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April 22, 2012

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As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

OpalToney7-24.jpg (37075 bytes)Seasons...
Well, I’m looking forward for spring, but when I woke up this morning and opened the door to go feed the cats and give Son #2’s dog food, whose name is “Bounce a Little,” but it takes quite a lot to feed him. I have to watch, or the cats wouldn’t get a bite!
I enjoy fall and winter when Santa comes, but spring is my favorite.

The Last Word: I enjoy them all! – O.T.


honeyandflag.jpg (61206 bytes)The View From Here
By Katherine Veno

Wondering about a disaster...
The most dreadful disasters make us wonder how we would respond were we in the middle of it. That’s especially true of those events that slowly evolve from concern to horror.
On the Titanic, almost three hours elapsed between the thud of the iceberg and the final plunge into the icy Atlantic.
When the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center commenced, most of the victims had more than an hour of uncertainty before the first tower fell. Both tragedies involved modern engineering feats that were supposed to withstand the worst, lending false confidence to many who were there.
On the Titanic, one young passenger’s recollections offer an especially useful picture of what it was like. With her parents making the decisions, Marguerite Frolicher was free to mainly observe both the commonplaces and the extraordinary.
Frolicher was 22 when her Swiss parents booked first-class passage on the Titanic for a business trip to New York. Fifty years ago, as a grandmother living peacefully in California, Frolicher shared her memories with a reporter from The Norwalk Hour, in Connecticut.
She had spent most of the trip obsessed with seasickness. Thus, she was half-dressed in bed when she felt “a tremendous shock running through the ship.” Her mother called it “a collision,” and Marguerite responded that she was feeling well enough to get out of bed. A Swiss doctor on the ship, a family friend, joshed that “it needs an iceberg to get you up.”
Frolicher and her parents put on life jackets. She recalled, “We looked like three barrels walking about.” A steward came by to tell them that the boat couldn’t sink, no need to worry. But Frolicher’s father was a seasoned ocean traveler and instinctively knew something was very wrong: Sailors almost never appear on the first-class deck, and they were there running around.
On an upper deck, the crew was placing passengers in lifeboats. Frolicher and her mother were put in separate boats along with other women and children. Her father called out a goodbye but was then given a seat because there was still room. Infamously and disgracefully, some of the lifeboats were launched mostly empty.
“All around us we heard a great wailing,” Frolicher recalled. After a while, they “heard an awful crash, which was repeated as the Titanic sank, and then there was a great silence.” But out of that silence came “many cries in the night.” Dawn finally arrived with “a marvelous sunrise,” and the Cunard liner Carpathia soon appeared to pick them up.
A few years later, Frolicher married another Swiss native in New York. The headline on the New York Times society page read, “Titanic survivor engaged.”
The press had no photos of the Titanic actually going down 100 years ago. That was totally unlike the Twin Towers disaster, where visual images and audio captured every excruciating minute.
The Twin Towers’ collapse was more democratic in its choice of victims. Rich, middle class and working class alike perished. After all, the choicest spaces with the commanding views were on the top floors.
The Titanic story continues to fascinate because of the ship’s elegance, the stark class discrimination and man’s confidence in his own technology. But part of the Titanic fixation is a timeline that, as with the Twin Towers calamity, lets us follow the stories of the survivors as their hopes were met and of the doomed as their hopes were lost. The accounts make one tremble.

EmilyLundy4-2.jpg (36194 bytes)Escapades of Emily
By Emily Gail Lundy

Technology troubles...
“The World is too much with us, late and soon....” Wm. Wordsworth, 1798.
He said it. With a new invention every day, my daughter sending e-mails from her iPod, other phones that record events before they even happen. Give me a land phone and my limitedly-used computer, and I’ll try to survive. I’ve decided to answer all phone calls if I am here but gladly hangup if I wish.
What started all this? I’ll tell you. We have two television sets in our house, not new ones but working quite well. One has a single remote; every hour time runs out and we have to reset our station and hit two buttons on the remote. We lose about 3/4 minute of our show we’re watching. We don’t know why.
In another room is TV No. 2. There are two remotes with it as it is a different brand of television set. One remote has the start button; the other remote which better be close by has to be touched on the round center button to bring in the stations or programs. Low or high in volume is accomplished by using the first remote which is also used to cut off power also with an ominous red button.
We can’t find one remote in the living room. Now we are to find two in another room. We waste minutes determining who had what last. It gets ugly and leads to heated words about poor housekeeping, poor habits of not replacing items where they belong, etc.
You could face me with books, diagrams, speeches, whatever, and I would never understand the concept of two remotes on one system while the other television uses one. My son’s television has three remotes, which he flips with ease. Just leave me alone to remain in ignorance.
One more nonessential item we use (related to this subject) too much is the cell phone. People visit me and twitter while talking to me. They send messages. What is so blanketly-blank important that can’t wait. I feel I’m not present. Three teens in my car twitter, tweeter, play games, talk to one another on these phones, and I want to hear their voices. I miss them talking to me. I love to hear them.
I’m not responsible for my move the next time I can’t see someone near me using her phone which makes me think she’s talking to me. So many times I have answered her questions, especially in a restroom stall when a woman next to me is on the phone but how can I know this at first.
I did hear one such staller say, “Some idiot is trying to get on our conversation. I’ll move outside to talk to you. Call you back.” (I hid where I was for a long time, but I didn’t feel I had done anything wrong.)
Do we really have so much to share or say that we can’t chat in private or at home. I’ve said something back to more than one caller-on-line to someone else. Embarrassing but why?
We have cell phones, broken as I whine, but I am for them for emergencies in the car or to find directions. They are miracles for emergencies. We simply overuse a good thing. I hope I won’t be seen using one while looking at black skirts in a crowded store.
If you know me, shame me. I am hypocritical enough.

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