Sunday, October 9, 2016

Forget the Clowns; Send in the Heroes - column, 10.9.2016

Mack Hall, HSG

Forget the Clowns; Send in the Heroes

Are there any clowns that aren’t creepy? The appeal of face paint and grotesque costumes – including the appearance of our presidential candidates and some of our popular entertainers – to otherwise stable individuals is inexplicable.

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Every filing cabinet in England is an Anglofile.

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Every telephone in France is a Francophone.

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If the Czech Republic were to free itself of the European octopus, that is, rule by Germany and Belgium, its new currency might be the Czechmark.

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Indecisive Flemings and Walloons are Belgian wafflers.

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Folks in Saint Petersburg are always in a hurry because they’re Russian.

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“Deteriorated” is a buzzy weather-word just now. You and I might say that the high winds are dangerous or that more flooding is expected, but the weather wardens chant that “Conditions are deteriorating.” Hurricane Matthew deteriorated all over the place for days. While millions suffered from the real storm, the wardens tossed together “deteriorated, “absolutely,” and “actually” every few minutes for their own word-storm of little content.

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Shortly before his scheduled graduation from Orangefield High School in 1945, Abner Simon went off to war. After his military service he earned a G.E.D. and then a college degree, and became a Baptist minister. At age 91 he is still serving his church.

The Orangefield ISD board and administration, all of whom were born long after World War II, heard of Mr. Simon and so invited him to his old school, fitted him into the traditional Orangefield graduation gown, mustered the Orangefield High School band, and presented him with his diploma as a 2017 graduate. When the rest of the Orangefield Class of 2017 catch up with Mr. Simon in the spring he will be their speaker.

Some old fussies will say that, by cracky, the kids need to listen to Mr. Simon. And one can only agree. But we must also agree that the President, too, needs to listen to Mr. Simon, and so do the presidential candidates, the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, and the high flyers at Wells Fargo. Every generation grows up to complain about the following generation, but the reality is that if every adult role model were more like Mr. Simon, the rising generation would do just fine.

That famous hat-tip to Channel 12 News and Orangefield ISD – and Mr. Simon! - for this happy story.


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