary, you will find my name. You might find your name there, too. but yours would be listed second, mine would be the preferred. 1 have been losing and felling go all my life and I'm no better at it now than I was as a child when I lost my first tooth and threw a big fit because my dad said he couldn't put it back. "Don't cry," he said, wiping my bloody lip with his sleeve, "pretty soon you'll get a new one that's better for biting." I knew he was trying to help. (If you look up "help" in my dictionary, it will read "a well-intentioned effort by a caring, tfiftyghlfuLperson tp dq; or >;ay something ittai's nofthe leak birhelpful") But 1 was the one who was bleeding — and looking like'a jack-o'-lantern. "I don't want a new tooth." I said. "I liked the old one." "Give it time," said my dad. "It'll be OK." Don't you hate it when people say that? Who wants to hear it? Why give time to something you don't want? How much time will it take? By Thanksgiving I had a new tooth big as a turkey platter. And by Christmas it was broken. Never mind how. It was replaced with a metal crown big as Santa's sleigh. But my dad was right. 1 gave it time — eight years from first grade to high school, when I traded the sleigh for something that looked like a tooth — and in the end, it really was OK. There are harder things to lose than your teeth — hopes and dreams and people you love, things you hung on to until life rips them out of your hands. How do you ever know when it's time to lei go? How do you open your hands? I'm not Sharon Randall sure, but here is whal I think. Generally speaking, there are three kinds of losses: — Something good that you have to let go. no matter how much you want to keep it. no matter how hard you iry. (A loved one who's dying, a child who's growing up, your youlh and every minute of your life.) — Something good that is changing and can only get better if you let it go. (A grown child who's leaving the nest or a job that you've outgrown.) — Something that was never good, never will be and should have been trashed long ago. (Certain relationships, bad habits and bouffant hairdos.) The one thing they all have in common is that, like it or not, you just have to let them go. And it hurts less if you don't hang too long. Take, for example, my old laptop. Three years ago, when I bought it, I thought it was the best. 1 spent hours learning its glitches, memorizing its com. minds, letting my finger^ become one with its keyboard. It was slow, heavy and Jiot fun to play with, an electronic albatross around my neck. But I couldn't imagine giving it up. Then it crashed (not the hard drive, the case, when I dropped it in the bathroom at an airport.) And now 1 have a new laptop that makes me lose my religion because I can't type two words without making a mistake. But I'm going to give it some time. And it will be OK. If you look up "change" in my dictionary, it says "life." Scripps Howard News Service Letters welcome ,>r-. Address letters to , Editor, Gettysburg Times,, ,1570 Fairfield Ropd, Gettysburg, PA 17325; E-m»il address; editor@gburgtimes.com. THE TO TO.TVESTWWWW OF J. Aromas and Amish jihad This Friday will officially kick off summer, with the first Pool Hop at Neiderers Pool in McSherrystown. June 14th, the pool will open to its after-hours crowd for swimming, music, and the annual belly-flop contest. The kids love it, the parents are headache free for a night, and we lifeguards keep the peace while we dance our way around the perimeter. The biweekly event is open to ages 817, the party is chaperoned, and entry is only $3. Consider this your official invitation to come have some safe fun on a Friday night. I'll be the one sitting in the high chair, wearing a red suit and swinging a whistle. See you there. — Kami Masemer I really didn't know what to whine about this week. There's just so much to choose from. Cigarette tax, ugh, don't get me started. United States screening Middle Easterners, hmmm, I just don't know about that one. More suicide bombers, the Pakistani people's apparent whimsical attitude toward nuclear bombs, President Bush (maybe) tampering with federally protected land, more suicide bombers ... I'm exhausted. But what I really want to talk about is bad drivers. OK, bad drivers I guess I can tolerate because they just don't know any better, even though they're endangering my life. But mean drivers, there's another issue. Am I the only one who gets treated like Rodney King any time I even try to drive close to the speed limit? If you psychotic drivers out there (and you know who you are) are so hot, why don't you just pass people instead of riding their bumpers like maniacs? Why ride the bumper? You know it's just going to turn into a stupid game of the car in front of you (me) going slower just to spite you and then you driving closer just to spite me. Then we'll both be angry, and I'll give you a brake check and you 11 high beam me and so on. Can't we all just get along. — Andy Clarke A few weeks ago my editor approached me with a cool new assignment. He told me that I was going to be working in the Littlestown office of the Gettysburg Times once a week. I was ecstatic about the opportunity. My own office! No boss. No co-workers.' Just me in my own little space! , What I didn't think about is how 1 thrive on having company. My co-workers in the Gettysburg office know all about how I just have to say something to someone at almost any given moment. I'm chatty. Even when I'm quietly working on a story, I just have to come out with some random statement every once in a while, I also love when people stop by my desk, just to say hi. Now, even though it's just from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoons, I'm about to go out of mind with the quiet and loneliness. Whatever will I do with no one to listen to me go on and on and on and on about nothing in particular? So through this notebook, 1 hope that I can encourage people fo come to the Littlestown office of the Gettysburg Times on Thursdays between 3 and 5 p.m., just to say hi — or to drop off some story ideas — or even just to keep me from going insane. — Alex Gay hart Young soldiers bored with guard duty at an ammo dump in the middle of the night will do just about anything to stay awake. Even dis- and re-assemble the very weapon they would use to ventilate away intruders. Oh, the shotgun always went back together nicely — minus a firing pin. I don't think it ever had one. Guess the brass was worried we privates might shoot something they shouldn't. If we could only coax the terrorists to within reach, we could poke their eye out. Kind of senseless to play guard and not be able to back it up. Worse yet, the guards weren't told their gun wouldn't fire. Tell that to a family burying their soldier because he defended himself with an empty click. The Army also didn't bother to tell the guards that those two ghostly white, clip- pity-clop, farting and munching figures inside the fence weren't the enemy sneaking up in the darkness, but goats there to keep the grass cut. But that's another notebook. National Guard troops must feel equally vulnerable as they patrol Pennsylvania's five nuclear power plants, with unloaded weapons. Gov. Mark Schweiker and the Guard have refused to say whether the weapons are loaded. But State Rep. Mike Veon has gotten a lot of calls from soldiers, their families and watchdog groups reporting the weapons to be unloaded. Who knows? Do the guards know? Does the country's director of Homeland Security (himself a former Pa. governor) know about this? The bad guys now have a hunch. Hey, Gov., what's wrong with evildoers knowing that if they're up to no good that they might end up whistling while they run? Better yet, why don't YOU guard TMI with a broomstick? In the meantime, guardsmen, in the event of emergency, tell the terrorists to "Shoo, getaway, amscray." And if that doesn't work, throw your weapons at them. That should work. — B.J. Small Twenty-seven years ago in Greenwich, Conn., someone beat a 15-year-old girl to death with a golf club. An awful tragedy, to be sure, but other than the victim's family and the local news media, why would anyone outside of Greenwich care that much about it? Simply because the defendant is related to the Kennedys, a family that has been a national obsession for 40 years. Strange business, this cult of celebrity. We reject guilt by association, and adopt the idea that each individual is solely responsible for his or her own actions. It's a nice principle, but one rarely found in practice. Billy Carter, for instance, was a beer- guzzling redneck whose life had little impact on anything. But the fact that his brother was the U.S. president automatically made Billy a media celebrity, meaning all his goofy antics and utterances were widely disseminated as "news." If the mayor's son in your local community robs a bank, chances are that mayor won't be re-elected. So much for guilt by association, especially when immediate; family j me i mberji;tire involved. The accident of birth! shpjild be a journalistic footnote, not the centerpiece of the story. — John O'Donnell What was I thinking? I'd agreed to go to a play. Now, I thoroughly enjoy a good play. My spouse, not being a spectator, is another story, but that wasn't the reason for my concern. My faulty nose, in fact my flawed breathing system, has bedeviled me since my teen years; so it wasn't a new problem, but I so rarely go anywhere that I'd lost track of the fact there would be an abundance of lovely, flowery, sweet aro- mas filling the air at a playhouse. My.; nose of course detected and rejected the' aromas. So much for the play, which was ', a shame, because what I saw of "Visiting , Mr. Green," at Totem Pole Playhouse, Caledonia, it is a witty, gripping story v -, performed and directed by impressive professionals. ... I recommend it and, amazingly, so-, does my spouse! r, — Pat Nevada^ A very strange thing is happening Here in Pennsylvania. The Amish are becom-' ing militant. :< A sect known as the Swartzenruber-; Amish have been cited in an Ebensburg 1 ' court for not putting flourescent orange' triangles on their buggies. Instead, they; : use a plain grey tape on their buggies. ' The Swartzenrubers claim that orange Ti triangles are in direct opposition to their religious beliefs against "gaudy" decora-,' tions and against placing their faith in' man-made symbols before God. ''. However, the Cambria County judge,' said that keeping both the Amish and the.' public safe on the roads supercedes their religious beliefs. The Amish (approximately 27 of them) will be fined $95, but they plan on "fight--,'• ing" the citation with a little help from the' ACLU. One thing is clear: the sect won't relent- on the triangle issue. ,, This is weird ... it's almost like an Amish jihad. I'm frightened. > — Beth Kanagy/ It was an exercise in democracy, a:> gathering of Straban Township citizens 1 concerned that their quiet ruraiity might- become a way station for thousands of big trucks. ' Results of the meeting will not be known for months, maybe longer, but • maybe the questions generated by the 50-'' some residents, and a comment from' Township Supervisor Jay McDannell,' will take root in the minds of people who;, have thought they could not have an effect on government. The supervisors, he said, would base their decisions on the voice "of a majority of the people who come to the meetings" to voice opinions. Or, in the words of a well-known fictional occupant of The West Wing: "Decisions are made by those who show i .jBjfty , people showed up Thursday night, and it turned out their questions were not only about a large, so far fictional, trucking facility. They wanted to know how to participate. Just asking the question turned out to be the first step. — John Messeder By The Associated Press Today is Saturday, June 8, the 159th day of 2002. There are 206 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On June 8, 632, the prophet Mohammed died. On this date: In 1845, Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States, died in Nashville, Tenn. In 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union. In 1876, author George Sand died in Nohant, France. In 1915, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in a disagreement over U.S. handling of the sinking of the Lusitania. In 1942, Bing Crosby recorded "Adeste Fideles" and "Silent Night" in Los Angeles for Decca Records. In 1967, 34 U.S. servicemen were killed when Israeli forces raided the Liberty, a Navy ship stationed in the Mediterranean. (Israel called the attack a tragic mistake.) In 1968, authorities announced the cap- lure in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1978, a jury in Clark County, Nev., ruled the so-called "Mormon will," purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery. In 1982, President Reagan became the first American chief executive to address a joint session of the British Parliament. Doonesbury In 1995, U.S. Marines rescued Capt.; Scott O'Grady, whose F-16-C fighter jet; had been shot down by Bosnian Serbs on \ June 2. | Ten years ago: Secretary of State • James A. Baker HI and Russian Foreign \ Minister Andrei Kozyrev met in. 1 Washington to try to pave the way for a"; new round of strategic arms cuts. )' Five years ago: Irish Prime Minister -| John Bruton conceded narrow defeat inji national elections to opposition leader! Bertie Ahern. .] One year ago: A knife-wielding man / killed eight children at a Japanese ele-'J mentary school. British Prime Minister \ Tony Blair and his Labor Party swept to a ' } second term, winning re-election by a ( crushing margin. . / Today's Birthdays: Former President; Suharto of Indonesia is 81. Former First;! Lady Barbara Bush is 77. Actor-comedi-!; an Jerry Stiller is 75. Actress Dana) Wynter is 72. Comedian Joan Rivers is} 69. Actress Millicent Martin is 68. Actor •; James Darren is 66. Actor Bernie Casey '• is 63. Singer Nancy Sinatra is 62. Singer j Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night) is 60. 'i Musician Boz Scaggs is 58. Actor Don' Grady is 58. Rock musician Mick Boxl (Uriah Heep) is 55. Actress Sonia Braga \ is 52. Actress Kathy Baker is 52. Country $ musician Tony Rice is 51. Singer Bonnie'! Tyler is 49. Actor Griffin Dunne is 47.} "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams is 45. '.• Actor-director Keenen Ivory Wayans is • 44. Singer Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) ] is 42. i BY GARRY TRUDEAU i

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