Battle Creek Enquirer from Battle Creek, Michigan on September 25, 1999 · Page 21
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Battle Creek Enquirer from Battle Creek, Michigan · Page 21

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Battle Creek, Michigan
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Saturday, September 25, 1999
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Page 21
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Religion Church Spotlight3G CLASSIFIEDS Pages 5-lOC 1 C. Lifestyije Editor: Rebecca Buckingham, 966-0693 Battle Creek Enquirer Saturday, Sept. 25, 1999 1C Out of Our Past 25 years ago today, 1974: Vot Faith ' JDIMj a 1 FESWB. i ti ers in the Hastings Area School District 0 1899 1949 voted to turn down a proposal to become part of 1974 1999 wfMti I! Storyteller enchants with his hopeful, humorous tales r Marti Penn The Enquirer X hether it's wares for use or words to live by, Ralph C. Morrison peddles it all. the Calhoun Intermediate School District. 50 years ago today, 1949: A famous plane, the Pacusan Dream Boat, an experimental Air Force B-29 and holder of 11 international distance and speed records, arrived at Kellogg Field to be on display at the silver anniversary air show. 100 years ago today, 1899: Kalamazoo was experiencing a milk famine. Dealers could not obtain enough to supply their customers and butter was 28 cents per pound. One local dealer had been getting milk all the way from Elgin, 111. "' "':'' 3S ... -V- J? a 5f V - Morrison, a Messianic rabbi, has been selling everything from buffalo sandals to books and fresh baked bread for almost 30 years in the area. "I've been a professional peddler, licensed by the State of Michigan for over 30 years," Fulton resident Morrison said. "I bring my wares to people. And along with my wares, I tell a story to anyone who might need it." Calling himself "The Peddler of Encouragement," Morrison has developed the old-fashioned art of storytelling, and said communication is one way to keep a cultural heritage alive while binding people together. "I think I'm responsible to nourish the seed of imagination. When my audience harvests that seed, they'll be rich in things that are important," he said. Morrison said audiences began to grow when he bought a pull-cart, he says, "about 28 or 29 years ago." Filling the cart with everything from books to jewelry and other "odds and ends," he roamed throughout Kalamazoo's Bronson Park selling his goods and sharing a story or two. "It was after I served in Vietnam. It was when America was in the Renaissance. I got my license and set up shop at the park. Sometimes the cops would give me a hard time until they got used to me. But you know, now I can't really remember a time when I didn't do this," he said. Along with his basic need to tell a good yarn, Morrison is director 1 Therapy dog helps students find way Associated Press WICHITA, Kan. The new kid at Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School sure is popular. He may look a little funny, with that sleek black coat and powerful, perpetu- ally wagging tail. But he's always got time to buddy up to other youngsters and listen to their problems. Buggs, he's called, and he's a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever brought to the school by counselor Dena Carselowey. He's not there purely for entertainment; he's a certified therapy dog, trained to sense when children are upset. "Many of the children I work with, they don't have the unconditional positive regard that pets can give," Carselowey said. "Buggs doesn't care what you look like or what your clothes look like or whether you're smart or not. He's just here, and that's kind of nice." Minneha Core Knowledge is one of at least four Wichita elementary schools that have therapy dogs on premises this year, usually stationed in counselors' offices. The dogs take part in what's called "pet-facilitated therapy," which brings Please see Dog, Page 3C , JOHN GRAPTHE ENQUIRER Ralph Morrison shared stories of humor, faith and encouragement Tuesday with a Battle Creek audience. "Joy is a matter of the heart, not of circumstance" is a message Morrison shares with one and all. The Rabbi's Story In the Jewish community, a rabbi is revered by his students. A young perspective student came to a rabbi and said to him, "Rabbi, I love you and want to study with you." The rabbi said to the student, "Where do I hurt?" The student said, "Excuse me?" The the rabbi said again, . "Where do I hurt?" The student says, "Rabbi, I don't have any idea what you are asking of me - how do I know where you hurt?" And the rabbi said to him, "If you truly loved me, you would know where I hurt." "Everyone loves stories," Morrison said. "Stories tell us who we are, where we've been and where we're going." Mary Tinsley Young, president of YOUNG IDEAS, a local public relations publicity and program development business, said the key to Morrison's success is his simple delivery. "I enjoy his authenticity," Young said. "It's not hammered at you, and I learn either by the history or tidbits from his faith woven in his stories." And just because it looked like fun one year, he became Kalamazoo Southland Mall's first Jewish Santa Claus. "I thought, this looks like fun," he said. "So I walked in and said 'I want to be Santa.' They took one look at me and hired me right away. But there were rules. I have my own beard and didn't Please see Storyteller, Page 11C ers. Toad Hollow also offers workshops, retreats and Passover and Hanukkah celebrations. His long list of clients includes BiggsGilmore Communications, Big BrotherBig Sisters, area elementary schools, Western and Central Michigan Universities and the United Arts Council of Battle Creek. He also will be telling his stories at this year's Midnight at the Creek on Dec. 31. consultant of Toad Hollow, a nonprofit organization located in Fulton devoted to providing tools and techniques for empowering perform "I think I'm responsible to nourish the seed of imagination. When my audience harvests that seed, they'll be rich in things that are important. " Rabbi Ralph Morrison Ladies, have a heart for beleaguered, besotten males Dave Barry enough so that you might want to get to know him better and maybe eventually, perhaps within the next 15 minutes, mate with him, thereby enabling the survival of the human race, which believe me, is the only thing that we males are truly concerned about. In conclusion, let me just say to all females everywhere, on behalf of all males everywhere, that you are very beautiful and your eyes are like two shining stars, unless you're a female fly, in which case your eyes are more like 2,038 shining stars. So please give us a chance. And if YOU'RE not interested, could you introduce us to your lawn tractor? Dave Barry's column appears each Saturday. Write to him co Tribune Media Services at 435 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60611. bites off the male mantis' head, and then she and her girlfriend mantises use it to play a game that looks a lot like Skee Ball." Because I live in Florida," my patio is basically a giant singles bar for lizards. On any given day during mating season, I'll see dozens of male lizards out there making their most suave lizard move, which consists of : inflating and deflating a red ; pouch under their chins. They seem to think that female lizards really go for a guy with a big chin pouch, but I have never once, in 14 years of close observation, seen a female respond. . They just squat there looking bored, while all around them males are blinking on and off like defective warning lights. Every now and then you'll see an offbeat news TV story about some animal, usually a moose, that has for some reason fallen in love "Hello, Dance?" I said. "This is Patty. Do you want to go to the Dave with me?" . Fortunately, Patty grasped the basic thrust of my gist and agreed to go to the dance. This was a good thing, because if she had shot me down, I would have been so humiliated that I would have never have been able to go back to school. I would have dropped out of 10th grade and lied about my age and joined the U.S. armed forces, and as a direct result the Russians would have won the Cold War. That is the awesome power that you women have over us men. I hope you understand this, and the next time a guy walks up and uses some incredibly lame, boneheaded line on you, I hope that, instead of laughing at him, you will remember that he is under the intense pressure of wanting to impress you burden of all: the burden of always having to Make the First Move, and thereby risk getting Shot Down. I don't know WHY males get stuck with this burden but it's true throughout the animal kingdom. If you watch the nature shows on the Discovery Channel, you'll note that whatever species they are talking about birds, crabs, spiders, clams it is : . ALWAYS the male who has to take the initiative. It's always the male bird who does the courting dance, making a total moron of himself, while the female bird just stands there, looking aloof, thinking about what she's going to tell her girlfriends. ("And then he hopped around on one foot! Like I'm supposed to be impressed by THAT!"). Male insects have it the worst. The Discovery Channel announcer is always saying things like: "After the mating, the female mantis with, and decided to relentlessly court, something totally inappropriate, such as a lawn tractor. This animal is ALWAYS a male. On the TV, they show it hanging around the lawn tractor with a big sad moony look, totally smitten, while the lawn tractor cruelly ignores it. My point here is, that in matters of the heart, males . have the brains of a walnut. No, wait! That is not my point. My point is that perhaps you women could cut us males a little bit of slack in the move-making process, because we are under a lot of stress. I vividly remember when I was in 10th grade, and I wanted to call a girl named Patty and ask her to a dance, and before I picked up the phone, I spent maybe 28 , hours rehearsing exactly what I was going to say. So when I actually made the call, I was pretty smooth. So I was at this party, and I wound up at a table where three attractive single women were complaining about Surprise! men. Specifically, they were complaining about the pickup lines that had been used on them in a bar a few nights earlier. One woman said: "This guy comes up to me and says, 'Are you a teacher?' I mean, is that supposed to be ROMANTIC?" All three women rolled all six of their eyes. Another one of them said: "This guy says to me, Tve been looking at you all night!' So I go, 'Hel-LO, we just GOT here.'" At this point, all three women and I want to stress that these are intelligent, nice women were laughing. Not me. I was feeling bad for the guys. I realize that there are certain hardships that only females must endure, such as childbirth, waiting in lines for public-restroom stalls, and a crippling, psychotic obsession with shoe color. Also, females tend to reach emotional maturity very quickly, so that by age 7 they are no longer capable of seeing the humor in loud, inadvertent public blasts of flatulence, whereas males can continue to derive vast enjoyment from this well into their 80s. So I grant that it is not easy being a female. But I contend that nature has given males the heaviest

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