Posts Tagged ‘ War ’

AMONG OTHER THINGS: ‘JOY’ TO THE WORLD!

BATTERED AND BRUISED, ‘JOY’ OVERPOWERS ‘LOVE’

           by Boots LeBaron

 

     Joy is a three letter word that’s fueled by fear, romance, humor, failure, triumph, even death.

     Regardless of how Shakespeare, Frost, Browning or Dickinson might disagree — they’re all dead poets — I’m convinced that JOY is finally capable of coming off the ropes and knocking LOVE out of the scholarly ring of life! For too many centuries Joy has played second fiddle to Love. My mission, at the moment, is to prove that Joy, despite its diminutive literary stance, is now capable of steamrolling the schmoozy four-letter expression into second place on society’s sweet talk scale. For Joy, the feisty little twit has become what Rocky Balboa was to Apollo Creed, and David and his trusty slingshot was to Goliath: A victorious underdog. The hackneyed line, “I love you,” now belongs under glass at the Smithsonian. Granted, the phrase, “You give me Joy,” might sound trite to some hang’ers on. So what? Love has become an insincere cliché (ask any bartender) while Joy packs a powerful emotional wallop! SHAZAM!!!

 

For testimonial proof read on:


MOTHER WELCOMES HER NEWBORN

DAUGHTER INTO THE WORLD

 

Lori Pettinato works at the Village

Coffee Bean in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Recently she gave birth to daughter

Callie. “Joy,” she explained, “comes after

you’ve gone through the pain of childbirth,

screaming, grunting, gasping for breath,

forcing your child into the world…

That’s the ultimate joy of motherhood!”

 

 

MEN WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THE TRUE

MEANING OF LOVE FOR A BABY UNLESS…

 

Seated at an adjoining table

at the Coffee Bean, Emily, an

attractive brunette, cradled

Kai, her infant son in her arms.

“Men,” she said, “will never understand the

true meaning of love for a baby

until they’ve given birth to one…”

She got me there. The closest thing

to experiencing childbirth for me

was when I had a vasectomy. And that hurt

something awful. As Emily gently caressed

her baby, she added, “Kai is my JOY.”

 

JOHN YORK, RECORD HOLDING LONG DISTANCE

SWIMMER, DIDN’T LET A PARTY CRASHER RUIN

HIS JOYFUL BIRTHDAY BASH

 

John York is a swimming coach and

record holding long distance swimmer

from Manhattan Beach, Calif. He told

me about an unforgettable 40th birthday

he celebrated in October 2000. It was

a private affair unlike any ever staged.

Anywhere. He was completing a 22-mile

round trip swim from Catalina Island to

the mainland when he bumped into an

unexpected party crasher. “It was four

in the morning,” said John. “The water

was florescent when this Great White

brushes against me. It was big.

Maybe ten or twelve feet long.

I could feel its scales but I didn’t panic.

Just kept swimming. It did scare the hell out

of my sister Barb and dad (Bob) who were

in a boat watching. We get a lot of blue sharks

in the channel. But very few Great Whites.” It

was the sixth time York made that distance swim.

The good news, of course, was that the

huge predator didn’t attack, allowing

John to complete his birthday celebration

alive and unscathed. When he finally

touched shore at Palos Verdes, he

realized that not only did a Great White

make John’s 40th unforgettable, Jaws

didn’t gobble him up. “Joyful is an

understatement,” he said. “If a big

fish ignored you while swimming the channel,

wouldn’t that be reason enough to let joy

get the best of you? It did me!” he laughed.

 

JOY SUMS UP CARDIOLOGIST BRUCE

JACKSON’S MEANINGFUL PROFESSION

 

Here are a few words about life from

my cardiologist, Bruce Jackson:

“We reinvent ourselves every day! I’d

pay good money to do what I’m doing

right now,” said Dr. Jackson. “For

me, Joy just about sums up my line

of work.”

MEET ‘PROFESSOR’ LUKE BERTALDO CORTESE,

MY SPECIAL NEEDS GRANDSON

When I asked my daughter Brooke

Cortese to explain what joy means to her,

she said, “When I come across some mothers

with or without special needs kids, a few

of them just stare at my son, Luke, who’s

developmentally delayed. They can’t figure

why I’m so content, so happy. I tell them to

look for joy. If you don’t have joy in your life,

it can be very hard to find. Thanks to Luke,

I found it. So did my family. At times, I’ve

overheard [my husband] Rocco when he’s in

a room alone with Luke. More than once,

he’s told Luke, ‘I’m so lucky… I’m

going to keep you forever!’ It’s not an act.

He’s not blowing smoke. Rocco cares

deeply for all of our mischief makers.

The words come from his heart.”

     I’ve described my grandson Luke as

“the family professor” because throughout his

twelve years of life, he has taught all of

us so much about ourselves. He’s just learning

to walk. He speaks with eyes that smile.

His twin brother Max and sister Natalia, love

him. Because of Luke, the Cortese clan

are intimately acquainted with joy.

 

SHE GRADUATED MAGNA CUM LAUDE FROM THE DMV!

For my wife, JoAnne, joy was receiving

a perfect score on a California driver’s

exam she took recently at the Department of Motor

Vehicles. She crammed for that test like her life

depended on it. When she returned home,

she called all of our kids and grand kids

with the ‘breaking news.’ Joy for my mate

was an understatement.

 

A FATHER STILL SPEAKS TO HIS U.S. ARMY

MEDIC SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2007

 

At midnight, on many occasions,

Tony Rogue, an architectural designer

from Carson, California told me,

he goes into his backyard to talk to

his son, Cpl. Lester G. Roque, a

23-year-old US combat medic who in

2007 was killed during an intense

firefight with the Taliban. His

outfit, the 273rd Airborne Brigade,

was ambushed high on a mountainside

in Afghanistan. “Knowing that in

those last minutes of his life, my

son was trying to save the lives of

two comrades, that was a gift my

wife Liza and I will always cherish.

He left us with a feeling of pride,

even joy, that’s almost indescribable.

Lester knows we love him. That’s what

counts.”  

PARENTHOOD NEVER ENDS FOR THIS R.N.

Nurse Yvonne Hashimoto will

testify that “parenting never ends. As a

single parent, raising three kids you love,

it was an experience that occasionally caused

me to shed a few tears of joy. Of course,

there were times I developed a twitch.” Of course, Yvonne

was joking. In fact, she admitted that one of her

many joys was “guiding the little darlings through

their teen-age years. We all mature in different

ways. That includes mothers, too. But it’s no

secret: My kids brought joy into my life. And

besides,” she went on, “now they’re too old to spank.”

 

WORLD FOCUSES ON SPACECRAFT DESIGN

AND SPACE MISSION ANALYSIS.

Physicist James Wertz is a world renowned

authority on space mission analysis and design.

When we first met and I asked what he did for

a living, he replied, “We build spacecraft.”

When I asked, “What do the spacecraft do?” He shot

me a puzzled gaze and said, “They fly into space.”

What did he expect from a guy who flunked Chemistry

at Los Angeles High School? “If you weren’t

involved in all this outer space stuff, what

would you be doing?” I asked. The husky, white

bearded president of Microcosm, Inc. replied,

“I’d probably be driving a cab.” He didn’t

crack a smile until I laughed. Here’s a guy

with five published highly technical books

about spacecraft that fly into space, with

a hell of a sense of humor. So I pressed on:

How do you feel when one of your spaceships

reach the next stage of development? “Naturally,”

he said, “I experience euphoria, a feeling of

joy… Isn’t that what we’re getting at here?”

His wife, Alice, chief financial officer of Microcosm,

explained that “Jim is incredibly passionate about

his work. And that joy relates to the work you’re

researching.” When I told Alice that I hesitated

to ask her husband if he ever thought of naming

one of his spaceship projects a Wertzmobile? She laughed

and said, “He probably wouldn’t appreciate that.”

For scientific reasons, I decided not to ask the

magic question. I didn’t want to be sent on a one way

trip to Mars because it wasn’t on my vacation list.

Besides, Matt Damon who stars as an astronaut in

the newly released blockbuster movie, “The Martian,”

had already made that trip.

 

PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR MEETS JOY

Joy for Don Breem, a former professor of psychology

at UCLA and Whittier College, “exhilaration is a

reaction to internal and external events. After a

heart attack, when I was released from the hospital

and discovered I was still breathing, for me, that

was a joyous occasion,” he said with a smile.

END

BEAUTY QUEEN TELLS ABOUT HER ADVENTURES IN LIFE

THE HUMAN RACE

LIFE’S REALITIES FROM A FORMER BEAUTY PAGEANT WINNER

 

     Lee Turner was one beauty pageant queen who wasn’t afraid to tell her true story,  looking at life and death as she lived it.

     Here’s the still-timely interview I wrote 26 years ago:

     Despite their years, the expressive brown eyes are youthful and unmistakable trusting. As we sat across from each other in a corner booth at Buffy’s coffee shop in old downtown Torrance, California, Lee Turner revealed what those eyes had seen in 74 years of life.

     I’ve never used the word sweetness to describe a woman’s face. But in Lee’s case, it was a perfect fit. Even before she spoke, her eyes would reveal the emotional thoughts behind them.

     It wasn’t all good. It wasn’t all bad. Yet there were moments of terror that still lingered in her memories. There were moments of love, restlessness, confusion — and times when she felt “on top of the world.”

     For Lee, motherhood was one dream that never materialized. After several miscarriages, she could never have a baby of her own.

     The last pregnancy lasted six months.

     “It broke my heart,” she remembered. “But looking at the world today, maybe it’s just as well.”

     Although she shrugged away those memories, she recited “My Great Desire,” a poem she wrote after she lost her last child, as if it happened just yesterday.

     “I wish I had a darling boy to tuck into his bed,

     To put away each baby toy and smooth his tousled head.

     I’d walk so proudly down the street

     And take his chubby hand

     And smile at ever one I’d meet

     And look upon his face so tan!

     God, is that too much to ask,

     A favor which seems quite small?

     I would try to master the heaviest task

     If you would heed my call.”

     A half-century before we met, in the former Torrance Auditorium, Miss Leila (Lee) Mae Combs, a striking 24-year-old brunette paraded across the stage in a one-piece swimsuit and high heels.

     In competition with nine other young women, she won, selected as the first Miss Torrance in that city’s history.

     “The country was still very poor then. The Torrance Moose Lodge sponsored the beauty contest. I came prepared to sing a ‘song poem’ I wrote. But it wasn’t necessary.

     Lee walked away not only as Miss Torrance 1939 but was awarded a new swimsuit, a beach towel, a robe, a free hair shampoo and set at a local salon, and the opportunity to compete in the Miss California beauty pageant in Venice, Calif.

     “I lost that one,” she said, smiling.

     Beauty contest winners, Lee noted, “have it made today. If they were asked to compete for the kind of prizes I won, they’d say, ‘Forget it!’ In my day, the honor of being selected as a pretty woman was important.”

     As a young women, her favorite actress was Clara Bow. “I wanted to be like her,” Lee said. “In 1940, she moved into a girlfriend’s apartment in Hollywood, worked as a waitress and taught ballroom dancing while pursuing an acting career. But Hollywood never beckoned.

     “A couple of producers offered to show me their etchings,” she said, giggling. “I told them, ‘No way!'”

     She would never forget the Sunday morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. “Even now when I think of it, I break out in goose bumps.”

     On that fateful day, Lee and her first husband, Eddie Guillow, a crane operator, were newlyweds living in a small house near Honolulu Airport.

     “I was sitting at a breakfast table writing a note to my mother on a Christmas card when I heard the sound of a plane,” Lee recalled. “It kept getting louder and louder. Suddenly, the house seemed to explode.”

     A Japanese Zero riddled her home with machine gun fire, the bullets penetrating the breakfast nook only a foot from where she was sitting. “I ruined the note,” she said, laughing at the irony. “I dove for a door jam, thinking it might be an earthquake.”

     Then a second plane zoomed overhead, dropping a bomb that exploded across the street, sending chunks of shrapnel into her house. About the same time, her husband was operating a crane near the battleship USS Arizona, which was under heavy attack. “When the Arizona exploded and sunk, Eddie had to dive off the crane and swim under the burning oil to safety.”

     A year later, back in the U.S. while walking with her sister-in-law, Lee said she “hit the dirt” when a plane passed overhead. “I felt embarrassed. But when my sister-in-law started laughing, I told her, ‘It’s not funny!'”

     Her husband was killed in a crane accident in 1947. Five years later she married Ken (Buck) Turner. A maintenance supervisor for the Torrance Parks Department, her husband died several months later.

     “It seems that everywhere I go, something drastic happens,” said Lee, who grew up in Torrance in a family of eight children and graduated from Torrance High School there.

     Another calamity she found herself in the midst of was the devastating Long Beach earthquake in 1933. “It was a very foggy Friday afternoon,” she recalled. “I was in the kitchen of my second-story apartment fixing french fries when the building began to sway and shake.

     “Polytechnic High School was right next door. It’s tower collapsed and fell onto my front yard. I was 18 years old and terrified. When I sat down at the breakfast nook, a second temblor tore the gas stove from the wall and knocked me out! When I came to, I was covered with french fries.

     “I was trapped in the kitchen. Rescuers had to break into the room to get me out. Other than a bump on my head and being scared half to death, I was fine.”

     At that time, I asked, “At your age, with all these experiences, what have you learned about survival?”

     “I live today as if it were tomorrow. I have girlfriends. I like to go places. I was a liberated women long before my second husband died. I don’t like to see what’s happening in the world. But I love visiting downtown Torrance.

     “I plan to be around long after everyone else is pushing up daisies,” she said with  that sweet-faced smile.

     Suffice to say: Lee Turner, if she’s still alive today, was my favorite beauty queen.   Ever!

 

                        — Boots LeBaron —

 

 

SURVIVING LIFE’S INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS!

 

THE HUMAN RACE

TRUTH BE KNOWN:  THERE’S NO COUPON FOR MIRACLES

It’s the words that meld together

creating thoughts and fears reflecting

every person’s ongoing struggle to find

a semblance of peace of mind in an

over-populated world compacted by greed,

violence, desperate naivety, and a

a message of faith that inexcusably

guarantees the kind of miracles that will

fulfill our hopes, dreams and schemes.

In every conscience, such declarations

scour the most intimate corners of our

mind — not always in an enlightening sense.

To reach Valhalla, we must somehow find

strength as individuals to ignore our

fears and human flaws to reach that final

destination when Odin welcomes us to his great

hall. No matter how painful or debatably

misleading the promises, they are

convincing enough to satisfy any doubts

that linger before Odin’s final embrace.

All we need is a shred of truth

to fulfill our hopes and dreams

and fuel our trip to Valhalla.

Actors as well as other celebrities,

bless their charismatic and

artistic hearts, are members of a talented

gang of theatrical creatures capable of

articulating believable messages

that provoke self-examination.

Even Odin’s disciples must be capable

communicators. Otherwise, these

artists will anger the gods by not

bringing home the bacon.

The precious delivery of descriptive

observations, visual expressions, the

use of metaphors and similes, reach the

mind of those who are open to reason.

No person is honestly content with

what lurks in the dark regions of another

person’s mind. We all come equipped with

guilt as well as joy glands that

need massaging. Bullshit exists

in every member of the human race.

Literary craftspeople, essayists,

poets, TV talking heads or office moguls

who paint glorious promises they never

keep have been known to preach rewards,

then deliver nothing.

That’s their talent. They come armed

with words. And you are the target.

Never lose faith in strangers.

But be skeptical. Purity might be

believable, but is not always

attainable. Despite our self-disparaging

selves, the adventures we experience

en route to Odin’s palace, make life’s

challenges worth the aggravation.

Must we agonize over our questionable

wisdom? Should we ride with the anguish

we are spoon fed with daily doses?  

It’s up to you. Go figure!

 

— Boots LeBaron —

POACHERS KILL THOUSANDS OF ELEPHANTS FOR IVORY TUSKS

THE HUMAN RACE

WOULD YOU KILL DUMBO OR MAGILLA THE GORILLA FOR CASH?

     What if poachers in Africa and other countries of the world killed Dumbo, Ruby the Rhino, Tony the Tiger, Smokey the Bear, Simba the Lion King, Magilla the Gorilla, or Peter Potamus the hippopotamus?

     Of course, they’re all mostly cartoon characters. But what if they were real-life animals? If Dumbo, Walt Disney’s adorable little elephant, and the others were slaughtered for cash and body parts? Wouldn’t that  piss you off?

     Let’s focus on Dumbo. Imagine that today he was a full-grown mountain bull with massive ivory tusks roaming the jungles of Africa’s plush Botswana or the tundra in Northern Kenya. He’s the same precious little rascal with the big heart we all remember as kids. He’s just grown up.

     Now picture this: Animal assassins armed with automatic weapons and poison-tipped spears are stalking him, earning as much as $2,500 a kill. They hack off his massive tusks and leave his rotting carcass for the vultures and other predators. Loads of ivory tusks are shipped to China and other Asian countries where they are carved into small ornamental knick-knacks, jewelry, priceless chess pieces, and religious symbols earning fortunes for their remorseless marketers. Are you going to buy one?

     Since premeditated murder of innocent animals for profit is a sin, how can those who worship various Supreme Beings explain why they are making fortunes selling or buying religious artifacts made from the tusks of endangered pachyderms or horns of rhinoceroses?

      If they were knowledgeable and truly cared about the brutal massacring of such innocent animals, why in hell would God-fearing customers purchase such religious items carved from elephant tusks? I guess you can chalk it up to a classic case of ignorance, pomposity or an unsavory act of spiritual apathy.    

     By now, an adult Dumbo would have his own breed of babies and leave behind a grieving widow — for elephants do grieve just like humans. Experts on the subject report that in Africa alone, about 30,000 these magnificent mammoths are slaughtered annually.     

     The reason I used Dumbo as a metaphor is to make this point: How many of you know of feller named Sato? Not many, I’ll wager. The renowned 6-ton pachyderm who roamed Tsavo East National Park in Kenya was killed by poachers on May 30, 2014. Some reports say he “died a painful death” caused by poison-tipped arrows or spears. Another news story reported that he died suffering eight bullet wounds fired from automatic weapons.

     Since you might not know who Sato was, I substituted Dumbo’s name. The information I gleaned from a variety of sources: CBS-TV’s Sunday Morning News, National Geographic and The Los Angeles Times, among others.

     Paula Kahumbu, a Kenya-based wildlife conservationist for Wildlife Direct, said that Sato was a celebrity in his own right; that he was highly respected not only as a “magnificent pachyderm but as major tourist attraction.”

     A National Geographic story quoted Kahumbu saying, “All the killers wanted was his tusks so somebody far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece.”

     The question to those who have never witnessed such an atrocity is: How deeply would you care if you learned that an elephant named Sato was slaughtered for his tusks? After all, Sato was only one of an estimated 100,000 elephants ruthlessly assassinated across Africa in recent years. decades. If Sato’s mutilated carcass turned out to be an adult Dumbo, once revered by children as well as adults, wouldn’t that leave an emptiness in your soul, a painful feeling of remorse in the pit of your conscious? I hope so.

     I realize that our violent society breeds its own stalkers, killers, drive-by shooters as well as domestic and foreign terrorists like ISIS. So who is truly concerned about some big old thick-skinned pachyderm named Sato in an African reserve tens of thousands of miles from our shoreline.

     After all, there are an estimated 690,000 African elephants alive today. That’s a lot of Dumbos compared to 5 million such giants roaming free back in the 1930s and 1940s. Now their severed tusks, each with a monumental price tag, are shipped to places like China, Thailand, Korea and Vietnam. Foreign criminal organizations with sophisticated weaponry kill viciously, reported CBS-TV.    A horrendous incident reported in a 2012, an estimated 300 elephants were gunned down inside a national park in Cameroon, a republic stretching from the Gulf of Guinea to Lake Chad in West Africa.  

     In recent years, says one report, “dozens” of rangers were killed fighting to protect wildlife from poachers in Africa. Is waging such a war against those who kill animals for profit so horrifying when humanity is hard at work killing its own kind by the millions? For God sakes, we’re even decapitating the heads and burning people alive to make a political point; stoning women to death because they refuse to obey the demands of the ruthless males who dominate their lives.

     Since we’re talking about cartoon animals, let me ask one last question: If you were a poacher, how much would you charge to kill an adult Dumbo for his valuable tusks and his sturdy legs used occasionally for coffee tables, Ruby the Rhinoceros whose horns are made into dagger handles or ground into power used for medicinal purposes as well as an aphrodisiac, Peter Potamus the hippopotamus for his cute ears and big toothies, Maguilla the Gorilla using his powerful hands and feet for trophies, Tony the Tiger for use as a throw rug which includes his handsome head and sharp fangs, Simba the Lion King for his mane and mandibles, Smokey the Bear for his huge paws and claws?

     I feel so helpless writing this story. Helpless!! All I can say is: Think of these defenseless animals being killed by poachers. For their sake, please don’t buy ivory!

 

     — Boots LeBaron —

SOUTH AFRICAN WITCHDOCTOR KNEW HIS BONES

THE HUMAN RACE

 

MEMORIES GROWING UP AS WHITE KID WITH BLACK ZULU TRIBAL PALS

 

Copeland, a tall, raw-boned Nyasa tribesman and witch doctor, poked the fire with a stick, sending a cloud of sparks spiraling into the night sky above South Africa.

John Ormsby Lawder, 12, was the only white person in the midst of the black tribesmen squatting around the bright fire watching and listening to the incantations of the fearsome-looking, bone-rattling Copeland.

Born in Durban, a seaport city on the Indian Ocean, the youngster spoke fluent Zulu, hunted in the bush with a catapulp, palled with black kids and never could figure why they got to herd the cows while he had to go to school.

Since his father, Edward, was called into the British Royal Navy in 1939, serving as a commander until the end of World War II, his mother, Therese, whom he called “mum,” was left to raise three feisty sons and operate a 600-acre sugar farm where the only workers were black tribes people.

John, who became a physician specializing in nutrition and preventive medicine, readily admitted that the witch doctor “made a greater impact on my life than anyone else. He was like a surrogate father. I was a wild little devil. I didn’t like school. My mother relied on Copeland to discipline me and my brothers. We not only respected him, we feared him.” He laughed.

“Copeland would squat at that fire, staring into it with those blood red eyes. He wore a necklace ringed with animal teeth and bones. In a pouch, he carried a set of bones, which he’d toss on the ground. He marked his patients with charcoal. He was some sight, he was. A very important man, highly respected by different tribes.”

From the time he was a boy until he reached manhood, John watched Copeland work his tribal witchcraft, using herbs, symbols and influencing thoughts.

“He appeared to cure people,” John said. “Even as a boy, he made me more conscious that perhaps there’s another area of healing that reaches beyond the strict science of medicine as we understand it.”

Copeland, who called John “Baas John,” also impressed him with his clairvoyant abilities. “During the war, he’d toss those bones and never failed to predict when my father was coming home from convoy duty.”

John remembered many occasions when Copeland told him that “Bass John” would die in a foreign land. “He said that some day I would become a medical doctor … like he was a witch doctor. Here I was with a grade-10 education, destined to be a sugar farmer like my father. It didn’t make any sense.”

But all of the above came to pass. John arrived in Canada in 1956, got his medical degree from the University of British Columbia, had a successful practice going in Torrance, California, where, as Copeland predicted, he died  “in a foreign land.”

 John Lawder was my friend and doctor.  Sorry to say, I never met Copeland, a fearsome witch doctor who’d give some religious scholars a run for their faith.  I would have loved to have interviewed old Copeland.

     — Boots LeBaron–

DESPITE THE ODDS, WOMEN REFUSE TO SURRENDER!

THE HUMAN RACE

HER MESSAGE:  “THE GOOD OLD BOY’S CLUB BE DAMNED!

     It wasn’t God who had women hanged or burned at the stake for witchcraft in the American colonies. It was Man.

     Decades before the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, Mary Sanford, a 39-year-old mother of five, was condemned to death by colonists in Hartford, Connecticut. Her male prosecutors said she “deserved to die.” Their charge: “Consorting with Satan and using supernatural powers against unnamed others.”

     Unable to argue against God, the Devil and the holy scriptures, the free-spirited Mary was hung for celebrating her individuality as a human being. She was guilty of dancing around the flames of a bonfire and drinking wine. Whoop-de-do!

     Did she waltz with the Devil? Fly on a broomstick? Cast wicked spells on others? Cuss? Refuse to cater to the whims of her spineless hubby? Hell no!

     More than three centuries have past since the American Colonies version of Ye Good Ol’ Boys Club used the name of God laced with hysteria and based on dogmatic biblical babble to squelch the inherent rights of women fighting for their identity in a suppressive society.

     Today’s Mary Sanfords have found courage through independence, strength through sacrifice, wisdom through anguish, and the bond of sisterhood through freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to do what they damn well please.

     Yet women are still seeking equal rights in a world where man dominates in many instances with chauvinistic assertiveness.

                        — Boots LeBaron

LIFE’S MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

THE HUMAN RACE

WHAT IF?

What if the Supreme Being was an abused woman?

What if Charles Darwin had just been kidding about evolution?

What if political campaigns were conducted with integrity?

What if Viagra was a placebo?

What if Armageddon was coming next week?

What if all religious leaders took vows of poverty?

What if intelligent design was scientific fact?

What if St. Peter had to install metal detectors?

What if there was no life after death?

What if God had His own Facebook on the Internet?

What if Shakespeare was a plagiarist?

What if Purgatory wasn’t such a hellhole after all?

What if Man was a failed extraterrestrial test-tube experiment?

What if atheists leased offices in Vatican City?

What if humanity ran out of water?

What if gays outnumbered heterosexuals?

What if Pablo Picasso had decided to be a bail bondsman?

What if euthanasia was a legal alternative to convalescent homes?

What if anti-pollution activists controlled oil-drilling rigs?

What if President Barack Obama was white?

What if political photo-ops were outlawed?

What if sharks could be found only in the sea?

What if all the poverty stricken could dine free at Denny’s?

What if Adam and Eve refused to sample the forbidden fruit?

What if pork-barrel spending was strictly a hog’s nightmare?

What if dock workers didn’t cuss?

What if prescription drugs were cost friendly?

What if Jesus Christ appeared as an anchorman on TV?

What if jurors came void of preconceived notions?

What if Hooter’s was a sanctuary for endangered owls?

What if using religion to win votes was a felony?

What if there was no McDonald’s?

What if pomposity was a crime punishable by water-boarding?

What if lobbyists couldn’t buy votes on Capitol Hill?

What if Babe Ruth or Jackie Robinson were playing baseball today?

What if women earned salaries equal to their male counterparts?

What if there was a pill to cure greed?

What if all racial bigots woke up with black or brown faces?

What if The Pope would help curb overpopulation?

What if 72 virgins was basically a heavenly marketing ploy?

What if terrorism wasn’t empowered by religious extremism?

What if slumlords had to live in their own squalor?

What if Chanel No. 5 was a 99 Cents Only Store item?

                        — Boots LeBaron —

 

 

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