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 THE SANDBOX Archive ~ 2000 (Part 4 of 5)
OCT, 2000 ~ #93, #94, #95, #96, #97, #98, #99,
            #100, #101

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #93 ~ October 7, 2000

        "Life is the childhood of our immortality."
                            - Goethe

        Sharing Viewpoints
        Anna Durbin '69

        The man who does not read
        Chuck Monasmith '65

        Your Children Will Be Grateful
        Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

        What Were These Guys Thinking???
        Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

        History Revision and Mobility
        Steve Carson (58)

        Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
        Steve Carson (58)

        Check out "McCain Reform Now"
        Andrew Eckert `54

        Letter To The Media
        Mary Ray Henslee (61)

        If a Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
        John Northover `59


Subj:   Sharing Viewpoints
From:   Anna Durbin '69

Dear Sandboxers,

I would just like to say that I thought our dialogue
 was all about tolerance and sharing our viewpoints
 with others.  I would never presume to tell anyone
 else how to raise their children, and if anything I
 ranted out here sounded that I was, I am sorry.  I
 was sharing my approach, which so far (gulp),
 seems to have worked with the children that have
 been entrusted to me for the short time before they
 are off on their own.  I think we basically want the
 same things for our children; among others that
 they are protected from evil, they get good
 educations and learn to think, and they find a 
 happy life that contributes to the welfare of
 humanity.  Unfortunately, not everyone has that,
 but we try for it in our own muddled way, doing
 the best we can, just as our moms and dads did 
 the best they could.             

So, let's keep being welcome to our own opinions
 and sharing them.  This will become an unhappy
 country if we ever all start forcing each other to be
 exactly alike or believe the same things.  It didn't
 start that way, and it wasn't designed to work that
 way.  I think it has been very good for me to learn
 how other people live and think.  A lot of people
 are not as blessed as we Bombers were.  I think we
 should keep working really hard not to take
 personal offense at anything anyone says, but to
 keep our robust sharing of views.  I try to be
 nonviolent, but I would certainly verbally fight for
 anyone's right to disagree with me, even if I'm right
 and everyone else is wrong, or vice versa.  (That
 was tongue-in-cheek, okay?) I learn from
 disagreements, and I always have something more
 to learn.
                         - Anna Durbin '69


Subj:    The man who does not read
From:    Chuck Monasmith '65

Re: The discussion of Jenny Smart Page and Harry

Well, Jenny, it seems we have started a lot of
 people thinking and speaking.  I hope you agree
 that is a good thing.

Your (and others) decision to not allow your
 children to read Harry Potter is the topic for this

My mother instilled in me a respect for reading.
 "Reading increases knowledge."  "Ignorance is the
 absence of knowledge." "Now, go read some
 more."  My own quote here would be "There is no
 bad knowledge."  

Your decision to prohibit books that your children's
 schoolmates are reading and discussing sends two
 distinct messages to your children.  One, their
 mother thinks their comprehension level is below
 that of their schoolmates.  Worst of all, their
 mother is teaching them that ignorance is a
 solution. You should be ashamed of your decision.

I do respect your taking responsibility for the
 development of the minds of your children.
 However, your action is an insult to me and to my
 mother and to all the other free thinking individuals
 in the world.

"The man who does not read is no better than then
 the man who cannot read" Mark Twain.
                - Chuck Monasmith '65

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: Your Children Will Be Grateful
To Jenny Smart Page,
>From Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

I really have to write and tell you how much I
 admire you and what you stand for.  You've taken
 quite a bit of heat here in the Sandbox and you've
 lived up to your name: one pretty smart lady the
 way I see it. It's not easy taking the road less
 traveled but it's going to pay off in the end.  Not
 only will your children be grateful when they grow
 up, but your grandchildren and their children.
 Hang in there.
                     -Janie O'Neal Janssen '65

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj: What Were These Guys Thinking???
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

After the Harry Potter-less children were snuggled
 safely in their beds, I sat down to watch the
 summer Olympics the other night, just as I have for
 the last couple of weeks, hoping to catch the men's
 4x100 rely final.  Fortunately, I made it in time. 
 Off they went, sprinting so easily (at least to my
 untrained eye) to a gold medal.  Hurray for the
 USA!  We did it again!  But wait, what is that guy
 doing now?  Is he really behaving that way on
 international TV?  What is he thinking??  Oh, no... 
 now they all are acting up.  I can't believe they're
 "wearing" the American flag wrapped around their
 heads like that!!  Oh, how I hope they stop doing
 that before the medal ceremony.....oh no, they're
 still being comes the National
 Anthem...I sure hope they stop....yikes, they're still
 not showing any respect....What on earth are these
 four guys thinking?  Don't they know they're
 making fools of themselves and of our country??? 
 It's jerks like these guys that give Americans such
 a bad reputation as idiots with the rest of the world!

They ought to be kicked off the team, and banned
 from ever representing our country again in any
 sort of international sporting event like the 
 Olympics.  I don't care how fast they run, they
 don't deserve to wear the "USA" uniform when
 they can't even show a smidgen of respect for our
 flag and our National Anthem.  I hope someday
 they grow up and look back at the video footage
 of that ceremony and realize what fools they have
                 - Jenny (Smart) Page (87)

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   History Revision and Mobility
From:  Steve Carson (58)

For Jim Moran (86)

Interesting history revision re the repeal of
 prohibition.  Have never heard that the reason for
 the repeal was taxes.  Don't know that it wasn't but
 have never heard that interpretation.  Perhaps
 some of our senior classmates will chime in on this.

Secondly, The American people will give up their
 gas guzzling cars when there is an alternative.  Gas
 guzzlers are not the issue, mobility is.
                      - Steve Carson (58)

                                 ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
From: Steve Carson (58)

For Missy Keeney Baker (59)

The "teaching" of homosexuality is represented by
 the system presenting it at as an OK lifestyle and in
 the mainstream of our culture.  It isn't. I lost a son
 to AIDS and can attest to the misery he
 experienced in his "alternative" lifestyle.  Having
 the schools "validate" (see encourage) this lifestyle
 will cause experimentation and many will be
 harmed.  The aggressive promotion of the lifestyle
 by activist groups is their right and it is our (my)
 right to work against the normalization of
 homosexuality in our schools.
                      - Steve Carson (58)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Letter To The Media
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

Give us a break mainstream media!  We didn't all
 just get off the Jerry Springer show.  We do not
 want you to undermine our moral principles and
 insult our intelligence.  We resent your attempt to
 manipulate our perception of the facts to suit your
 own agenda.  We know when your news is biased. 
 We know when you are distorting the facts for a
 more sensational effect.  You are losing your
 credibility, which is the cornerstone of your
 profession.  You try very hard to convince us that
 the absurd is normal, but we aren't buying it.  We
 want the facts.  We want to hear both sides of a
 story.  We are not interested in your side.  

Diane Sawyer, shame on you!  What has happened
 to investigative reporting?  Why was Winifred
 Skinner (the can lady) newsworthy enough to win
 a spot on Good Morning America?  This after
 ABC spikes an interview with a witness to another
 possible Watergate.  I do not consider this woman
 the face of outrage.  I consider you an outrage for
 having her on your show.  Did you bother to find
 out how many cans one would have to pick up in
 order to make several hundred dollars?  How do
 you feel about portraying the city of Des Moines,
 Iowa as a city with a litter problem?  Did you
 bother to find out why this woman picks up cans
 to pay for her prescription drugs when she lives in
 a large metropolitan area where Medicare HMO's
 are available at little or no cost?  Certainly for less
 than she is supposedly paying out-of-pocket for
 prescription drugs.  She claims to be an ex-auto
 worker, which equates to an ex-union worker. 
 Hello!  Doesn't the Union take care of their
 workers with retirement benefits, including
 insurance?  Winifred Skinner joked about people
 telling her to get a life while she was picking up
 cans.  Get real!  I think that this woman just got
 off the Springer show before she showed up at
 Gore's campaign speech.  As a voter I would like
 to know if she was wittingly or unwittingly
 exploited?  I would like to know how much of
 what she said was fact and how much was fiction? 
 What do you the media do to answer my
 questions?  You tell me with your actions that
 exploiting people for personal gain is acceptable
 and should not be questioned.

ABC, CBS, and NBC you now have a chance to
 redeem yourself by doing some respectable
 investigative reporting on Tapegate.  This possible
 Watergate revisited begs for responsible reporting. 
 The American people would like to know
 whodunit before the election you know.  Is it all a
 lot of tomfoolery or is a calculating devious mind
 at work that should not be in the White House? 
 What's with the Gap?  Monica with her Gap dress
 and McKinnon with his Gap pants.  Is the Gap
 where the discriminating go to buy their
 incriminating clothes?  Inquiring minds want to
                  - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Check out "McCain Reform Now"
From:   Andrew Eckert `54

Click here:  
McCainReformNow: Main

If you believe as I feel, that we the people have
 been outmaneuvered once again by the rich and
 powerful- (Those who at Caucasus pick those
 who will best serve their own personal needs and
 wants), then please consider fighting back.  

The people in state after state voted for John
 McCain over the bought and paid for Bush.  In our
 own state of Washington the actual vote by the
 people was 44% for McCain, 22% for Bush, &
 20% for Gore, In New York State the figures were
 the same and though not having the rest in front of
 me I can attest to reading that many were much the
 same.  I'll be writing in John McCain's name on my
 Ballot.  In watching these other two debate? It
 became clear that regardless of who might win the
 white house, I doubt that anything will change and
 all these empty promises will be just that.  Can
 anyone really believe that Campaign finance laws
 will be enacted by either party; that any of their
 pontificating on what they would do for us, would
 in fact ever be mentioned the day after election
 day?  I urge any of you who share my despair with
 the status quo to write in John McCain's name and
 to pass this letter on to a few friends on your
 mailing lists.  I wonder just how much of an impact
 we, the ignored, could have on this election.
                    - Andrew Eckert (54)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj: If a Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
From: John Northover `59

If a picture is a thousand words ... here
is my political commentary. 

                            John '59

                             ~ ~ ~

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:


 or simply hit your reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

                 Be faithful to your day!
                     - Al Parker (53)
                    Your SANDBOX host
                        - 93 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #94 ~ October 9, 2000

                     "Little drops of water,
                      little grains of sand, 
                      make the mighty ocean
                      and the pleasant land;

                      so the little minutes
                      humble as they may be,
                      make the mighty ages
                      of eternity."
              - Fletcher Carney

        Why Worry?
        Mary Ray Henslee `61

        Let's Focus On The Person, Not The Lifestyle
        Lynn-Marie Hatcher `68

        It's Time To Open The Doors
        Linda Merrill Hendley `64

       It's Against God's Law
       Jimmie A. Shipman Class `51

       Just Because There's A Book There 
       Doesn't  Mean I Have To Read It
       Peggy (Roesch) Wallan `71

       She Need Not Be Ashamed
       Staci Campbell `86

       Showing Respect "for which it stands."
       Linda Reining Pitchford `64


Subj:    Why Worry?
From:   Mary Ray Henslee (61)

To:  Bob Carlson (54)

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  To
 think that Gore's stand against HMO's will not
 adversely effect the present Medicare system is
 foolhardy.  The road is already being paved.  This
 administration is already neglecting to properly fund
 the HMO's, which is causing HMO's to pull out of
 the system.  If you don't think that this is cause for
 concern, I think that it would behoove you to get a
 hold of a Medicare booklet and find out just what
 your out-of-pocket expenses will be if you do not
 have a Medicare HMO to supplement your
 Medicare.  Why worry?

Although many of the candidate's pledges will never
 be passed by Congress, they do speak volumes about
 how a candidate thinks, their character, and what
 direction they are going to take once they get into
 office.  Otherwise, there would be no real reason for
 campaigning and certainly no reason for us to bother
 wasting our time listening to them.  

Granted, figures are to be scoffed at, and in Gore's
 case laughed at, because his are so excessive.  We
 may be able to ignore Gore's outrageous pledges,
 but can we ignore his outlandish lying while he is
 trying to make his pledges believable?  The most
 frightening thing about Gore's lies is that we don't
 always know when he is lying because we aren't
 always privy to the facts.  We have to rely on those
 in the know to point out to us that Gore couldn't
 have done this or that because he wasn't even in
 Congress yet or no way this or that could be true
 because of this or that.  I would rather have a
 President who fumbles his words from time to time
 than a President who speaks clearly when he lies to
 me.  We are finding out more and more that Gore is
 a chameleon who will say and do anything to get
 votes and campaign money.  Right now he is only
 lying for votes, but what happens when he
 compromises the Nation's security by lying to world
 leaders?  Why worry?

Even if I agreed with Gore on the issues, I would
 have to say that his psychology is worrisome.  He
 lies far too much and is patronizing us in the process. 
 His feelings of grandeur are evident and should be
 reason for concern.  During the debate, Gore told us
 how Winifred Skinner, the lady who picks up cans to
 pay for her prescription drugs, drove to the debate in
 her "Winnebago" (Hello?) and how Kaela has to
 stand up in the back of her classroom every day
 (Hello?) because she has no desk.  I didn't end up
 feeling sorry for Winifred and Kaela, I ended up
 feeling sorry for Gore.  His comments were so far
 over the edge that they could almost be interpreted
 as a cry for help.  If I had to choose between Clinton
 and Gore, I would rather have eight more years of
 Clinton than Gore because at least Clinton has
 charisma and intelligence to compensate for any
 moral shortcomings.  To quote a quote: Two kinds
 of men generally best succeed in political life; men of
 no principle, but of great talent; and men of no
 talent, but of great principle.  Gore does not fit into
 either category.  The polls say more about the
 American people than they do about the candidates
 and they are not painting a very pretty picture right
 now.  Why worry?
                  - Mary Ray Henslee (61)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:  Let's Focus On The Person, Not The Lifestyle
From: Lynn-Marie Hatcher (68) (Lynn-Marie Foote, RN)

Re:  Steve Carson;  Presenting Homosexuality as an
 OK Lifestyle  [See Sandbox Issue 93]

Dear Steve,

First, I must express my condolences to you on the
 loss of your son.  I, too, have lost a son (albeit in
 infancy), and know there is no comparable pain.

Secondly, I must take exception to your implication
 that AIDS is a male, homosexual disease.  The
 fastest growing population of AIDS patients are
 heterosexual females.

Third, I am surprised that, as the father of a
 homosexual son, you are not aware that there is
 strong scientific evidence to the fact that the
 configuration of the brain of a gay person is actually
 (really and truly)! different from that of a straight
 person.  That is to say, being gay is not something
 one is taught -- it is the way one is born.  Therefore,
 what reasonable, moral choice do we have except to
 accept a gay son or daughter as he/she is?

I am dreadfully sorry that your son (and many, many
 other gay people) experience misery due to their
 alternative lifestyle --- even if they never are stricken
 with AIDS.  It seems to me that the path to lessening
 that misery (besides finding a cure for AIDS) is to
 develop more acceptance and tolerance.  Let's focus
 on the person, not on who his/her sexual 
 preferences.  After all, sexual activity is SUCH a
 small part of who we are!
                     Lynn-Marie Hatcher (68)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:  It's Time To Open The Doors
From: Linda Merrill Hendley ('64)

For Steve Carson
Re: Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
 [See Sandbox Issue 93]

I have never written to the Sandbox and probably
 never will again, but it's hard to read this and NOT
 respond--sorry it turned out so long.
Steve Carson,

I am saddened to learn that you have lost a son to
 aids.  I am sure his suffering from a disease was
 quite different from the suffering he must have
 experienced with society's rejection of his lifestyle.  
I would like to respond to your sentiments that
 "validating alternative lifestyles in the classroom
 can cause experimentation and many will be
 harmed."  First of all, experimentation among
 teenagers is expected.  And many are harmed from
 experimentation.  To NOT openly discuss areas
 teenagers might want to explore just makes the
 idea more enticing.  Teenagers need to understand
 the options and consequences of their actions.   
 As a high school teacher, I have never seen
 alternative lifestyles "aggressively promoted" in the
 classroom.  However, I have seen a huge effort
 made to teach tolerance and the appreciation of
 diversity.  Our school is richer for the newfound
 respect our students have for each other and their
 varied religions, skin colors, languages, cultures,
 AND lifestyles.  That doesn't mean that they
 embrace all that they are exposed to.  It does mean
 that they have knowledge and hopefully can make
 THEIR OWN decisions about what is right for
 them.  Too many of our teenagers resort to suicide
 when they don't find acceptance from their peers. 
 Many teenagers commit suicide because they are
 gay and have been convinced by others that they
 are not acceptable.  The classroom is the perfect
 place to let people know that they are important
 and what they give back to society is important.  

 How sad it is that your son wasn't living in a
 community that helped him to make wise (and
 safe)! Decisions about life choices.  How sad that
 he had to suffer.  Somehow, I think that his
 suffering could have been avoided if he thought he
 was valued as a person and that his health and
 safety was important.  I am confident that future
 generations will suffer less from needless rejection
 and the diversity of mankind will be tolerated in a
 more compassionate manner because teachers are
 teaching about tolerance and diversity.  

Homosexuality IS OK as a lifestyle.  It IS in the
 mainstream of our culture.  It has been for
 centuries.  It's time to open the doors, get rid of
 the closets!  We would all be so much richer for it.
               - Linda Merrill Hendley (64)

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   It's Against God's Law
From:   Jimmie A. Shipman Class "51"

For Steve Carson (58)
Re: Presenting Homosexuality as an OK Lifestyle
 [See Sandbox Issue 93]

I usually just read the Articles in the Sandbox but
 this one especially, caught my attention.  Why do
 we put up with these aggressive promotions of that
 lifestyle? Homosexuality is against God's Law, and
 most State Laws!! I commend you Steve for
 speaking out. God Bless.

Now go and have a good day.
           - Jimmie A. Shipman Class "51"

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj: Just Because There's A Book There 
         Doesn't  Mean I Have To Read It
From:  Peggy (Roesch) Wallan '71

RE:  The Harry Potter Stuff

Just because there's a book there, I don't have to
 read it.  There are so many GOOD books to read, I
 have to be discerning about what I spend my time
 on, and I'm not going to waste my valuable time on
 mediocre stuff or stuff that represents values I can't
 live with (such as, for me, sorcery, pornography,
 murder, etc.).  If I had children, I would model that
 value for them, just as Jenny is doing.  (You go,
 girl!)  I do have students, over 800 of 'em, and
 instead of teaching values about books, I teach
 values about music.  When asked about my
 listening tastes, I freely offer my opinion and
 describe the decision-making process I make
 before I buy a CD; that process includes whether
 or not I wish to contribute my money to the
 lifestyle or reputation or whatever of the artist (so
 I don't buy Kathleen Battle or Luciano Pavarotti or
 The Rolling Stones or The Sex Pistols).

It's the same with books.

Either way, if it's not contributing to the betterment
 of my mind, I don't waste my time with it, EVEN
 were you people when your parents challenged
 your "But everyone else is doing it, Mom!"
 whining?  If you want to read Harry Potter, please
 give me a better reason than "everyone else is
 doing it and I'll look stupid if I don't copy them." 
 Do some serious soul-searching and study your
 values, like Jenny and others here (you go, girl!!!);
 THEN read or don't read the book depending on
 your values.  And then stop berating others for
 making a decision that's different from yours. 

Curmudgeons live,
    Peggy Roesch Wallan '71, Spanaway, WA

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   She Need Not Be Ashamed
From:  Staci Campbell (86)

For: Chuck Monasmith
Re: The man who does not read.

So far I have been sitting back and just reading what
 everyone has to say..and keeping my 2 cents to
 myself regarding the Harry Potter books...But 
 I feel that Chuck Monasmith's comment to Jenny
 Smart about how she should be ashamed of her
 decision and that she was insulting your mother and
 every other free thinker in this world was waay out
 of line. I feel as though you may be taking this whole
 debate way too seriously. This has gone from the 
 pros and cons of reading a particular book to
 attacking a person's character about her decisions
 that she makes with her own children. I was
 personally under the impression that The Sandbox
 was a forum set up for healthy debates. Not personal
                      - Staci Campbell (86)

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj: Showing Respect "for which it stands."
From:   Linda Reining Pitchford (64)

To Jenny Smart Page (87) regarding her comments
 on the Olympics and the "respect" shown by the
 four athletes:  

I, too, would like to know why they cannot stand on
 the podium and show the respect for the flag and
 all it stands for!  I would also like to know why 
 they DO NOT know the words to "THE STAR
 SPANGLED BANNER"!!!!!!!!!  If nothing 
 else, they should be taught it as part of their
 training, so if they are fortunate enough to "win
 gold," they can at least stand up there and sing the 
 "National Anthem"!!!!!!!!!  

I can understand being excited and happy about
 winning, BUT that is not an excuse to be a
 SMARTA_ _!!!!!!!!!! 

Thanks for letting me "vent."  
              -Linda Reining Pitchford (64)                                   
               Bakersfield, CA

                                ~ ~ ~

Note: Some of you have been including your current
 locale in your entries.  See Linda Reining Pitchford's
 example, above.  Feel free to do so also, if you like.
 I think it adds interest to the ongoing discussions
 here, to see how we have spread around the world. 
 It's interesting as well, to see how many still thrive
 in our hometown! -ap

That concludes this issue of The SANDBOX folks.
 Please include your class year and (nee) name, (if
 applicable), in all correspondence and subscription
 requests.  It's easy to join us in the ongoing
 conversations here.  Just send your comments to:


 or simply hit your reply button and talk to us!  We
 are the Alumni of Richland High School, Richland
 Washington, AKA Columbia High School, 
 representing classes from 1942 through 2000. 
 Visit the Sandbox Archives at:

                 Be faithful to your day!
                     - Al Parker (53)
                     Your SANDBOX host
                            - 94 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #95 ~ October 22, 2000

From:  Paul W. Ratsch (58)

The State of Texas, under the leadership of
 Governor George W. Bush, is ranked 50th in
 spending for teachers salaries, 49th in spending on
 the environment,48th in per capita in funding for
 public health, 47th in delivery of social services,
 42nd in child support collections, 41st in per
 capital spending on public education, 5th in
 percentage of population of people living in
 poverty, 1st in water & air pollution, 1st in % of
 poor working parents without insurance, 1st in %of
 children without health insurance, 1st in
 executions (avg.1 every 2 wks. for Bush's first 5
 years).  Just think of what he could do for the
 country if he were president.

                      Paul W. Ratsch (58)

Subj: You Don't Have To Get Run Over By A 
Train To Know You Shouldn't Lay On The Tracks
From: Jenny (Smart) Page ('87)

Perhaps Chuck, and probably a few others, are
 finally realizing at least part of my Harry Potter
 point...the fact that it is being discussed. I agree, it
 is a good thing that is being discussed.  And I
 hope in stating my point of view, that perhaps
 Harry Potter isn't the best role model for all
 children, that other's will be willing to stand up to
 their kids, and society, and also say, "Hey, you
 know what.  There's just something that doesn't sit
 right with me about this subject.  Maybe my kids
 ought not to be reading this. I think I'll look into it
 some more before I shell out another $15 for the
 next book."  And they will look deeper into the
 decision, instead just blindly following the path of
 what is the current fad.

Chuck, I'm glad your mother instilled in you a love
 of reading.  My father did the same for me. (My
 mother, God rest her soul, was dyslexic, and was
 never a big reader.  But she instilled many other
 fine characteristics into my life, such as speaking
 what I believe in, and baking a mean oatmeal
 chocolate chip cookie).  And please note again,
 that I have never, in any of my statements, ever
 professed a need to ban or censor or prohibit the
 reading of these books by the general public.

I do not let my child read Harry Potter, just like I
 don't let her listen to Marilyn Manson or any of the
 other hate-filled garbage bands they call music
 these days.  I do not let my child read Harry
 Potter, for a similar reason that I have not
 provided her with a room full of Barbie
 paraphernalia, nor do I let her dress like Britney
 Spears or Christina Aguilera. And, my sons do not
 have posters of Dennis Rodman, the Undertaker or
 Steve Austin on their bedroom wall.  They are not
 the type of role models I wish my children to be

As for the messages you think I am sending to my
 daughter, I am not the least bit ashamed by my
 decisions, as you state I should be.  My daughter
 and I have talked about this, on numerous
 occasions.  She understands that the characters in
 the books do things that are not appropriate in the
 beliefs of our family.  She is a strong child, and I
 have seen her speak her mind to friends as to why
 she can or can not do something, and why. Neither
 she nor I are ignorant, Chuck.  To the contrary, I
 would have to believe that we are informed enough
 to make a decision that this is inappropriate for our

By following your logic, that I am unable to make a
 decision regarding this book without reading it and
 base my decision by only reading reviews, listening
 to others, and reading things such as our ongoing
 debate; then:  -- one could also not know that
 doing drugs is bad, unless one smokes dope and
 shoots up;  -- one could also not know that
 drinking and driving is hazardous, unless one does
 so and experiences an accident or arrest; -- one
 could also not know that putting a hand on a hot
 stove is going to hurt, unless one does so;  -- one
 could not know that music by various junk bands
 today is in poor taste, promoting violence and
 disrespect, without personally purchasing and
 listening to the songs;  -- one could not know that
 slapping a baby around and throwing it against
 the wall is harmful, unless one does so; -- one
 could not decide to travel to Europe, without
 having done so!

I think its clear that people (including me) are able
 to stop, look and listen to what others are saying
 regarding a certain subject, be it personal behavior
 or personal travel, and make a decision based on
 the information collected.  It is done all the time. 
 We read movie reviews by critics.  We listen to the
 evening news. We talk to friends, neighbors,  
 coworkers and family members.  We read trade
 journals, newspapers, brochures and 
 advertisements.  We research things at the library,
 and on the Internet. I don't have to have been
 arrested for drunk driving to know that I need to
 teach my kids that it's wrong to drink and drive.  I
 don't have to be a world traveler to know that this
 isn't the best time to be visiting Yugoslavia. A
 prime example that is very much in the limelight
 today is our presidential election.  I don't have to
 have personally met Al Gore, to know that he lies,
 often and repeatedly, and when its not even

I am not one who parents in a manner to win a
 popularity contest.  I am the parent.  They are the
 children.  I am the one with the adult experience.
 They, again, are the children.  And, being a parent
 first, and friend second, sometimes means that I
 make decisions that my kids don't agree with or
 fully understand (however, Harry Potter does not
 fall within either of those categories, as my
 daughter does understand why we're not reading
 the books, and she also agrees that it's something
 that isn't right for our family).

I've never made any mention of something that can
 be misconstrued as my desire to limit others access
 to these books.  Which also means that I've never
 made an attempt to insult you (or anyone's mother)
 in regard to your ability to think freely.  I applaud
 those who are able to think for themselves, and not
 just blindly follow like lemmings over the waterfall.
 Unfortunately, not everyone is able to do that.  They
 follow along with what everyone else is doing
 or saying, without any regard to the after effect.
 It's the "if it feels good, do it" attitude. They think
 the majority must be right, or it wouldn't be the
 majority!  And sometimes nothing can be further
 from the truth.

As a side note, I wish to publicly thank all those
 who have sent me personal e-mail in support of my
 stance on the Harry Potter books, and sticking by
 my principles in general.  It just confirms that I'm
 not a "wacko" thinking this way; and like so many
 topics, I'm part of the "silent majority" --- I just
 happen to be the one who chose not to be silent.

Sign me, "A parent who isn't always voted #1 Mom
 of the Year, but loved and respected anyways,"

                 Jenny (Smart) Page ('87)

Subj:   Personal Attacks Are Out Of Line
From:  Karen Schildknecht Mateo '67
Richland WA

To Chuck Monasmith:
Re: Harry Potter

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the one
 who said that reading these books would open a
 child's mind to fair play, help them understand
 diversity, and tolerance? (I'm not quoting, but it's
 close.) So, did you read those books? Because you
 went way too far this time. I can see not
 understanding the fact that someone would raise
 their children a little different than you raised
 yours, or even how you were raised. I can even
 understand you thinking that your way might have
 been better. But stop right there. Jenny Smart has
 every right to keep things from her children, if she
 doesn't feel they would benefit from them. You,
 however, do not have a right to attack her
 personally for her style of child raising. It is simply
 none of your business, and way beyond the scope
 of the Sandbox.  It's okay to disagree with what
 someone believes, but it's not okay to attack them
 for their beliefs. Isn't that why people come here,
 to America? For freedom of speech, freedom of
 expression? To attack that in the defense these
 books makes no sense whatsoever.  At first I
 enjoyed the banter, but you took it too far when
 you attacked Jenny's ability to parent, since I'm
 assuming you do not personally know her. If she
 was not feeding them, or not clothing them, or if
 she left them alone, she might be a bad mother.
 You attacked her (and that's exactly what you did)
 because she felt it her duty as a mother to keep
 certain elements from her children, such as
 witchcraft and sorcery. That's her right as a mother
 to determine what is good fro her kids. So, please,
 for all of us who have been reading the Sandbox,
 consider this the end of the Harry Potter
 discussion. I feel you owe Jenny an apology for
 such a personal attack to her character. Jenny,
 raise your children as you wish, and remember, it
 doesn't take books to instill an imagination. 

To Steve Carlson (65)
Re: Alternative lifestyles

Please accept my condolences on the death of your
 son. But, instead of believing that teaching about
 these lifestyles in school would promote
 homosexuality, I would rather believe it could
 promote understanding and compassion for anyone
 who has been born into this lifestyle. If you really
 saw the pain it brought you son, wouldn't you
 hope that those who treated and judged him so
 harshly would learn to be more open and
 understanding of the next gay man or lesbian they
 encounter? I sure would. 

              Karen Schildknecht Mateo '67
              Richland WA

Subj:    Choices, Body Slams and Winnebagos
From:   Pam Jewett-Bullock (nee Pyle '69)
Stafford, Virginia

I have so enjoyed the recent debates among my
 fellow RHS alumni concerning a variety of issues,
 particularly the Medicare/Social Security
 proposals, Harry Potter, and teaching tolerance. 
 Enjoyed it, that is, until I read the couple of
 relative personal "body slams" delivered in these
 last two issues.

I'd like to thank Stacy Campbell (86) for her quick
 comeback to Chuck Monasmith's (sorry, Chuck,
 I've forgotten your class year) ill-advised personal
 admonition to Jenny Smart (87) concerning her
 parenting.  The fact that I disagree with Jenny's
 approach to teaching her children about making
 good personal choices via imposition of parental
 control over the particular reading materials we've
 been discussing is irrelevant.  There is NO shame
 in Jenny's obvious love and concern for those
 children.  On the contrary, and as one who has
 preceded Jenny in life experiences in Bomberville
 and Parenthood, I'd like Jenny to know that I am
 ALWAYS grateful to witness or read about
 parents who are fully immersed in and taking
 seriously the tremendous responsibility for rearing
 their children.  Chuck, I wish you'd apologize.  As
 ones who have gone before Jenny, I think the best
 we can do for her is to applaud and encourage her
 to continue to express that love in the best way she
 can.  Challenge her on the issues and her opinions,
 if you will, but please don't introduce further the
 notion that she is to be ashamed for trying to steer
 her children in non-violent ways.  The world is full
 of parents who are making LOTS more frightening
 choices with their children!

Thanks, also, to Lynn Hatcher (68) for reminding
 Steve Shipman (51) and the rest of us that
 homosexuality is NOT a lifestyle "choice"; rather,
 it is an innate physiological feature and function of
 the individual, as much as is skin and eye color. 
 (Although I suppose one might argue that it is
 possible for one to choose to TRY to live or act
 like a homosexual might, just as a man might
 choose to dress like a woman or vice-versa; but
 one CANNOT choose to BE homosexual.  It's like
 pregnancy: Either you are or you are not.  Period.) 
 And, as for "God's Law," Steve, the God of my
 understanding is in no way exclusionary, but in
 every way unconditionally loving to each each and
 every creature in existence.  So unconditionally
 loving, in fact, that God gifted us with freewill to
 choose how we would interpret God and respond
 to God.  As I further understand, God issued ten
 laws, the first two of which God considered the
 "be-all, end-all" rules by which mankind should
 measure itself:  "Love the Lord thy God with all
 thy heart, thy soul, and thy mind" and "Love thy
 neighbor as thyself."  Beyond those ten laws, all
 other interpretations and rules are the products of
 the human heart, mind and hand, whether between
 the covers of the book known as the Holy Bible or
 elsewhere.  In my opinion, teaching tolerance is
 exactly what we ought to be doing in our homes
 and our schools.  Tolerance, manners, common
 courtesies, respect for our differences, and value
 of individual gifts--these are all lessons I hope our
 children will learn, but fear they are more and more
 missing today, just as many seem to be missing
 right along with some of the other most basic skills
 we were taught.  (Evidence: the recent display of
 how to win WITHOUT grace and respect for both
 the competition and the nation which they
 represented in the recent Olympics.)  Happily,
 there are all sorts and conditions of men and
 women who were once societally, essentially, and
 literally hidden locked in closets, attics,
 institutions, or placed within fences, because they
 were somehow different, and are today welcomed,
 celebrated and accepted more readily as the full
 members of creation they are and always have
 been.  These include persons of race and color,
 those with mental or physical conditions such as
 Mongoloidism, deafness, alcoholism, depression,
 physical retardation.  I say "accepted more readily"
 because, by all accounts and appearances, we still
 have a whole lot more work to do on our abilities,
 as societies and as individuals, in terms of
 accepting and celebrating differences.  Question: 
 If we HAD BEEN more effective in our teaching
 tolerance and acceptance, would we still face the
 realities of such tragedies as the one at Columbine
 High School in Colorado last year?

Finally, I'd like to say that I just wish somebody
 could effectively explain to me exactly what it is
 that our two presidential candidates are proposing
 to do with Medicare/Social Security and how they
 plan to PAY for it.  ("SHOW-me-the-MONEY!") 
 I confess.  I don't get it.  And, I must say, I wonder
 how many aluminum cans Winnifred Skinner had
 to pick up in order to pay for her Winnebago and
 the gas it guzzled between Iowa and Kentucky. 
 More importantly, did Vice-president Gore think I
 wouldn't ASK that question?  And, relative to
 education tax credits, I'd like Governor Bush to
 explain to me what good the tax credits/vouchers
 are going to do when the schools RAISE the
 tuition--and they WILL raise it--to effectively
 offset the value of the credit/voucher which is
 supposed to help me/my child?  (The last question
 is, for us, purely rhetorical at this point, since our
 son just graduated after seven years of private high
 school/college education--for which we will all be
 paying for about ten MORE years.)  I look
 forward to reading the continuing entries of my
 fellow alumni on these subject matters.

              Pam Jewett-Bullock (nee Pyle '69)
              Stafford, Virginia

                       - 95 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #96 ~ October 23, 2000

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
         - Steven Wright


      Stranger Than Fiction
      Mary Ray Henslee (61)

      Not Revising History
      Jim Moran '86

      Loved and Accepted
      Carol (Carson) Renaud (60)

      Apropos of nothing
      Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54

      Tolerance and the Homosexual Issue
      Robert W. Epler (80WB)

      Kind Words and Comments
      Steve Carson (58)


Subj:    Stranger Than Fiction
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

When, during an interview, Gore stated that Tipper
 was a Psychology major and that he was her
 biggest project, no truer words have ever came out
 of his mouth.  His behavior is becoming
 increasingly puzzling, especially since it is
 reminiscent of behavior he was criticized for
 during past campaigns.  I think that it is becoming
 more apparent everyday just why Clinton picked
 Gore for his running mate. 

Just like the repeat offenders who fill our prisons
 and the child who never listens, Gore continues his
 pattern of unacceptable behavior no matter how
 many times he is admonished by the press and his
 own inner-circle.  Why???  He brought Winifred
 Skinner (the can lady) to the October 3, debate
 knowing that her multimillionaire son had already
 talked to the press and set the record straight. 
 Why???  Why bring her in any case???

>From reports coming out, we are finding out that
 Gore's sighs and facial contortions were not
 spontaneous, but planned.  They are strategic sighs
 and facial contortions also used in past debates to
 distract and discredit his opponent.  Why would
 anyone deliberately do something while they are
 running for the President of the United States that
 could be construed as immature and stupid, unless
 they are immature and stupid?  The Wall Street
 Journal's website has an
 editorial about Gore's sighs and facial contortions
 during past debates with Bill Bradley and others. 
 Click on Opinion for some interesting editorials
 that tell it like it is. 

>From reports coming out, we are finding out that
 Gore's lying and exaggerating reach back to his
 campaigning days during the 80's.  Memos have
 been posted on that
 were written by his campaign managers to him
 during past campaigns advising him to stop lying
 because he was going to be caught, yet he
 continues to this day.  Why???  Clinton's lies to
 cover up his transgressions were understandable. 
 It is understandable for a politician or anyone to
 legitimately misquote a mundane fact or figure. 
 Exaggerated pledges are to be expected during a
 campaign.  Bizarre, inexplicable and unwarranted
 lies such as Gore's are unprecedented and
 unfathomable.  His do or say anything to get
 elected attitude shows a profound disrespect for
 the American people and for the office for which
 he is running. 

We are being conditioned by the biased media and
 the Gore campaign to question Bush's intelligence. 
 Hello?  Now we can add Projection to Gore's
 psychological profile.  

I don't know about anyone else in this forum, but
 Gore scares the living daylights out of me.  And,
 what scares me even more is that the polls indicate
 that half of the voters plan to vote for this man. 
 How many lies does this man have to tell and how
 bizarre does his behavior have to get to sway these
 voters.  Some voters may not be taking Gores's lies
 seriously, but our allies and adversaries will.  Ten
 years ago this man would never have gotten as far
 as he has.  Go figure? 

I have never gotten into politics very much before,
 but this is one election where we have a candidate
 that would be so bad for this country that it is hard
 not to speak out and it is becoming increasingly
 harder and harder to understand staunch Gore
 supporters.  This election is a very good example
 of why people who blindly embrace party
 propaganda rather than consider the candidate's
 character and platform should not vote.  In my
 opinion, not voting is an honorable choice for
 people who don't care about politics enough to
 stay informed.  This election is too close and too
 crucial to vote haphazardly.  If you haven't already,
 I urge you to educate yourself on the individual
 candidate's positions, record, and value system. 
 When you are armed with the facts, then go to the
 polls in November and vote your conscience.

 My thoughts for the day for what they are worth.

                   October 9, 2000
                  Mary Ray Henslee (61)


Subj:   Not Revising History
From:  Jim Moran '86

Reply to Steve Carson.

No, I am not revising history, but it is common
 knowable that government revenue was one
 (amongst many) reason which helped in the
 repealing of the 18th amendment.  I site the
 following from Encarta;

"In the U.S., a major shift in public opinion
 occurred during the early years of the Great
 Depression, when opponents could argue
 persuasively that Prohibition deprived people of
 jobs and governments of revenue and generally
 contributed to economic stagnation...."
      -"Prohibition," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 98
       Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1997 Microsoft
       Corporation. All rights reserved.

I could sight many other sources but I haven't the

Also, if the issue is mobility then, how do so many
 other industrialized nations become "mobile" with
 so much less energy?  The alternative is mass
                  Always thinking critical.
                    - Jim Moran '86


Subj:   Loved and Accepted
From:   Carol (Carson) Renaud (60)

To:  Linda Merrill Hendley (64)

Linda - I must respond to your response to my
 Brother, Steve Carson.  His son, Chuck, 
 absolutely was loved and accepted by the entire
 family.  Don't believe for one moment that Steve
 or Chuck's siblings or any other member of the
 extended family ever shut him out.

Just because "they" say there is a part of the brain
 that makes a person gay doesn't mean it should be
 brought into the mainstream and accepted as
 normal.  I loved my nephew and was very sad that
 we lost him to AIDS.  I know that there is a
 growing population of heterosexual females getting
 AIDS.  However, male or female, gay or straight, I
 believe the majority of AIDS cases are
 BEHAVIORALLY caused.  God help the
 innocent (health care workers, babies born with
 AIDS, etc.) who contract the disease through no
 fault of their own.

Gay?  Fine - that's your chosen lifestyle.  But,
 please for the sake of us all, protect yourself and
 your partners.

             - Carol (Carson) Renaud (60) -


Subj:   Apropos of nothing
From:   Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54

Apropos of nothing-

    Which is my sentiment regarding a certain
 website we were directed to in the last issue.  It is
 like the campaign, boring and lacking wit and

    With regard to the antigay measure here in
 Oregon, one of the major ideas of the proponents
 of this measure is that "certain" teachers in the
 public schools are "promoting" AIDS awareness as
 a part of their courses on sex education (a dirty
 word in and of itself).  It would seem that AIDS
 awareness is blatant promotion of homosexuality
 because "they" started this epidemic.

    O.K. And typhoid was started by some woman
named Mary, right?

    It is this kind of thinking that I have been railing
 against in these pages.  The closed mind is a
 wondrous thing to behold.  It will accept no
 truths other than its own.  That's is why we live on
 a flat earth, supported in space by four giant
 elephants.  What holds the elephants up is not to
 be contemplated by the mere mind of man.

    We can no longer afford to be an insular society. 
 We haven't been able to be one since Teddy's
 Great White Fleet sailed around the world way
 back when.  We cannot afford to shut out ANY
 member of our species (Homo Sapiens).  This, of
 course, will mean the demise of homo erectus (but
 hasn't that already happened)?  Wouldn't it be
 better to run this planet headlong into the asteroid
 than to kill each other off, individually, by acts of
 uncaring malice?

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm welcome to it.

           -Bob Carlson (Mike Clowes) '54 -


Subj:  Tolerance and the Homosexual Issue
From:  Robert W. Epler (80WB)

I have read the recent Sandbox submissions
 concerning homosexuality and feel compelled to
 add my two cents worth.  Whether it's worth two
 cents is a matter of opinion of course.  There has
 been an overwhelming move by the media and
 schools to promote homosexuality as being no
 different from race or having blond hair.  That
 acting out as a homosexual is no different from
 having brown skin.  It's something you are born
 with and so naturally should be met with tolerance
 and respect.  Some feel it should even be
 celebrated as an example of human diversity.  In
 this endeavor, the media and schools have
 succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  But is this
 a good thing?  There are unquestionably good and
 intelligent people on both sides of the debate.  We
 have read both sides in this forum.  But I ask, more
 to the point, is tolerance toward destructive sexual
 behavior a good thing?  Whoah!  Did I just call
 homosexual behavior destructive?  I argue that it is
 most decidedly so.  As are many other sexual
 behaviors, including heterosexual promiscuity, sex
 with children and many more.  Let me ask this as
 well: Are adults that are legitimately attracted to
 children born that way?  And if so, should it also
 be tolerated?  Understand that I am only equating
 the two issues to make a point.  Many folks out
 there are attracted sexually to more than their
 spouse.  Would it be good for society to act on this
 attraction because most of us are born with these
 desires?  After all, it's natural. Therefore, isn't it
 just another example of our celebrated diversity? 
 My point is, plainly, that we need to channel our
 God given sexuality in a positive and healthy
 direction.  And this is where the schools come into
 play.  Lately, there has been a move in health
 classes across America to display homosexuality as
 something that should not be discouraged.  While,
 at the same time, health statistics plainly show that
 homosexual behavior and sex outside marriage is
 bad for society in the form of disease, mortality,
 abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and the breakup
 of families. I don't know how anyone can use the
 latest health statistics to argue anything else.  So
 we must ask ourselves, why are our health
 educators not teaching against something that
 contributes to bad health, increases mortality, and
 spreads disease and death?  Yes, there are
 exceptions, but it's a little like playing Russian
 roulette.  But back to my question, why not simply
 teach that some behaviors are bad for your health
 and well being?  Do you think part of the answer
 may lie in religion and the Bible in particular? 
 Many out there want to say it is a religious issue
 because the Bible condemns such behavior.  They
 want to turn it into a holy war or something.  It is
 wrong to argue on such grounds because most
 Americans don't believe the Bible to be the
 infallible word of God.  If you question this, take a
 look at the creation-evolution debate and take note
 of where most people stand.  But common ground
 can be found in the science and health issue.  But
 even then, some argue that our scientists simply
 need to find the cures for the diseases and social
 ills resulting from such behavior.  All we need is
 the cure from the results of sin (destructive
 behavior).  But for those who believe there is a
 cure to be found, other than in Jesus Christ, I only
 advise that while you're waiting, we agree to start
 teaching against behaviors that may quite possibly
 lead our children into physical and mental
 destruction; whether it be of a homosexual or
 heterosexual nature. And lest I be misunderstood, I
 am not arguing in favor of hating and hurting folks
 who make bad choices.  Lord knows I've made
 plenty.  I believe such people need to be loved and
 helped toward making positive choices.  And that
 is what tolerance is all about.  I'm grateful to my
 parents, Dick(52) and Lynn(52), and the fine
 schools in Richland in the 60's and 70's for helping
 me to make positive and healthy choices
 throughout my adult life.  

                Robert W. Epler ('80WB) 

Subj:   Kind Words and Comments
From:   Steve Carson (58)

For Lynn-Marie Hatcher (68), Linda Merrill 
Hendley (64) and Jimmie A. Shipman (51)

Thank you all for your comments and kind words. 
 There is good thinking in your comments and I am
 still against the schools being involved in the
 promotion of homosexuality as a lifestyle.  

                     Steve Carson (58)
                     Chicago, IL 


Thanks for your contributions, everyone. Many
 more to come.  If you've sent an entry recently and
 haven't seen it in The SANDBOX yet, please be
 patient.  Your voice will soon be heard!

                       - Al Parker (53) -
                        Shippenville, PA 
                        Your Sandbox Host
              THE SANDBOX is Animal Cruelty Free. 
               Definitely not tested on animals!

                               - 96 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #97 ~ October 27, 2000

          "Our best thoughts come from others."
                            - Emerson

       One Parent's View
       Peggy Lewis Johnson '62

       Bean Counters
       Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

       Debunking the Bunk
       Jerry  Lewis ('73)

       It Would Be Nice
       Mary Collins Burbage (63)

       Hate is Not a Family Value
       Missy Keeney Baker (59)


Subj:   One Parent's View
From:   Peggy Lewis Johnson '62 (Peggy Johnson)

Regarding homosexuality:

The real issue is about parents of homosexuals.
 Parents' duty is to rear children and teach them
 compassion, tolerance, respect for others; to
 nurture a child to build self-esteem, and support a
 child in developing his or her natural talent and
 intellect. When my first born daughter was born
 there was a mother's awareness that my new baby
 daughter was intriguingly different. As I watched
 her grow I curiously observed her development
 and sensed and knew like only mothers - or fathers
 - might know that there was something special and
 unique about this child.

To make a longer story shorter I'll bypass those
 early school years when her choices in simple
 things pushed my intuition beyond and into
 intellectual thoughts and I began to understand
 what might be a fact about her sexuality.  As a
 high school student she struggled inside with who
 she was - like others her age -- and then shared
 those truths with me as a young adult.  Here's how
 it went: (and this is a short version) "Mom, I have
 something I want to talk to you about" "Sure,
 honey, what is it?" (I knew by her approach that
 this was one of those mother-daughter talks that
 come from deep within - with a need to know that
 trust is there, love is there, acceptance and flesh
 and blood - to die for - devotion is there) She said:
 "This is hard to tell you, you might not like it"
 I said: "You might be surprised how deep my love
 is for you and what you can share with me, honey."
 She started to cry and blurted out "I'm gay" I held
 her in my arms and said: "Oh sweetheart, and you
 are the kindest, most compassionate person I know
 --- and you are the best of friend to all your
 friends, and you are honest, and you have such a
 good mind, and such a good sense of humor, and
 you are responsible and such a good reader, and
 student, and such a great niece, and cousin and
 granddaughter, you use your mind for good cause
 and you always are growing, you are so beautiful
 and wise beyond your years, you are so patient and
 kind ------and you are gay ---- and from what I
 know being gay will have it's challenges. Will you
 have difficulty? Maybe less than some
 heterosexuals in relationships. Will you be
 scrutinized -- maybe less than some who are of a
 different faith, or someone who has a learning
 disability or an extremely high IQ -- or a cause
 they are willing to die for.  Will you have problems
 in your love life?  Probably not more than those
 heterosexuals who are in the divorce statistics. Will
 you be happy? Some of the time. Will you be sad?
 Some of the time. Will you struggle? Some of the
 time ------- Challenged? - Yes, I hope, as
 challenge makes us strong. Frustrated? Yes, as
 frustration makes us agitated to act. All this you
 will be and more.........not because you are gay, but
 because all human beings have challenges, are
 happy sometimes and sad sometimes, etc. Your
 challenges will be your own -- as are mine.
 I love you so deeply. You are a child from my
 womb -- my child--- my flesh and blood -- if you
 are gay then my soul is a bit gay as I shared a part
 of who I am to create you - If you are gay then my
 spirit and being is a bit gay as I gave you a part of
 myself. If you are gay, then my physical body
 created you from my being and, though I am not
 gay, a part of my genetic being was where you
 came from. And will I grow old and love you every
 moment of my life and be proud of you every
 moment of my life - and be comfortable and
 delighted in your presence  --------------- As sure
 as I hold you in my arms and am thankful for you
 and know the world is a better place because you
 exist --- of course --- but not in spite of who you
 are --- but because of who you are — every
 molecule in your body, every voice in your spirit,
 every thought in your mind -- I love you, God
 gave you to me as a gift and a treasure. It's
 OK now, so quit crying and lets go have some fun.
 After that she shared with me more than I wanted
 to know -- like a parent of any child of any sexual
 orientation -- about her sexual life. A few months
 later we agreed, laughing, that if I didn't tell her all
 my sexual adventures as a single parent, (not that
 great of a story), that she wouldn't have to tell me
 hers. She is a bright - and beautiful woman. She is
 well educated and an engineer moving into
 management and growing in her career. Her
 coworkers love working with her - some might
 know of her sexual preference and some might not.
 Anymore than their sexual preference is of great
 interest to her.  Greater than anything about her is
 her compassion, her kindness, good mind, her
 integrity and responsible, caring nature.  If I ever
 thought I would be described by my friends or
 those who knew me as I have described my
 daughter I would be greatly humbled.

                     One parent's view.
                     Peggy Lewis Johnson '62

                                ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Bean Counters
From:   Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54 (Robert Carlson)

    Mary Ray Henslee (61), in issue #94, is of the
 opinion that I favor Bore's Medicare Plan over that
 of Gush.  Far from it.

    What I was trying to point out, is that no matter
 who gets elected, and no matter which plan
 possibly gets enacted, the people who need
 Medicare will not benefit.  Why?  Bean Counters.

    If the "gummint" runs the show, then the bean
 counters will come up with more regulations and
 paper work to slow down or even nullify the
 program.  For every dollar of treatment, either the
 patient or the doctor may have to spend up to five
 dollars in filling out forms.  Remember, this is the
 government and it cannot survive, even in the
 computer age, without forms of some sort.  The
 form to fill out forms is still out there.

    If the private sector (insurance companies) run
 the show, as soon as the bean counters figure out
 that it is a money loosing proposition, they will
 drop it like a hot potato.  Just recently the state of
 Oregon's health plan was dropped by yet another
 insurance company as it was (to the provider(?))
 not cost effective.

    Neither the government nor the insurance
 companies care about your health and well being. 
 The government will offer lip service, and do its
 best to obfuscate the process.  If there is no profit
 in it, the insurance companies will want nothing to
 do with it.

    As a retired military person, I have suffered
 through the maze of paper work and "need to
 justify" of a mediocre health care program. 
 "What?" you say.  "You don't get the best medical
 care?  I thought the military took care of their
 own?"  Does the phrase "Not on your Nelly" strike
 a familiar note?
    Now, if I were living in the close vicinity of a
 major military medical facility, I just might get less
 expensive treatment.  But I live on "the economy"
 (as we used to call it), and have to find a doctor
 and a medical facility that will accept the medical
 program I have.  And that will run out next May,
 and then I get to face the loveliness of Medicare.  At
 least what I have now is better than a poke in the
 eye with a sharp stick, not much, but not quite as

    I'm afraid, Mary, that neither candidate does me
 any good, except to be the target of bad humor.

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it.

          - Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

                             ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Debunking the Bunk
From:   Jerry  Lewis ('73)

Someone sent in a link to an image of a bumper
 sticker that he thought was pretty eloquent.  I
 checked it out and I didn't think it was all that
 informative and was actually kind of offensive.  I
 believe it was implying that Gore is a liar by
 highlighting the first 3 letters of Lieberman's
 name in a mock Gore/Lieberman bumper sticker, 
 but it really is only eloquent to someone who's an
 opponent and not really interested in discourse.

Right now, I'm listening to a report by students
 centered on the accuracy of media reports in
 general and specifically centering on an incident
 where Gore gave a speech at their high school
 where he ended up being blasted as claiming to
 uncover the Love Canal problem.  They played
 back the actual speech where he didn't make such
 a claim, but did that make any difference?  No.  It
 got me to thinking about Dan Quayle and how
 once the media tags these guys, there's almost no
 return.  Doesn't matter whether they're liberal or

I just happened to receive a notice from the Urban
 Legend web site, my hands-down favorite location
 for debunking (or confirming) rumors, stories,
 warnings.  There are two links relevant to the Gore
 discussion and one to the Harry Potter brouhaha.

The most substantial Gore one is a list of supposed
 lies Gore told and then an analysis of each one. 
 The first third of the web page is the supposed lies
 and the supposed truths as circulating in e-mails. 
 Scroll down through that to find each one
 addressed with the actual facts.  It's at:

Another one about a rumor that strings were pulled
 to shorten his tour in Vietnam:

So if you're a Gore (Clinton?) hater and aren't
 interested in facts, you can skip reading them.  If
 you're willing to have an open mind and are
actually interested in substantiated research into the
 claims rather than unsubstantiated innuendo, check
 them out.

Also, regarding Harry Potter books, I've refrained
 from entering the fray.  It's my opinion that they
 are pretty harmless, and are in a long tradition of
 fantasy books for kids.  Many of us read similar
 books as kids and didn't turn out to believe the
 fantasies or devote our lives to them.  I just read
 the last one, and had a more critical eye turned on
 it due to the discussions here and I just don't see it
 as likely to be harmful to the young readers.  It's
 really pretty clean and the good guy ends up
 coming out ahead after surmounting challenges. 
 That said, if Jenny Smart has the right to choose
 what her children read and if she doesn't want her
 kids to read an innocuous adventure story, that's
 her prerogative. I probably wouldn't agree with her
 limited reading list, but c'est la vie.

Lastly there's a small bit on the Urban Legends site
 about Harry Potter and supposed links to Satanism:

       Jerry  Lewis ('73)  *  ** 

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj:   It Would Be Nice
From:   Mary CollinsvBurbage (63)
Olympia WA (Mary Collins Burbage)

I am very glad that the Sandbox is "animal cruelty"
 free. I think it would be nice if it could become
 "human cruelty" free also.

                   - Mary Collins Burbage (63)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:    Hate is Not a Family Value
From:    Missy Keeney Baker (59)

To Steve Carson (58)

I was extremely saddened to learn you had lost a
 son to AIDS and wish you healing in that loss.  I
 have agonized since your response to my entry 
 in the SANDBOX about the OCA.  How could I
 compassionately and intelligently respond?? 

To Lynn-Marie Hatcher (68) and Linda Merrill
 Hendley (64)

Thank you for doing just that.  I couldn't have said
 it better myself.  I had a wonderful tape by a group
 called the "Flirtations", a great a cappella gay men's
 vocal group, and one of the song verses went
 something like this...(it was a song for a child at

"You can be anybody that you want to be.  You
 can love whomever you will, You can travel any
 country where your heart leads and know I will
 love you still, You can live by yourself, you can
 gather friends around, You can choose one special
 one..And the only measure of your words and your
 deeds Will be the love you leave behind when
 you're gone."

Much of the pain and anguish that I observe in the
 gay community is caused by parents and families
 who are unable to love and support their gay and 
 lesbian children.  I can't recommend highly enough
 the PFLAG (Parent, Family and Friends of
 Lesbians and Gays) organization and the work they
 do help folks deal with this issue in a tolerant and
 loving manner.

The sun is shining and the leaves are turning here in
 Richland, Washington.  

Tell your children you love them.  I'm going to!!

                   - Missy Keeney (59)

                              ~ ~ ~

From: Peggy Lewis Johnson (62):

A friend shared this with me. I want to 
  share it with you.


                 I am sprinkled with light
                 Like a line
                 I go on forever
                 A monster of a place
                 My beautiful lights
                 Help you find your way
                 Lurking above you
                 All the time
                 My children have names
                 Of ancient gods
                 My brightest son
                 Gives you light
                 I am the universe

        Rachel Weiner Spring  1997    (8 yrs old)


Thanks for your contributions, everyone. Many
 more to come.  If you've sent an entry recently and
 haven't seen it in The SANDBOX yet, please be
 patient.  Your voice will soon be heard!

                      Al Parker (53)
                     Your Sandbox Host
                           - 97 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #98 ~ October 28, 2000

   "One man's word is no man's word.  We should 
           quietly hear both sides."   -Goethe


     Ballot measures and other fun stuff
     Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

     Because You Read It, Does Not Mean Its True!
     Andrew Eckert (54)

     Harry Spells Danger
     Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

     The 50's and Richland
     Rich Henderson '62

     Missed The Substance
     Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)

     OK, I'll Offer My Two Bits:  
     Bob Rector '62


Subj:   Ballot measures and other fun stuff
From:  Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

    Just recieved Volume 1 of the Oregon Voter's
 Pamphlet in the mail today, with the promise of
 Volume 2 to follow in a few days.  This one is a
 joy to behold, 26 separate ballot measures, taking
 368 pages to explain each measure and why the
 voter should vote either for or against each
 measure.  Several have been proposed by our own
 anti-tax/anit-government gadfly, Bill Sizemore.

    Mr. Sizemore, several years ago, in the wake of
 what happened in California, succeeded in getting
 a property tax reduction measure on the ballot.  It
 passed.  Funny thing, it didn't really reduce
 property taxes, as the appriasals on which such
 taxes are based went up.  Since then, he has in
 each election year proposed further tax cuts, and
 reductions in government.  He even ran for
 governor one year and failed miserably at that task.

    His current proposals have to do with deductions
 for federal income tax paid (which really doesn't
 help anyone except those who itemize); and further
 simplifying the process by which initiative
 measures can be put on the ballot.  The latter
 stems from his frustration in getting some of his
 ideas turned into ballot measures basically because
 no one wanted to sign his petitions.

    There is a measure, supported earnestly by both
 "Piggy" (Portland General Electric) and PP&L
 which would in effect repeal a measure voted in by
 an overwhelming majority in 1978 which does not
 allow the power companies to make the users pay
 for costs incurred in closing or maintaining closed

    One measure that I might be induced to vote for is
 one that says that if the legislature mandates
 educational programs, the legislature had best come
 up with the funding, and not leave it to the school 
 districts.  Legislatures and Congresses like to do 
 things like that:  Mandate a program and then not 
 fund it and wonder why it isn't working.

    Previously in these pages, I reported on the
 current biggoted ballot measure.  Now, to make it
 perfectly clear to those who don't really
 understand, let me cite the text of the measure:

        "Be it enacted by the people of the State of
        "Section 1. ORS 336.067 is amended to read
 (new section):
        "(e)  Sexual Orientation as it relates to
 homosexuality and bisexuality is a divisive subject
 matter not necessary to the instruction of students
 in public schools.  Nothwithstanding any other law
 or rule, the instruction of behaviors relating to
 homosexuality and bisexuality shall not be
 presented in a public school in a manner which
 encourages, promotes or sanctions such behaviors.
        "Section 2.  ORS 659.166 is amended to read 
 (new section):
            "(1)  Any public elementary or secondary
 school determined by the Superintendent of Public
 Instruction or any community college determined
 by the Commissioner for Community College
 Services to be in nocompliance with the provisions
 of ORS 336.067 (e) or ORS 659.150 and this
 section shall be subject to appropriate sanctions,
 which may include withholding of all or part of
 state funding, as established by rule of the State
 Board of Education."

    By way of explanation, the Legislative
 Committee defined "public school" as any public
 elementary schools, public secondary schools,
 community colleges, state colleges and state
 universitlies, and all state and local institutions that
 provide educations for patients or inmates.

    Yes, The Bible, and quite possibly sacred
 writings of other religions tell us that
 homosexuality is not acceptable behavior. 
 Unfortunately, homosexuality has been with "man"
 for quite sometime and it has not been restricted to
 any race, creed or religious preferrence.  It is not
 something that can be legislated or prayed away. 
 It is a fact of life.

    The son of a fellow Bomber passed away
 because of AIDS, and left his father bitter over the
 lad's lifestyle.  I wonder how many other Bombers
 and/or their children have died because of AIDS,
 or may be HIV positive.  No, I am not asking for
 names or for anyone to come out of the closet, or
 even be outed in these pages.  And remember that
 AIDS doesn't strike the gay community alone. 
 Needle sharers, and those with indiscriminate
 mating habits also need be aware.

    If our children and grandchildren are to be given
 some measure of protection against life's
 visisitudes, they must be given the education and
 knowledge necessary to avoid them, all of them.  If
 the discussion on protection against AIDS or any
 other STD promotes homosexuality or bisexuality,
 something is wrong somewhere.  Or maybe we
 should revert back the the V.D. films our fathers or
 brothers told us about when they were in the
 Armed Forces.  If that don't scare kids away from
 sex of any nature, I don't know what will.

    Well, that's my opinion, and I'm welcome to it.

            Bob (Mike Clowes) Carlson '54

                              ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Because You Read It, Does Not Mean Its True!
From:   Andrew Eckert (54)

Let me cite an example of the press corps' ability to
 spin on important policy. 

This involves Vice President Gore's best-selling book,
  Earth in the Balance.

Soon after the book was published in 1992, Gore
 was selected to be Bill Clinton's running mate, and
 the RNC began portraying the book as an example 
 of crackpot environmentalism. From then until
 now, party spokesmen have pulled stray quotes
 from the book, trying to demonstrate Gore's

A long-standing favorite is a quote concerning the
 future of the internal combustion engine.

"[I]t ought to be possible," Gore writes in the book,
 "to accomplish the strategic goal of completely
 eliminating the internalcombustion engine over, 
 say, a twenty-five year period." In context, it is
 abundantly clear that Gore is talking about
 replacing the IC engine with cleaner technology.
 But apparently that wouldn't sound silly enough,
 so GOP spinners have long pretended Gore wants
 to get rid of cars. In June of 1999, for example,
 RNC chairman Jim Nicholson—author of the farm
 chores hoax—published a full-page open letter to
 Gore in major newspapers, asking Gore to explain
 "why you want to eliminate the automobile as we
 know it." This followed press releases in which
 Nicholson explicitly accused Gore of trying to "do
 away with the internal combustion engine, the

One might think it the work of a serious press corps
 to clarify groaning nonsense like that. And this
 story is especially intriguing because of a 
 ittle-noticed fact. On January 5, 1998, both the
 Wall Street Journal and the New York Times
 presented page-one, lead stories from the Detroit
 Auto Show, reporting that world car companies
 now agree that internal combustion is on the way
 out. Rebecca Blumenstein, page one, Wall Street

[Auto makers from Tokyo to Stuttgart to Detroit
 have reached a surprising new consensus on an
 idea deemed heretical not long ago. A fundamental
 shift in engine technology is needed. "We need to
 press very hard to increase fuel economy and
 lower emissions" of carbon dioxide, says John F.
 Smith, Jr., chairman of General Motors.This then
 would be the world, salvation from the Oil Barrons
 of the world ... Is there not an Oil company baring
 the name "Bush" in Bahrain? Is not Cheney a
 former CEO of a very large oil CO?  Did they not
 hand $20 Million dollars Soft Money to the
 Champaign?  Sure hope everyone is doing there
 homework on our future.  The election is only days
 away, Who can we blame if WE elect the wrong
 person for the wrong reasons.

But do vote.  Your future is at stake.

Information for this article was found  on 
" "
                      Andrew Eckert (54)

                               ~ ~ ~

Subj:   Harry Spells Danger
From:   Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

Well, I know we've probably talked the Harry
 Potter subject to death, but while reading the
 Philadelphia Trumpet I came across this article and
 though I would share part of it with you. The
 article was Titled Harry Spells Danger. The part I
 found very interesting was as follows: According
 to a report in the September edition of Youthworks,
 many teenage boys are rejecting
 Christianity and the church for witchcraft. 
 Moreover, there is an even greater response from
 young women seeking female "empowerment." 
 Droves of girls are showing an unprecedented
 interest in witchcraft, with dozens every month
 wanting to join covens to learn about casting spells
 in order to pass school exams, find boyfriends and
 become wealthy.

One organization, the Pagan Federation (a
 UK-based group which represents druids,
 shamans, witches and high priestesses)
 acknowledges that scores of curious youngsters
 are now contacting its main office, with upwards
 of 100 telephone calls per month.  The Federation
 has just appointed its first youth officer in response
 to the growing number of queries from children.

Interesting!!  I don't know if I mentioned when I
 sent in my comment about reading Harry Potter
 with my grandson last year, that the reason we
 were reading it was because it was required
 reading in his 5th grade class?  After reading this
 article I wish that I would have voiced my opinion
 to the school instead of just pointing out issues to
 my grandson.  

                    - Janie O'Neal Janssen (65)

                                  ~ ~ ~

Subj:   The 50's and Richland
From:  Rich Henderson '62

   Noticed recent alumni comments about growing
 up in Richland during the decade of  the 50's.

   There was an excellent book published about the
 decade of the 50's.  David Halberstam authored the
 book titled:  "THE FIFTIES", by Villard Books,
 (New York), in 1993.  This single volume book is
 about 700+ pages, (with 46 chapters), detailing the
 many facets of the decade.  The book may now be
 out of print.

   MY COMMENTS:  Some historians have, more
 recently, suggested that this decade was the
 spawning ground for the future "counter-culture
 generation" of the 60's and beyond.  They
 continue, ...that the "baby-boomer generation" did
 not accept all of these values,  that they rejected it!

   I am inclined to agree with the premise that some
 of the values did adversely influence the
 generational mindset.  That  these were seen as
 superficial, shallow, materialist, and lacking in
 compassion and understanding.

   No, I am not bad-mouthing the decade.  It was a
 time of increasing national stability,  .... growth, 
 .... improvements, and communication.  This  was
 offset by increased international instability and
 tensions, i.e., The Cold War.

   Still, the 50's, (and Richland), was an excellent
 time and place to be both a kid and grow up in.

                       -Rich Henderson
                        Class of '62


Subj:   Missed The Substance
From:   Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)
Jenny Smart:

I missed the substance of your objection to Harry
Potter. Would you mind restating it as concisely and
specifically as possible?  Thanks.

Irene de la Bretonne Hays (1961)
Golden, Colorado


Subj: OK, I'll Offer My Two Bits:  
     (a) homosexuality & 
     (b) Harry Potter
From:   Bob Rector '62 (Robert Rector)

     Just a note to thank the editors etc.  This "page"
 offers entertaining reading and sometimes even a
 cogent thought or two.  Best of all, it keeps my
 aging mind in gear.  Thanks.

     Now, my very personal opinion on two much 
discussed topics:

      (a)  On Homosexuality:
             People are People and Life is Life.
             Wish folks would worry more about
 overpopulation or consumption of fossil fuels.

     (b)  On Harry Potter Books:
            We all hAve fears.
            Some people have dreadful fears, and some
 itty bitty fears.
           Some even have imagined or senseless fears.
           I too have fears.....but reading Harry Potter 
is not one of them.
          When confronted by a scarecrow, & a little
 girl in pigtails, even the Wizard of Oz was afraid.

                   Later,  Bob Rector '62


Thanks for your contributions, everyone. Many
 more to come.  If you've sent an entry recently and
 haven't seen it in The SANDBOX yet, please be
 patient.  Your voice will soon be heard!

                       Al Parker (53)
                     Your Sandbox Host
                           - 98 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #99 ~ October 29, 2000

        "Kindness is the golden chain by which 
          society is bound together."  -Goethe


       Phony Environmentalists
       Brad Wear, '71

       Parenting and Censors
       Chuck Monasmith (65)

       Because We Have The Freedom
       Linda McKnight (65)  

       Harry Potter For President
       Linda McKnight (65)

       Intelligent, Eloquent, Loving.
       Dave Doran (72)

       Wow, Some SANDBOX!
       Anna Durbin,'69

       God Doesn't Make Junk
       Linda Reining Pitchford  (64)

       Can We Ask That Question In 
       The SANDBOX?
       Tedd Cadd (66)


Subj:   Phony Environmentalists
From:   Brad Wear, '71, 
Richardson, TX.

I recently returned from a week long hunting trip to
 Washington State.  I hunted both birds and deer on
 the Eastern side of the mountains.  What
 absolutely amazed me was the fire damage in the
 South central part of the state, particularly around
 the Bickleton area.  They sustained 11 fires this
 summer 5 lightening strikes, and 6 man made fires. 
 The devastation is beyond comprehension.  The
 sad fact is that the state bureaucrats who are pulled
 and pushed by the environmentalists are refusing to
 reseed the burned areas and want a "natural return
 of the land."  I had the opportunity to meet several
 of the local "PETA, and soil conservationist's"
 advocates in the area while I was in Bickleton. 
 None of these so called environmentalists had even
 been into the burn area, other than to drive down
 the roads that crisscross the area.  The fires in
 several areas were so hot they burned the root
 structure of the trees that at one time populated
 the area.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing to
 anchor the soil in the area.  Dirt in some areas was
 over ankle deep.  Where is this going during the
 first heavy rain?  This is the watershed of the
 Columbia River.  The canyons I was in are less
 than six miles from the Columbia.  Tons of silt and
 top soil will flood into the river and cause massive
 natural pollution.  The fact that the local state
 employees of the soil conservation district have not
 even ventured into these burn areas to formulate a
 plan is criminal.  Aerial reseeding or better yet pre
 germinated grass matting is essential at this time.

I think it would be interesting to see what "clean
 water" candidates are even aware of the potential
 time bomb that is ticking away in the that specific

The lone PETA activist was so uninformed it was
 amazing.  There is no food in the burned off area,
 yet the deer are still "yarding up" in their old
 territories.  We saw in excess of 50 deer milling
 around in these burned areas and judging by the
 established game trails they are not leaving the
 region.  When they do it will force them onto
 tracts of land that will support maybe in a good
 year half the deer population that will inhabit it. 
 When I posed the question of: If the land will
 support 10 deer, and 11 deer live on it, how many
 will die of starvation?  The usual answer is arrived
 at by simple math of only 1.  Error, all will die. 
 Unlike humans where one noble person might step
 forward and sacrifice their life for the good of the
 group.  Deer will eat until nothing is left and then
 starve to death.  The PETA person could not or
 would not grasp this concept.  By and large I think
 these people are well meaning, but they need to
 walk the land, observe the conditions, and look at
 the impact of their "perfect world" edicts.

To: Paul Ratsch,'58
Paul, I don't know what percentage of the oil
 refined for America is processed in Texas,
 specifically the Houston area, but I bet it would be
 significant.  I bet that you would be the loudest
 whiner if they cut back any production and drove
 your fuel costs through the roof.  You can't have it
 both ways.  You want the fuel, you get the
 pollution.  It's also interesting to note that neither
 candidate is slamming California for their
 pollution.  I was in San Jose, CA three weeks ago
 and they deemed it a good day.  You couldn't see
 the mountains.  But that's OK, it's a key state for
 both, and they don't want to offend anyone. 
 Starting teacher pay in Texas $30K, better than
 Police or firemen, but that's OK, they're not a
 political issue.

Water pollution in Texas, some of the worst water
 I've ever seen.  There are only three rivers I would
 swim in, Comal, Guadeloupe, and Brazos.  The
 others are full of natural pollution, soil run off. 
 There are only Two, yes TWO, natural lakes in
 Texas.  Everything else is man made, dam a creek
 form a lake.  The only problem is they usually are
 only an average depth of 4 ft.  Combine that with
 100 plus days of 100 plus degree heat and you've
 got polluted water.  Look at Toledo Bend Lake,
 90 miles long 20 miles wide, average depth 4 ft.
 with a water temperature of 86 degrees.  Quality? 
 No, but what are you going to do about it?  Breach
 the dams?  Yeah, right.  

                    - Brad Wear,'71,

Subj:    Parenting and Censors
From:   Chuck Monasmith (65)

A reply to Jenny (Smart) Page  

Must I be responsible for the perception others take
 of my words?  Yes, I must.  Unfortunately for me,
 you and others have perceived that my words
 about your willingness to censor books was a
 personal attack on your parenting skills.  That was
 not my intent. It was my intent to be critical of
 your opinion that censorship is a justified action. I
 apologize to you for the heat of my rhetoric and
 my passion for allowing uncensored reading
 causing you offense.  My apology is sincere, I hope
 that you will accept it.

If it is at all possible, I'd like to try and get the
 discussion back on track.  Let's leave out parenting
 skills, drug use, irresponsible social behavior etc. 
 The topic is censorship.  History has many
 examples where censorship of reading materials
 has been negative.  Beginning with the Catholic
 Church censoring the books of Copernicus,
 teaching the earth was not the center of the
 universe and on and on.  Where has censoring
 reading material been of benefit to any society?  

                 Chuck Monasmith (65)


Subj:   Because We Have The Freedom
From:   Linda McKnight (65)

An excerpt from The Sunday Oregonian October
 22, 2000.  Questions and answers to J. K.
 Rowling, author of The Harry Potter series.  ON
 CENSORSHIP:  "I really hate censorship.  I find it
 objectionable.  I personally think that they're very 
 mistaken.  I think these are very moral books and 
 I think it's a very shortsighted thing. 
 Shortsighted in the sense that if you try hard to
 portray goodness without showing that the reverse
 is evil and without showing how great it is to resist
 that..well, that's always been my feeling about

  "You find magic, witchcraft, and wizardry in all
 sorts of classic children's books.  Where do you
 start?  Are you going to start with 'The Wizard of
 Oz?'  These people are trying to protect children
 from their own imagination."  

Also, I was too old for Barbies, I was baby-sitting
 when girls were playing with Barbies.  What is
 wrong with Barbie????? Oh yes, I guess it is
 because she is anorexic.  But, the new Barbie isn't
 that way.  I am sorry, but I truly feel sorry for
 Jenny Smart's children. To grow to old age and
 never play with a Barbie and have such an
 opinionated mother.....Wonder which one of her
 kids will become Hari Krishna, or form their own
 even more revolting band than Marilyn Manson. 
 How many people out there have even heard
 Marilyn Manson's music?  To put that in the same
 context as sweet, little poor abused child, Harry
 Potter.  Oh well, that is the part that is so great
 about the United States of America.  We can say
 and do just about anything we want to because we
 have the freedom to do so.   

                    - Linda McKnight (65)

Subj:   Harry Potter For President
From:  Linda McKnight (65)

Thank you so much, Al Parker, for this place where
 we can sound off.  I had an additional thing to add,
 from the newspaper.

Another excerpt from The Sunday Oregonian of
   October 22, 2000. (Commentary section)

       "If I had to pick, I'd pick Bush, and not
 necessarily by default; I know I don't support what
 the other team is about."  
             -  Marilyn Manson, rock singer
           and minister of the Church of Satan
                       (New York Post)

Could it be that George W. Bush is the antichrist? 
 Isn't it great that we have such freedom in this
 country?  Be sure to cast your ballot for your


   (Linda McKnight - 65 - with tongue in cheek.)


Subj: Wow, Some SANDBOX!
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 97
From:   Anna Durbin, 69

Wow, Some SANDBOX!  If we could all be
 parents like Peggy Johnson, this world would be a
 better place.  I hope I can tell my children the same
 things when they turn out differently from
 whatever dreams I may have entertained for them. 
 If you need any extra daughters and want to adopt,
 I am ready.  Thanks for sharing your mother-love
 with us.  

I was so proud when my daughter told me that one
 of her now ex-friends at school commented to her,
 "Why are you hanging out with X?  Her parents
 are lesbians, you know," and my daughter's
 response was: "So what?"  I hope the day comes
 when people can be comfortable enough with their
 own sexuality that they will not have to fear and
 hate gay people.  Although I have been married to
 the same man for over 24 years now, I can truly
 say that my life has been enriched by every gay and
 lesbian friend I have.  Our three daughters
 blessedly feel the same way.  This world will be a
 better place when all of us can stop hating and
 fearing "the other."  When you get down to it, that
 hate and fear come from our own feelings of fear
 about ourselves.  

And thanks to the other Sandboxers for the
 amazing poem and for the Urban Legend Cites. 
 It's great to learn things this way.  

                - Anna Durbin, 69


Subj:   Intelligent, Eloquent, Loving.
From:   Dave Doran (72)

Re: Peggy Lewis Johnson's thoughts on gayness, 
That was the most intelligent, eloquent, loving and
 thoughtful piece I've ever read on the 'difficulty'
 some find with homosexuality. [SB Issue 97] Your
 simple piece debunks a thousand years of 'God's
 Law' nonsense and 'Lifestyle Choice' idiocy. Where
 the science of homosexuality still finds
 stubbornness, your heartfelt response cannot ever
 be refuted. Very good indeed!

                       - Dave Doran (72)


Subj:   God Doesn't Make Junk
From:   Linda Reining Pitchford  (64)   
Bakersfield, CA

re:  alternative lifestyles

"God doesn't make junk."  I believe that, and I also
 believe He will not condemn a homosexual to
 eternal damnation.  Now before "feathers get
 ruffled," I am not saying homosexual's are junk.  I 
 just mean that He created all of us!  And I do not
 believe that they "choose" their lifestyle.  Why
 would they choose a lifestyle that brings them
 pain, shame, ridicule, and sometimes, the loss of
 their family's love????? As for teaching tolerance
 of their lifestyle in schools-----if it helps, WHY 
 NOT?  If you are worried that by teaching it, it will
 make others become "that way," it won't.  I have
 no medical evidence to prove this, but I believe
 something happens during puberty and things just
 go "haywire."  

               Linda Reining Pitchford  (64)


Subj: Can We Ask That Question In 

From:   Tedd Cadd (66)

Since so many things are out of bounds for The Alumni
Sandstorm, I wonder what is out of bounds for THE

One of the problems I have in contributing to the AS is
that some of my memories of Richland are not exactly
happy ones and certainly go against the "growing up in
a time and place where we were safe" things I read
there.  No doubt some, even most, were safe.  But not
all of us.  I've often wondered if there were others
who know how dangerous Richland was in the 50s and
beyond.  Is the Sandbox a place to ask that question?

                      - Tedd Cadd (66)

   The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life.     
                     Proverbs 15:4

Reply to Ted:

I think it would be OK to ask that question here. 
 Let's keep a few things in mind in the meantime:

As far as topics, and opinions about them are
concerned, I have no desire to "censor" any of the
voices heard in The SANDBOX, not wanting to inhibit
honest feelings here.  I don't recommend coarse
language because more than likely it will diminish,
rather than enhance, the value of what one wishes to
say. I do encourage contributors to be courteous and
respectful of their fellow alumni in this forum as they
deal with the issues at hand. I look to this forum to
be self-correcting when necessary, by responses from
other members encouraging folks to be courteous when
such reminders are needed.

Another thing to keep in mind is this: 

The SANDBOX is designed primarily for original input
from Richland Bomber Alumni, so there isn't room for
long quotes from outside sources, but you can cite web
sites if you wish, to illustrate your points.  Letters
from Richland Bomber Families and "Bomber Boosters" are
also welcome here.  One other thought: As moderator of
this forum, I will avoid publishing any material that
could in any way be considered by any party to be
libelous or slanderous.  Any negative opinions of past
teachers, etc., specifically named, would be an example
of that.

Did you remember to set your clocks back and change
the batteries in your smoke, radon and carbon monoxide

Build yourself a beautiful day!

                       - Al Parker (53)
                       Your Sandbox Host
                            - 99 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #100 ~ October 30, 2000

      Choices/Body Slams/Pre-Fab Folding Chairs
      Jimmie A. Shipman Class of "51" 

      Enough  of Anti-Gay Venom
      Patricia Keeney (63)

      Give Our Schools A Break
      Mike Franco (1970)

      We Can Learn From What We Read
      Anna Durbin '69


Subj: Choices/Body Slams/Pre-Fab Folding Chairs
From: Jimmie A. Shipman Class of "51" 
Richland, Washington

Does any one have any old pre-fab folding chairs
 that they would like to part with?

To Pam Jewett-Bullock (nee Plye'69)

1: It is Jimmie A. (Not Steve) Shipman.

2: The thanks that you gave to Lynn Hatcher (68)
 was for her Snippet "Let's Focus On The Person,
 Not The Lifestyle" was addressed to Steve
 Carson (58) not to Steve Shipman (51) as stated
 by you. It was in the Sandbox #94 issue, However
 I do take credit for "It's Against God's Law"
 as Jimmie A. Shipman (51), in Sandbox #94 issue.

3: Homosexuality is a lifestyle of choice, it has
 nothing to do with skin or eye color or any of the
 other rhetoric that you went on and on about.

4. God's Words on homosexual relationships can be
 located in the following Bible verses:
 (Lev 18:22), "Do not lie with a man as one lies
 with a woman; that is detestable."

(Lev 20:13), "If a man lies with a man as one lies
 with a woman, both of them have done what is
 detestable. They must be put to death; their
 blood will be on their own heads."

(Rom 1:18_32), "The wrath of God is being
 revealed from heaven against all the godlessness
 and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by
 their wickedness, {19} since what may be known
 about God is plain to them, because God has made
 it plain to them. {20} For since the creation of the
 world God's invisible qualities__his eternal power
 and divine nature__have been clearly seen, being
 understood from what has been made, so that men
 are without excuse. {21} For although they knew
 God,  they neither glorified him as God nor gave
 thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and
 their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Although
 they claimed to be wise, they became fools {23}
 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for
 images made to look like mortal man and birds and
 animals and reptiles. {24} Therefore God gave
 them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to
 sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies
 with one another. {25} They exchanged the truth
 of God  for a lie, and worshiped and served
 created things rather than the Creator__who is
 forever praised. Amen. {26} Because of this, God
 gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their
 women exchanged natural relations for unnatural
 ones. {27} In the same way the men also
 abandoned natural relations with women and were
 inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed
 indecent acts with other men, and received in
 themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
 {28} Furthermore, since they did not think it
 worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he
 gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what
 ought not to be done. {29} They have become
 filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed
 and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife,
 deceit and malice. They are gossips, {30}
 slanderers, God_haters, insolent, arrogant and
 boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they
 disobey their parents; {31} they are senseless,
 faithless, heartless, ruthless. {32} Although
 they know God's righteous decree that those who
 do such things deserve death, they not only
 continue to do these very things but also approve
 of those who practice them."

(1 Cor 6:9_11), "Do you not know that the wicked
 will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be
 deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
 idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor
 homosexual offenders {10} nor thieves nor the
 greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor
 swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. {11}
 And that is what some of you were. But you were
 washed, you were sanctified, you were justified
 in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the
 Spirit of our God."

 (1 Tim 1:8_11), "We know that the law is good if
 one uses it properly.  {9} We also know that law is
 made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and
 rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and
 irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or
 mothers, for murderers, {10} for adulterers and
 perverts, for slave traders and liars and
 perjurers__and for whatever else is contrary to the
 sound doctrine {11} that conforms to the glorious
 gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to

5. Again, let me say that homosexuality is and will
 be always against God's Law, as stated in the
 Scriptures of the Holy Bible.

6. God expects us to love not only him, but also our
 neighbors as well. I, as a Christian, do love
 homosexual people, It's the sin of homosexualtity
 that I deplore. We have an extended family
 member who by choice is a homosexual and we
 love her.

God Bless
Now go and have a good day.

                 Jimmie A. Shipman (51)


Subj:   Enough  of Anti-Gay Venom
From:   Patricia Keeney (63)
Forest Grove, Oregon

For years I have been in the middle of heated
 political debate here in Oregon in defense of my
 gay son and others in the widely disdained and
 misunderstood gay community.  In April of this
 year, a mother in Vermont wrote to her local paper
 and said so many of things I have wanted to say.  I
 could not have said it any better... so I will
 reproduce it here....        

         I've had enough of your anti-gay venom
         by Sharon Underwood For the Valley News 
         (White River Junction, VT/Hanover, NH)

As the mother of a gay son, I've seen firsthand how
 cruel and misguided people can be.

    Many letters have been sent to the Valley News
 concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont.  I
 am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough
 from you good people.

    I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the
 "homosexual agenda" and your allegations that
 accepting homosexuality is the same thing as
 advocating sex with children.  You are cruel and
 ignorant.  You have been robbing me of the joys of
 motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

    My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of
 the moral little thugs from your moral, upright
 families from the time he was in the first grade.  He
 was physically and verbally abused from first grade
 straight through high school because he was
 perceived to be gay.

    He never professed to be gay or had any
 association with anything gay, but he had the
 misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the
 other boys.  He was called "fag" incessantly,
 starting when he was six.

    In high school, while your children were doing
 what kids that age should be doing, mine labored
 over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be
 sure his family knew how much he loved them. 
 My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as
 he choked out that he just couldn't bear to
 continue living any longer, that he didn't want to
 be gay and that he couldn't face a life with no

    You have the audacity to talk about protecting
 families and children from the homosexual menace,
 while you yourselves tear apart families and drive
 children to despair.  I don't know why my son is
 gay, but I do know that God didn't put him, and
 millions like him, on this Earth to give you
 someone to abuse.  God gave you brains so that
 you could think, and it's about time you started
 doing that.

No Choice
    At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the
 belief that this could never happen to you, that
 there is some kind of subculture out there that
 people have chosen to join.  The fact is that if it
 can happen to my family, it can happen to yours,
 and you won't get to choose.  Whether it is genetic
 or whether something occurs during a critical time
 of fetal development, I don't know.  I can only tell
 you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

    If you want to tout your morality, you'd best
 come up with something more substantive than
 your heterosexuality.  You did nothing to earn it; it
 was given to you.  If you disagree, I would be
 interested in hearing your story, because my own
 heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no
 effort whatsoever on my part.  It is so woven into
 the very soul of me that nothing could ever change

    For those of you who reduce sexual orientation
 to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or
 something that can be changed by a 10-step
 program, I'm puzzled.  Are you saying that your
 own sexual orientation is nothing more than
 something you have chosen, that you could change
 it at will?  If that's not the case, then why would
 you suggest that someone else can?

    A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont
 has been infiltrated by outsiders.  Both sides of my
 family have lived in Vermont for generations.  I am
 heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to
 stop saying that you are speaking for "true
    You invoke the memory of the brave people who
 have fought on the battlefield for this great
 country, saying that they didn't give their lives so
 that the "homosexual agenda" could tear down the
 principles they died defending.  My 83-year-old
 father fought in some of the most horrific battles of
 World War II, was wounded and awarded the
 Purple Heart.  He shakes his head in sadness at the
 life his grandson has had to live.  He says he fought
 alongside homosexuals in those battles, they did
 their part and bothered no one.  One of his best
 friends in the service was gay, and he never knew
 it until the end, and when he did find out, it
 mattered not at all.  That wasn't the measure of the

    You religious folk just can't bear the thought that
 as my son emerges from the hell that was his
 childhood he might like to find a lifelong
 companion and have a measure of happiness.  It
 offends your sensibilities that he should request the
 right to visit that companion in the hospital, to
 make medical decisions for him or to benefit from
 tax laws governing inheritance.

    How dare he? you say.  These outrageous
 requests would threaten the very existence of your
 family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.

    You use religion to abdicate your responsibility
 to be thinking human beings.  There are vast
 numbers of religious people who find your
 attitudes repugnant.  God is not for the privileged
 majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

    The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April
 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual
 sin and tells us about "those of us who have been
 blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing"
 asks: "What ever happened to the idea of be better human beings than we are?"   
 Indeed sir, what ever happened to that?

Postscript from Patricia Keeney...

    Vermont became the first state to approve civil
 unions for gays and lesbians.  May it be the first of
 many to offer the same privileges and freedoms the
 rest of us enjoy. 

    Bomber parents of gay children, if you want
 more information and want to learn how to
 support our wonderful children, contact your local
 Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
 (PFLAG).  If you don't know how to find a local
 chapter, email me and I will help you.

                  - Patricia Keeney (63)

Subj: Give Our Schools A Break
From: Mike Franco (1970)
Kent, Washington

I must respond to comments regarding
 homosexuality and our tolerance or lack of it in
 our lives, schools, etc. In particular a submittal 
 stated..."schools and media promoting  
 homosexuality as no different than 
 race or blond hair. We should channel our God
 given sexuality in a positive and healthy
 direction....this is where the schools come into

PLEEEEEEEEEZ  give our schools a break! Let's
 not burden our teachers with any more of the
 policing, feeding,  child raising, morals promoting
 that we currently bury them under.  Many of my
 closest pals are teachers and the last thing they
 desire is to get into the  morals business. 

I must ask another question though. I am very
 active in my daughter's jr high school, spend a lot
 of time there and also read two daily newspapers
 (big city  "lib" papers) and have not encountered
 any  "promoting " of homosexuality.  In papers we
 certainly see different attitudes and morals, but I 
 cannot say I have ever seen any promotion and
 NEVER any in the schools. I spend days each
 month on several committees and other activities
 and have no idea what  this "promotion" is all

I find it alarming that to make a point an individual
 will simply make a statement ("schools do this, or
 that") and then goes on to condemn the entire 
 education system.  I will defend our public schools
 here in Kent as doing a great job and dealing well
 with the issues of the day. I too remember our 
 Richland childhood days fondly. But if you equate
 those times with the challenges of teaching and
 parenting today you don't understand the changing 
 times.  The good old days are just that...old  and in
 the past.

On this very emotional and moral issue there is
 more than one road to follow in  leading and
 educating our children. Decisions  are not easy 
 and there is no one right way to deal with issues
 and people.....but do NOT blame institutions
 (schools, newspapers, TV)  outside the family. The
 only reason  these institutions may have more
 influence than parents is because some of us 
 did not or do not meet issues head on. 

It's OK for us to disagree on the issue of 
 homosexuality awareness. It's a tough one. It is
 also well worth our time and consideration. Just
 remember,  it involves a lot of people and how
 they are treated. That,  (treatment of others), is
 ALWAYS worth the effort.

                       Mike Franco (1970)

Subj:   We Can Learn From What We Read
From:   Anna Durbin '69 

I just want to thank Bob Rector ('62) for his
 concise wisdom and Bob (Mike Clowes)
 Carlson '54  for his info and wisdom on ballot
 issues [Issue 98] (my two concise takes:  ignorance
 is  not bliss, really, and fear of the different or
 unknown causes hatred).  I loved the no mandates
 without funding idea.  If we are talking about
 banning the apparently evil Harry Potter, does that
 mean we want to ban Grimm's Fairy tales,
 especially because they really dump on
 stepmothers, and anything Walt Disney as well
 since he anthropomorhises animals, not to mention
 the Sorcerer's Apprentice?  I think the Amish go
 really far trying to protect their children from the
 current culture, and there was a big arrest among
 some young Amish adults not too long ago for
 drug dealing. I go for learning from other
 cultures and believing that searching for truth shall
 make us free, myself. 

I still think we learn something from what we read. 
 And if Christians are good role models and really
 do practice loving their fellow humans, their
 children will not turn to Satanism, which is very
 different from Wicca, but will follow the good of
 the religion as Jesus taught it.  For example, he did
 not let people stone the adulteress, but suggested
 that he who is without sin should cast the first
 stone.  I think that message, instead of the message
 that allows people to think it is okay to beat
 homosexuals to death because they are an evil
 abomination according to the Bible, is Christianity
 as I learned it.  I don't think God made people who
 are evil abominations and I think the song from
 South Pacific is very true.  Remember the one
 about how "Children must be carefully taught..."
 And I can't thank  Andrew Eckert (54) enough for
 doing research for me to send to the members of
 my family who repeat the propaganda they read. 
 Amazing how intelligent people from the same
 family can have such diametrically opposed ideas
 to mine.  But we enjoy mixing it up by email much
 as the Sandboxers do. I must confess that an older
 brother did recently call me a communist, however. 
 And I thought they were all dead.

And Editor, do you think it would be possible to
 refer people back to earlier editions if they miss
 some beginning of discussion so we don't have to
 start it all over again?  Or are we not set up with
 some indexing ability?  And no, I am not
 suggesting to stick you with the task.  You already
 do enough work already.  Any retired net wizards
 (oops, did not mean to espouse Satanism) (Yes, it
 has taken over our language) who could help you?

And Happy Halloween.  I really enjoy Trick or
 Treaters, myself. And please, I am trying to be
 lighthearted, not to insult anyone.  

                - Anna Durbin '69 

Note: Generally, extensive quotations are avoided in
The SANDBOX in order to leave more room for the
original  thoughts and comments of Bomber Alumni.
Exceptions have been made in this issue for purposes of

That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
include your class year and maiden name, (if applicable),
in all correspondence and subscription requests.  You may
also include your current locale if you wish.  It's easy
to join us in the ongoing conversations here.  Just send
your comments to:!  We are the 
Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
AKA Columbia High School, representing classes from 1942
through 2000. Visit the THE SANDBOX website.

Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
                             - 100 -

THE SANDBOX ~ Issue #101 ~ October 31, 2000

      "Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all."
                        - Shakespeare

       Censorship & Barb
       Jenny (Smart) Page  RHS '87

       John Allen (Class of '66)

       If It Could Be, It Would Be
       Mary Ray Henslee (61)

       Checking Things Out
       Jerry  Lewis (73)


Subj:   Censorship & Barbie
From:   Jenny (Smart) Page  RHS '87

Once again, let me state this as clearly as possible:

I have never, in past, present or any future
 comments regarding Harry Potter, advocated
 censoring these books.  We're all adults (I think)
 here, so I hope its not necessary for me to quote
 some dictionary as to the definition of "censor." 
 Read this out loud, if that's what it takes for this to
 sink in: Read this book if you want to! I'm not
 saying you can not or should not! 

Let me state this again, as clearly as possible:  

It's not appropriate for MY FAMILY.  I prefer to
 make other choices for OUR reading material.

Chuck, I am as against censoring materials as
 apparently you are. Maybe even more so. 

As a side note, Chuck, I was really starting to hope
 that you would take a more active role in raising
 my kids.  You see, we made our first trip to the
 orthodontist last week, and well, we could use a
 secondary insurance to help cover is open
 enrollment season for most plans isn't it?   :) (See,
 I'm trying to lighten the mood here, folks...)

For Linda McKnight, regarding why my daughter
 doesn't have a Barbie:

This again comes down to the "appropriate role
 model" thing.  It has nothing to do with Barbie
 looking anorexic, or even her being materialistic
 and having to own a gazillion outfits.  What turned
 me off to Barbie was when they started selling the
 doll in sexy lingerie a few years ago -- we're
 talking see-through teddy, with the feather
 trimmed robe and high heeled slippers, etc.  Barbie
 looked like something out of a Frederick's of
 Hollywood catalog.  Sexy lingerie is fine for
 adults. But its not something I want my (then)
 preschool aged daughter playing with.  There are
 alternative dress-up dolls, and they don't come
 with thong underwear.  Simple as that.  It's not
 appropriate for our family.  We chose something

Maybe I ought to submit my Christmas shopping
 list for approval....oh, sorry, I probably can't say
 "Christmas" without being ridiculed..."Winter Gift
 Exchange Opportunity Day" shopping list, how's

                       Jenny (Smart) Page
                              RHS '87


From:    John Allen (Class of '66)
For many years now, the words "deviancy" and
 "deviant" have taken on a universally negative
 connotation rather than the true definition which
 describes something "different from the norm."  If
 one applies the word "deviant" or "deviancy" to
 describe homosexuals or homosexuality, there
 is not a thing in the world wrong or inaccurate
 about that use.

Undeniably, homosexual behavior deviates from the
 obvious and NORMAL biological purpose of
 sexuality in all species, and therefore, from a
 strictly functional standpoint, qualifies as  
 "deviant."  Further, since only about 3-5% of the
 population is homosexual, from the standpoint of
 its prevalence within the human species in
 particular, homosexuality also qualifies as "deviant."

As a rule, however, most people do not want to be
 described as decidedly different than the norm and
 I suspect the homosexual community itself has
 decided that "deviant" is a negative use of the
 language in regard to their behavior, whereas
 "gay" is seen as a positive, if exceptionally
 "oblique" and heavily veiled, use of the language. 
 By way of kowtowing to the whimsy of various
 minority groups who strive to redefine
 themselves in what they perceive to be more
 favorable language, the language becomes
 bastardized a little bit more every year.  For
 instance, it used to be perfectly acceptable, even
 amongst the black population of this country, to be
 described as "Negro" or "Colored" (probably the
 most accurate way to describe any race other than
 Caucasian).  Around 1968 (when Martin Luther
 King was assassinated), those terms became very
 UNacceptable and the term "black" became the
 almost dictated terminology.  In recent years, if
 one wants to be truly politically correct, the term
 African American must be used.  All this
 reminds me a great deal of teenage girls who decide
 to change their names from, let's say, Sharon, to
 "Shari" with an "i" (and preferably a heart over the
 "i") as if what they are called and how it is spelled
 will somehow by itself make them more popular. 
 My personal favorite bastardization within the last
 12 months is the growing use of the word "issue,"
 to the near extinction of the word "problem."  Who
 started THAT very trendy trend?  Some lawyer, no

But I digress; this article was prompted by a recent
 comment from another SANDBOX contributor. 
 The comment was that her life had been
 enriched by every gay and lesbian friend she has
 had.  When I read things like this, I have to
 wonder if it is the friend as a whole who has done
 the enriching, or only the gay or lesbian nature of
 the friend which has done the enriching.  If it is the
 latter, I would like to see an explanation of
 SPECIFICALLY how the gay or lesbian nature of
 a person, taken apart from their whole personality,
 is so enriching.  If, on the other hand, it is the
 friend in his or her entirety who does the enriching,
 then why pigeonhole that friend by describing him
 or her solely by sexual preference.  Why not
 describe the friend as "the florist," "the astro
 physicist" or maybe just "the gal with the red
 Chevy?"  Perhaps, as I suspect, the original
 "enrichment" comment was simply a knee jerk,
 politically correct thing to say so as to be SEEN
 AS politically correct in a society which,
 increasingly, values image much more than substance.

My personal attitude toward homosexuality was
 best described by Dennis Miller about three years
 ago during one of his HBO Special "rants" when
 he said, "I don't want you to think I'm homophobic
 or anything, but the thought of having sex with a
 MAN is so repugnant to me, I sometimes marvel
 that you WOMEN can do it."  Look, I don't go
 out of my way to make life miserable or even
 difficult for homosexuals, but as a practicing
 hetero man, I don't understand homosexuality any
 better than I understand women, and I don't think
 it unreasonable or uncaring to say that I never will. 
 Further, I don't see the need to "enrich" my life by
 wasting time trying to do something that is
 effectively impossible.

               ---John Allen (Class of '66)


Subj:   If It Could Be, It Would Be
From:  Mary Ray Henslee (61)

A man writes a book and says he wants to do away
 with the internal combustion engine and this is
 what we should base our vote on?  Don't we all
 want a perfect world?  If it could be, it would be. 
 In the meantime we had better vote for someone
 who wants to keep what we do have running and
 someone who is concerned about our national
 security.  While Gore is daydreaming about 25
 years down the road, he is not dealing with the
 here and now.  We are continuing to depend on
 foreign sources that could cut us off in the blink of
 an eye.

If Gore really wanted to help preserve our
 environment for future generations, he would be
 promoting zero population growth, but that
 wouldn't be politically correct.  Pollution begins in
 the home, in our bedrooms.  Overpopulation is the
 real culprit.  We have only in recent years had
 ozone days in San Antonio due to the population
 boom, not due to industry because we have none
 here.  When I lived in Houston during the early
 sixties, pollution was not an issue because the
 population was under control.  The oil refineries
 were there just as they are today and the swamps
 were giving off polluting gases just as they are
 today.  And, hey, the tanks that we drove were not
 environmentally friendly by any stretch of the
Our skies are overcrowded with Airlines because
 more people are flying than ever before, but you
 don't hear environmentalists saying down with
 planes.  They are probably contributing more to
 the depletion of the ozone layer than anything that
 is going on down on the ground.

More people, more industries needed to make the
 goods that more people require.  

Gore is not going to put an alternative automobile
 on the road any quicker than it is feasible or he 
 would have already done so.  Since we rely on
 mostly foreign oil, I don't think that we are being
 motivated to keep gasoline engines for our own
 economy.  We just have not come up with any
 viable replacement.  Cars are running cleaner than
 they ever have before, but more people, more cars. 

It wasn't too long ago that we were told aerosol
 cans were the biggest culprit to the ozone layer.  I
 don't think scientists have all the answers right now
 and I sure don't think Al Gore does.  Al Gore does
 not have the corner on wanting to live in a clean
 environment, we all do.  He just has a corner on
 impressing extremists who want to have their
 cause validated by someone with their same
 extremist views.

All of our politicians breathe the same air as we do
 and so do their children.  I don't think that any one
 of them will stand in the way of progress toward a
 cleaner environment within reason.  This
 administration has not functioned with reason and
 has now created an oil shortage and higher prices. 
 Cutting consumption is only a temporary fix to our
 shortage because as the population grows, so
 grows the need for more cutbacks.  This is
 something San Antonians know only too well
 as we watch our lawns die because of a water
 shortage due to our overpopulation and lack of

If this country does not develop its own source of
 energy immediately, we are going to be in serious
 trouble economically and strategically.  Are you
 going to think Gore is a rational thinking man
 when you can't drive your car because you have
 used up your rations?  Are you going to think
 Gore is a rational thinking man when the economy
 crashes and you no longer have a job?  Are you
 going to think Gore is a rational thinking man
 when the trucks can't roll to get food to the
 grocery stores?  Are you going to think Gore is a
 rational thinking man when our fighter planes can't
 protect us because they have no fuel?  Are you
 going to think Gore is a rational thinking man
 when we are no longer a world power because we
 have not had the foresight to develop our own
 energy sources? 

What difference does it make if the gasoline we
 use to fuel our cars and planes is refined on our
 own soil or on another country's soil?  The
 outcome is the same....the pollutants are all going
 into the same atmosphere, depleting the same
 ozone layer.  Hello?

One pound of learning requires ten pounds of
 common sense to apply it (Persian Proverb).  I
 think the most important qualities to look for in
 any elected official are integrity and common

                   Mary Ray Henslee (61)


Subj: Checking Things Out
Re: The SANDBOX Issue 98
From:   Jerry  Lewis (73)

The Harry Potter dialog continues...  I am very
 skeptical of the report quoted by Janie O'Neal
 Janssen.  Although the wording is different, the
 tale is similar to a satiric piece from,
 which as far as I can tell doesn't print anything that
 is not made up.  

I did go to the Philadelphia Trumpet web site, but
 wasn't able to view the article to see if there were
 any references or descriptions of how this
 information was gathered.  Judging from the
 available material, I don't think The Trumpet is
 exactly an unbiased news source.  

Before 'trumpeting' such a story around, I'd like to
 see some back up to the allegations.  The advent of
 easy distribution via the web and e-mail of opinion
 and fiction masquerading as fact has made me
 more cautious about blindly accepting any
 uncorroborated material in general. 
If you're interested in the Urban Legends site's take
 on the situation, check out

It mainly is pointing out that any rumor that quotes
 the story from is not correct, and 
doesn't have any other references.  So in the spirit of
skepticism, I'd like to see some more research. 
In the way of an inquiry, I did a search for the
 Pagan Federation (PF), mentioned in Janie's post. 
 The site did come up, and indeed, they did just hire
 a 'youth officer' to "deal with inquiries from under
 18 year olds that are not allowed to join..."  In the
 extended article it mentions thousands of letters
 from a teenage magazine article that mentioned the
 PF.  No word of Harry Potter.  I looked at the
 other headlines and links and no mention of
 anything remotely sounding like it would have
 anything to do with Harry Potter.  Not conclusive,
 but something to keep in mind during the investigation.

I also searched the New York Times (only two
 weeks) and the Seattle Times, but didn't come up
 with anything relevant to this discussion. (scanning
 the first page or so of titles).

                        All for now ...
         Jerry  Lewis (73)  

That concludes this issue of THE SANDBOX folks. Please
include your class year and maiden name, (if applicable),
in all correspondence and subscription requests.  You may
also include your current locale if you wish.  It's easy
to join us in the ongoing conversations here.  Just send
your comments to:!  We are the 
Alumni of Richland High School, Richland Washington,
AKA Columbia High School, representing classes from 1942
through 2000. Visit the THE SANDBOX website.

Al Parker (53)
Shippenville, PA
                 - 101 -
              End of OCT, 2000

	SEP, 2000 ~ NOV and DEC, 2000