It ought to be different

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My eldest daughter made me think with her question at dinner…&uot;Why isn’t it that only the veterans get the day off, why everyone else that never had on a military uniform, never got near a war, or served the country in any fashion?&uot;

She had reason to ask, her husband had served tours in both Germany and Vietnam. If only the veteran had the day off would every business in the nation have a sale to &uot;honor&uot; veterans? The male vets would not head for the nearest retail outlet to save 5 percent…they’d skip a shave and mess around with the car or lawnmower, or maybe just do nothing.

I’m not complaining, I’ve had every day off since 1985 but I see her point. Wouldn’t most vets then believe they were important to the scheme of things by being so honored? They could still have ceremonies on weekends so families could join in. I joined the small assembly at Cedar Hill to hear Congressman Forbes and it seemed everyone there was a veteran or related to one… people to whom the flag is still a very revered symbol of our freedom, paid for by veterans of many wars.

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We took advantage of the offered open house, along with some hundreds of others, and visited the Gardner store and the new Dilly Dally, the former run down Luke House. That building is beautifully restored and inside is a fairyland of unique gifts for almost any occasion. I must say that men were outnumbered at least 6,000 to one but will admit there were many intriguing items that caught my eye. Mr. Panagopolis and family were on hand to greet us and ply us with food and hot cider. While their collection of businesses is outside the range of what Mr. Damiani refers to as Downtown, I see it as a prime spot just across Main from the re$tored Railroad $tation. For an open house I will leave Chuckatuck and venture to that magic village called &uot;Downtown,&uot; there should be more of them. Now if only the city would find in its heart a reason to eliminate a car wash in that location.

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A friend recently asked me why I didn’t back the candidate opposing our incumbent Sheriff who is well known as a Democrat. And if he is one how would anybody know? He does not go around bragging about it. And in this entire country there are but a handful of what I call Democrats: Pelosi, Shummer, Ted Kennedy, Kerry, Hillary, Reed, and one or two locals. It’s just those that stay with the mantra that Bush is a liar, cheat, and fact twister, maneuvered us into a war, and is incompetent. And they stay with it even when videotapes clearly show many of them just before the war telling us how vile and dangerous Sadaam is and that we must do something about it before he drops a bomb on Congress. (I’d have to think about that.)

But then I remembered how it came to me when my wife asked me to dig out the old tomato plants in her garden. You know how you put a wire cage around them so they won’t take over the garden. Well, unless you kill that tomato plant in its infancy it will not only fill up that wire cage, it will continue to reach out and establish itself anywhere space is vulnerable and available. And it becomes bigger and stronger and winds itself all through that cage and defies you to remove it from the garden. I see Sadaam and the terrorists the same way and apparently am as incompetent as President Bush.

Like Bush I’ll be darned if I will fight those tomatoes tentacles one at a time; I go to the bottom of that plant, cut the devil off at the root, and know it will eventually die, dry up and blow away. To President Bush the terrorist root is Iraq. And the President had a lot of help with the decision to cut it off: I see their pictures again on TV, extolling the danger of allowing Sadaam to stay in power. These are learned men and women who have had access to every nuance of intelligence brought forth by our government security organizations. They saw what Bush saw and drew the same conclusions…Pelosi, Shummer, Kennedy, Hilary, etc. So now you can watch as they change the mantra to forestall even further embarrassment.

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A friend sent this to me and I know you will enjoy, &uot;Kids have learned that: No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats. When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair. If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back…they always catch the second person. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.&uot;

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While there is no way I could tolerate living in what is described as &uot;focused-growth&uot; areas, high density and congested living space, I understand why they make sense to planners, and people who don’t like cutting lawns. Whatever their noble reasons it seems that the largest city be area in Virginia ought to be able to let people breathe. But so be it, these cluster things and apartments and other core ideas are necessary. So what does Councilman Brown mean, exactly, when he insists these new ideas leave people of color behind? Does he mean only colored people have insufficient finances to reside in them? He must be talking money…there are no other restrictions as to who can live there.

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com.