|August, 2009 - We spent a week in Malad, Idaho visiting Sara's uncle, who is her age. Her
grandmother had eleven children, and he was the youngest. He followed the Mormon teachings of
his mother and is happily settled in this beautiful little town that is largely populated by members of
the LDS Church. Their lives revolve around the church, and for them this is very fulfilling. It is
obvious that their church promotes good character, self-sufficiency, family values, and a love for all
people. I was pleased to find out that they accept other religions - not that they agree with any of
them - but certainly acceptance is a good first step.
It is amazing to see how the faith and industry of the people who settled this part of Idaho - formerly
a desert considered uninhabitable - have transformed it into a beautiful and productive area that is
a testament to their dedication. Malad lays claim to having more people of Welsh descent per
capita than anywhere outside of Wales.
Early in the month I visited my friend, Dr. Paul Sheldon, at his mother's apartment in an assisted
living facility in Dallas. Paul is a very intelligent man with a degree in physics, but, unfortunately, he
has been unemployed for at least fifteen years. Support from a trust fund has allowed him to
maintain a lifestyle that suits him in spite of the lack of self-produced income. Paul is not lazy or
uninterested in being employed; he is just very specific about the kind of job he wants (doing
research in astronomical physics) and has been unable to find such a position.
His mother, a retired physician, has a very keen mind at age 98, and it was a genuine pleasure to
meet her. We sang some of the old songs, and in spite of her significant hearing loss, she was
able to join us in a few of them.
Paul has a great interest in music and is able to improvise counter-melodies on his keyboard with
good accuracy. He enjoys dancing and has a lot of social contacts. To date none of these has
produced the wife that he very much hopes for - but, like his search for a job, he is very specific
about the qualities that a prospective mate should possess.
August, 1974 - How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the
bulb has to really want to be changed.
I find it amazing that with all of the hoopla over whether we send athletes to the Moscow games,
very little has been said about the Russians participation in Lake Placid. It seems that if we hate
the Reds so much, we wouldn't want to be playing footsie with them in New York. Of course, if we
tried to cancel Lake Placid or prevent entrance of the Soviet delegation, our nation would stand to
lose a bundle, and we would suddenly become the bad guys instead of the victims.
The trend now is to make TV commercials so unbelievable that they grab the imagination of the
viewer. Surely you have seen the one that shows an attractive young woman playing pool with the
boys at the local pub. Well, that's not too far out; but the real test of our intelligence comes when
they finish the game and order a round of - you guessed it - MILK. This commercial was not
produced by dummies. Our reaction to such nonsense was carefully researched and tested. Even
the fact that I am writing about it means that it caught my attention. The cost of such super
advertising, supermarket ownership of the dairy industry, and the acceptance without protest by the
American public are the major factors that have driven the price of a gallon of milk to well over two
dollars. When I was a boy the sign on the milk truck said "From Moo to You". Nowadays such a
simple slogan would be udder nonsense.
RHYME FOR OUR TIME: I continue to buy milk in spite of the cost; however, there is there is one
product that has grossed millions in recent years that I'm proud to say I've had the good sense to
I've spent some time in foreign cars - Toyota, Fiat, "Bug".
There's Danish ham in my sandwich - Brazilian coffee in my mug.
I depend on oil from the Middle East - European radials control my skid.
I've eaten Alaskan crab - one time tasted octopus and squid.
Even though I believe in the U.S.A., on foreign products I'll take a chance,
but I'm proud to say I've never tasted bottled water from France.